"The National Equality March represented the first gay rights march held in Washington D.C. since 1993, signifying a historic call to action with almost 200,000 people in the march. In addition to the rally, the weekend also included trainings and workshops aimed at helping young activists learn how to get more involved and become stronger advocates of LGBT rights.
We had the amazing opportunity to attend the march, along with about 200 others from the UW-Madison and nearby schools. Although the long bus ride was not the ideal form of travel, for us nothing could dampen the amazing experience we had while in D.C. The day began at 11 a.m. with marchers congregating at McPherson Square to get organized. At noon, the march kicked off with the student coalition leading the procession.
The already energized crowd grew even louder as people began chanting and calling for equal rights. As the march continued for over two miles, past the White House and up to the Capitol, the never wavering chants and cheers continued. Once we reached the Capitol, a large rally commenced with a dynamic range of speakers, from Judy Shepard, to Cynthia Nixon, to Dan Choi, to Lady Gaga. All of them conveyed the same message: now is our time, and we must lead the movement for change.
The most inspiring part of the rally was the people surrounding us. While there were still a significant number of older men and women, the vast majority of marchers were college-aged students. Additionally, the students were not just people who identify as LGBT, but young activists who care about the cause. The knowledge and experiences of the older activists, paired with the energy that students were able to bring to the Capitol, felt truly overwhelming and exhilarating."
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