6,000-Mile Walk for Equality comes to a Close in DC
February 24, 2013 1 Comment
Carrying pictures of the faces and names of those whose lives have been cut short by the effects of TBLG inequality, dozens of marchers ascended on Lafayette Park this afternoon not only to issue the mandate for full equality but also to mark the end of a historic journey.
Since May 31, 2011, Alan Bounville has walked from Seattle, Washington, pushing a cart of his belongings. On the cart are two rainbow-colored signs that read, “Full Equality NOW!” He’s walked every step of the way, zigzagging from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, often over harsh terrain and in even harsher weather. Seattle, Washington, pushing a cart of his belongings. On the cart are two rainbow-colored signs that read, “Full Equality NOW!” He’s walked every step of the way, zigzagging from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, often over harsh terrain and in even harsher weather.
“Walking across the country in a straight line essentially twice is one thing. Walking as an out queer person pushing a cart emblazoned with rainbow signs while sharing the demand for full equality based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation is quite another,” says Bounville when talking about the walk as a whole. “People stop me all the time to ask what I’m doing and why I’m walking. Many people are supportive. Some are downright discriminatory. I keep walking because I know that the more I share my truth, the more I humanize to others my demand to be treated equally by my government and my neighbors. When people who don’t support my demand look me in the eye, they walk away from me changed. Something always seems to shift in unsupportive people after I tell them why I’m walking and that I’m gay or queer.”
While walking, Bounville has held numerous candlelight vigils remembering people who were murdered or who have taken their own lives due to discrimination based on the victim’s perceived or actual gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Bounville also talks at religious services about his mission, facilitates social movement and art as activism workshops, and performs a solo interview theater-based play inspiring people to walk into their own light and true potential.
Dozens of Bounville’s friends and supporters, from all across the country, joined him in the final three miles of his journey. For many, like Duane Quintana from Chicago, the experience was bitter-sweet,”On the one hand it’s amazing to see the impact Alan’s walk has had on so many American’s lives,” Says Quintana, who walked two hundred miles with Bounville in Idaho. “On the other hand, it’s horrific to see the names and faces of those impacted by the darkness of hate and prejudice. Hopefully, this walk will inspire, not only our nation’s leaders, but also the thousands of people across the country who honked, waved or got the chance to hear Alan’s message. Intolerance isn’t so much about politics or religion as it is about realizing that every day people are dying because our country refuses to allow them the same rights, privileges and dignity that every American deserves.”
“For nearly two years I’ve been invited as an equal into hundreds of homes across this great land, “Says Bounville. “The walk ends at the People’s House, where transgender, bisexual, queer, lesbian, two spirit, intersex, and gay Americans are still not welcome as equals. The time for full equality is now.”
For more information visit www.intothelightwalk.com.
Watch the last day of Alan’s walk: