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The Gayzette, December 1979

Part of Pride Community Services Organization publications

x L ' A .. .. _. . . , knn -:.;~ _____.__________________________________________________________________________.__. LEXINGTON GAY SERVICES ORGANIZATION, INC. DECEMBER 1979 tail of the parade had yet to leave MARCH ON WASHINGTON the staging area. Supportive crowds lined the route at both the start On Sunday, OCt- 14, 1979 the lar and the finish and gave everyone a gest national group of gay men and boost. In addition, supporters of women assembled for political action the marchranging from socialists marched down the streets of the na- to libertarians-were busy working tion's capitol. We were marching to the crowd and one had to be careful demand an end to repressive legisla not to accept more literature and tion and attitudes and in support 0f pamphlets than one could reasonably the federal gay rights bill now expect to carry-much less read. pending in Congress. We were also There were only a few counterdemon marching to demonstrate to a nation- strators, who kept their distance. al audience--via television and Once at the rally site one could radio-that gay people from across easily be overwhelmed by the sheer the nation and from all walks Of numbers of gay people and supporters life could unite together and stand gathered under the Washington Mon up for our rights. There were ap- ument. Gays had come from as far proximately 75,000 of us--young and away as Alaska and Canada as well as old; rich and poor; black, white, other distant states and countries. brown, yellow and red; men and women Each state or delegation had a ban and--perhaps most gratifying-- a ner of some sort and the assort fair number Of parents Of gays mar ment of colors and people made for a ching OUt Of pride over their gay spectacular sight. A large number offspring. of speakers addressed the croWd; There were about twentyfive men their different attitudes and styles and women in the Kentucky delegation blended together after a while and While most were from Lousiville and the central message was GAY IS GOOD. Lexington, there were also gays from We know this and with more work and Bowling Green and Owensboro. The effort on our part no person or parade was sectioned Off by geo- group will be able to ignore this graphic region; Kentucky was in the fact any longer. Speakers included middle to rear of the marchers. In Robin Tyler, Eleanor Smeal, Kate addition, the march was led by child Millett and Rep. Ted Weiss, A spon- ren, older pe0ple, and handicapped sor of H.R. 2074the federal gay persons to insure a moderate pace; rights bill. Music followed the therefore, the parade was fairly Speeches and included songs by Tom slow in getting under way. The Robinson, a British rock singer and organizers did a good job in getting gay activist. everyone in line and in helping US Once the march and rally were pass the time while waiting to march over and the participants had re- one entertainer favored the crowd turned to their respective cities with his rendition of "Give me that and states, it was almost as if the old lesbianism" (to the tune of That event had never occurred; coverage Old Time Religion). of the event by most of the major Once underway, the march lasted media was light to moderate. Much for well over two hours. We were of the coverage centered around con- aligned in rows of eight and more flicting reports of attendance. than stretched throughout the entire Crowd estimates ranged from 25,000 twomile route; the head of the par- (national park service) to 250,000 ade reached the rally site next to (some march organizers and partici- the Washington Monument while the pants). At least a couple of essen-