‘We Ask You to Stand in Solidarity With Us’: Equality March in Washington, D.C.

June in the United States is celebrated as Pride Month, but Sunday's Equality March in Washington, D.C. was not a party.

Marchers chanted, "Love, not hate, makes America great!” Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
Several children marched with their parents and loved ones to show that family is family, no matter who they are or what they look like. "Gay people are the same as everybody else," read one sign. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
"Hey Mike Pence, are you scared yet?"
"The Gay Agenda: Be Gay." Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
A steady stream of marchers, some holding bisexual pride flags, swept past the White House, making their presence known to the Trump administration, which has not shown itself a friend to the LGBTQ community. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
"Trans lives matter." Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
"Freedom of/from religion." Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
The Equality March turned toward the Washington Monument and the mall. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
A large group from Florida carried a giant gay pride banner. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
"Left or right, we can all see wrong." Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
"Respect my existence or expect resistance." Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
"Love shouldn't be a partisan issue." Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
"Homophobia has a cure, it's called education." Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
Marchers chanted, "Hey hey, ho ho, HB 2 has got to go!", referencing severely restrictive legislation in North Carolina that targets transgender individuals' use of public restrooms and other facilities. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
Marchers certainly had feelings about the current roster of political representatives who work from the U.S. Capitol, seen in the distance. "Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice!" Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
After the march, this couple celebrated their recent engagement, but also recognized that the movement still has a long way to go toward equality for all. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
A Navajo Two Spirit person in front of the U.S. Capitol. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
Prior to the rally, marchers held a moment of silence for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, where 49 people were killed by a man with an assault rifle at a gay nightclub June 12, 2016. Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
Survivors of the June 12, 2016 shooting in Orlando at Pulse nightclub stood above a banner remembering the 49 people who died that night. Demetrius Knowlings (far right) lost his best friend, Eddie Justice, to the violence. He briefly addressed the crowd, thanking them for their support, and promised that “we will not go in silence. We will continue to fight, and we are not going anywhere." Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire
Actor, singer, and activist Sara Ramirez embraced Aurora Lloyd following her remarks. "The LGBTQ+ community's stand for equal rights has never been about just one person, one lived experience or one identity. Our struggles are shared and our resilience unrelenting.” Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire

June in the United States is celebrated as Pride Month, but Sunday’s Equality March in Washington, D.C. was not a party. Separately organized from Saturday’s Pride Parade, the march served as a declaration calling for “rights and dignity for all”a direct response to the open hostility the Trump administration has demonstrated for LGBTQ people.

Organizers described the march as a mobilization of “LGBTQ+ communities, our loved ones and our allies—with particular focus on those who have been actively silenced and neglected—in the fight to affirm and protect our rights, our safety and our full humanity.” 

At least 200,000 people from across the country marched for a politically charged platform including LGBTQ rights, reproductive justice, immigration justice, faith and religion, youth homelessness, and disability rights. The Stonewall Riots and the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando one year ago were commemorated throughout the march and rally.

“Whether it pertained to race, age, your chosen label, your gender identity, or any other perceived disparity: We have stood in solidarity with you, we ask you to stand in solidarity with us,” said Sara Ramirez, actor, singer and activist in her remarks.

Aurora Lloyd, True Colors Youth Fellow, shared her story of homelessness as a young person. She told the crowd that they shouldn’t wait to be told how they can help vulnerable LGBTQ youth: “Don’t ask what you can do to helpfigure out what you can do best, and get out and do it!”