Guest Blogger: Solidarity Rally on National Coming Out Day

While I was scheduled to be in Washington DC for the National Equality March, I was concerned about covering the Solidarity Rally that was set for Daley Plaza on the same day.  I asked my friend Valerie Burns if she would be interested in being the first ever "What's A Boy To Do Guest Blogger" and share her feelings and thoughs from the days events.  My thanks go out to Valerie for sharing her words with us.

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Photo Credit: Valerie Burns

I spent my Sunday afternoon at the Chicago Rally of the National Equality March in Daley Plaza , put together by LGBT Change, on October 11th.  The rally, which attracted a small crowd compared to November's Prop 8 rally, was enthusiastic nonetheless.  Hopefully the small turnout was due in part to everyone being in DC for the National Rally! 
Speakers at the rally included Democratic Candidate for Governor Dan Hynes, Candidate for Illinois State Senate Jim Madigan and State Rep. Greg Harris.  Other speakers included Kim Hunt (Executive Director of Affinity Community Services), Jim Pickett of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, John Knight of the American Civil Liberties Union, Peter Ji, President of PFLAG Illinois and Gerald Farinas, Candidate for Alderman, 46th Ward.

"There is no such thing as incremental equality," stated Dan Hynes.  "We can't wait for Washington to act," he said. 

Gerald Farinas reflected on Harvey Milk's statement, "You cannot live on Hope alone... Hope and no action brings us nowhere."  Farinas called for action from every LGBTQA person out there to pound pavement and make change happen. 

The local rallies were a great option for those who wanted to show their support, but were unable to make it to the National Equality March on the same day in Washington , DC .

The rally was a really great reminder that social and economic justice is important for everyone, no matter their race, faith, class, sexual orientation or gender identity.  Standing together in solidarity is imperative to ensure that everyone is given equal rights and protection under our government.

**You can find Valerie on Facebook**

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