(click photos to enlarge)
As soon as I heard about it, I knew I had to go to Washington for the Women’s March the day after the inauguration. It turned out to be a monumental historic gathering, and I love having the pictures to document the sweetness, the humor, the defiance, and the collective power of the event. I was supposed to “march” with Gays Against Guns, participating as one of the Human Beings, representing women who were victims of gun violence (thus the all-white outfit, including graduation gown). But the GAG contingent took the bus down from NYC early that morning, I was already in DC, and by the time we got to the site the crowds were so huge there was no way to get to the designated meeting spot. So I stuck with my friends Joe and Clint. A neighbor of theirs in the Petworth neighborhood gifted us with freshly knitted pussyhats, so we rocked those all day.
As a sheer expression of solidarity, The Women’s March was exhilarating. The rally, though, was almost impossible to enjoy, given the unprecedented size of the event. Like much else about the march, the logistics were planned as if no one else would be there. The lineup of speakers was amazing. Maybe 1000 people actually got to see/hear them. The rest of us spent hours stuck on the metro trying to get there, then an hour shuffling through the streets trying to find a place to stand, then a couple of hours standing in place craning our necks to glimpse a Jumbotron, hearing only scraps of speeches wafting from scattered loudspeakers.
I caught a glimpse of Scarlett Johanssen and Alicia Keys, heard Angelique Kidjo sing a song, no one else I recognized. Mostly we entertained each other with our signs and chants. “We won’t go away! Welcome to your first day!” “He’s orange! He’s gross! He lost the popular vote!” “Build a fence around Mike Pence!”
As the speeches dragged on and on and on, the 300K toward the back started chanting “March! March!” Easier said than done in such a huge crowd. I had no idea Madonna was around. I was bummed not to hear Gloria Steinem or Angela Davis.
BUT…it was a day of high spirits, no violence, and great love. Given the crowds, I was amazed at how many friends I did bump into. Joe, who’s lived in DC for 32 years and knows everybody, was jealous, until we finally ran into someone he knew — the DC chief of police, Peter Newsham, who told us he was thrilled to receive a hug from Cher. Joe and Clint and I parked on a bench between the Washington Monument and the White House to cool our jets and became a popular photo op (Old Fags in Pussyhats).
I was really glad I went. It was exciting to be part of history. And…the next day I felt quite depressed, because the grotesque joke of this regime goes on.