Sep 9, 2013

Our History, and Our Present

I want to invite everyone to read the article written by Cindy Bray, Treasurer of the LGBT Democrats of VA. Cindy is a nationally recognized award winning LGBT historian. She has written a comprehensive history of LGBT Richmond Virginia history for a LGBT history website project and has spoken about LGBT history around the country. From time to time, Cindy has offered to write articles about LGBT history for us to share with you in our newsletter and on our website. This month she is focusing on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, which passed on August 28th. Although many people know about the March, not as many know about Bayard Rustin, the proud out gay black man, who was the organizer and planner that made the March materialize in two months in a time before computers, smart phones, and cable television.

Even up until the day before the March most people were estimating a high number of 25,000 to be marching in Washington, D.C. on that hot August 28th in 1963. Bayard Rustin knew that it would be many more. The morning of the March a reporter asked Rustin why no one had arrived. Bayard in his usual eloquent style pulled a sheet of paper from his pocket and while looking at his watch said, everything is going just as planned. Even though it turned out that the piece of paper was blank, which he later admitted to his longtime aide, Rachelle Horowitz, he was right. He simply knew that the seed of freedom was about to be planted. Over 250,000 people arrived by plane, train, bus, car, and foot that day to stand near the monument of the Great Emancipator and hear a King and many others speak of equality and freedom.

I want to thank Cindy for this article and the many that she will write in the future. Knowing our history brings us a closer understanding of our lives today, and allows us the vision to see what can be in our future. It also shines a light on the truth and enlightens us. Recently, the Republican candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General, have been re-writing history. The truth of their history, however, is quite plain. All three candidates have strong anti-LGBT, anti-woman, anti-climate change, and anti-voting rights records. Know their history and pass that knowledge along to others! Do not allow them to re-write history.