We can perform powerful advocacy through our computers and telephones. But we also need to interact with the public (one-on-one or through speaking events) and participate in civic and community events that bring attention to our fight for equality. So we march. These are some of the reasons why:
We put a human face on the issue. Numerous studies have shown that when people get to know an LGBTQ person and hear their story, it can significantly affect their view of the policies that impact equality. As more LGBTQ people and allies live out loud, we can expand the number of people who feel connected to us and our issues.
We become part of visible and normal life. By participating openly and proudly in public life, whether we march in a town parade or set up an information table at a community event, we include LGBTQ people and their allies in the culture at large. We reduce the stigma and create a space for other people to also be more open.
We send a message of hope to others. Some of us are still in the closet or struggling with our sexual and gender identify, while others might be out but feel isolated and alone. It can be a lonely and vulnerable place. When LGBTQ people and allies show up in public, we can convey a powerful message—particularly to our high risk LGBTQ youth—that there are not alone, and are worthy of love, respect, and inclusion.
We commemorate our history. Marching has been integral to our modern LGBTQ movement, a way to peacefully advocate for ourselves and bring attention to our cause. In fact, PFLAG’s founder Jeanne Manford was spurred to create her first parent support group after she marched with her son Morty in the New York’s Christopher Street Liberation Day March, and realized her impact. Our marching honors our history, takes our movement forward, and reminds us that we have more to accomplish.
We celebrate and have a wonderful time. LGBTQ advocacy is not only meaningful and goal-oriented, but also joyful, exciting, and moving. We meet LGBTQ people and allies, share our stories, and often create lifelong bonds and friendships. Marching is another extension of our camaraderie and for many of us is one of most fun forms of our advocacy.
We announce upcoming parades and marches at monthly meetings and provide details at Upcoming Events and our Facebook wall. If you want to help us plan and coordinate marches, we’d love to have your help. Also, if you are a newcomer to marches, we are happy to provide you a “parade buddy,” a more seasoned PFLAGer who can march with you and provide information and support. Please contact us for any questions or issues related to marches..