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Equality March in DC

I wasn't sure what to expect besides a lack of sunlight and an abundance of groggy eyes when I got to The Center and on that front, I'd hit the mark. What I didn't expect, though, were the friendly faces that I saw in the crowd. Friends I'd known for months and danced with in clubs mingled with Instagram friends that I'd never met in person--friends whose bond to my heart existed solely in a handful DMs and a mutual sense of community. Together, we were part of a community that has endured and celebrated more than I could've ever imagined when I moved to New York nearly four years ago to seek them out.

 

It's this community that I found myself traveling to Washington DC to create history with and, while the Pride March was certainly historic, it was also a reminder of the smaller moments that make me proud. There is power in flipping off a White House home to a President who celebrates Pride Month with religious leaders who want to you burn in Hell, of course. There was undoubtedly an electric thrill coursing through my body at that moment, but it was the act of doing it all in a vintage Saint Laurent blouse whose fibers became my armor that I'll never forget.

 

I'll never forget power I felt as I had glitter smeared across my cheeks on the National Lawn or the look of love that I gave so many people I'd just met. I'll never forget that same look they gave me in return. It was our gift. It was acknowledgement that we were there existing in a world where people die for the people they fall in love with or the gender (or lack thereof) they identify with. It was acknowledgement that we exist out and proud in a country that still turns a blind eye to the hate crimes and murders levied against our community.

 

It's that acknowledgment that I brought home with me on the long bus ride back to New York. I may forget about the sweat and glitter and gift bags stuffed with stickers and shirts, but I will never forget the raw joy that I felt towards my community at a time when darkness is so easy to succumb to. We are all so bright and beautiful and, most importantly, we exist.