by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Staff Writer
Seattle OUTprotest, a local grassroots LGBTQ advocacy organization, has put together Seattle Equality Weekend. The event consists of two days, October 10-11, of LGBTQ education workshops, the HIV/AIDS vigil, the march and rally, and the Generation Q Mega Mixer.
Seattle OUTprotest officials say the Equality Weekend is in solidarity with the National Equality March on Washington, D.C., where thousands of people are expected to march in support of equal protection for LGBT people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states.
"The cooperation with the National Equality March has been very inspiring," Seattle OUTprotest lead organizer Eduardo Brambila told SGN. "Cleve Jones put out the call for organizers and support - that's where we come in. What is so amazing is that they trust us and all the other organizations across the country, so there's been no micromanagement, only support."
Brambila said Seattle OUTprotest has worked hard to stay in line with the National Equality March's vision, while at the same time adding a Seattle flair to it by incorporating the pressing issue in Washington: Approving Referendum 71.
on LGBT Issues
October 10, 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
12th & E. Marion
Community organizers and activists are scheduled to present a series of workshops on a range of issues affecting the LGBT community, including Stonewall and LGBT movement history, homelessness, hate crimes and self defense, LGBT health, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," legal issues, Gay-Straight Alliances, and marriage equality, to name a few.
"The Thinking Queerly workshops were organized so we, as a community, can be more aware of the issues impacting us and how we can get involved," Brambila told SGN. "We talk about intergenerational conversations and cooperation needed in order to fully start a movement and see some tangible outcomes. The Thinking Queerly workshops are a forum for exactly that!"
October 10, 6:30 p.m.
Broadway & E. Pine
As the AIDS pandemic nears its fourth decade, we gather to educate and raise awareness about the continued struggles of people living with HIV/AIDS and their families, friends, and support networks as well as to demand resources and all funding necessary for prevention, treatment, and a cure. The vigil will include gospel choirs, an AIDS mural, guest speakers, videos, and an opportunity to learn how to help prevent and fight the spread of HIV/AIDS.
"We're very fortunate to live in a city with great services offered by organizations such as Gay City and Lifelong AIDS Alliance. But during these hard economic times, budget cuts make it very difficult to provide the essential services needed," Brambila said. "Over 14,000 people die in America each year because of HIV/AIDS. The HIV medicines are truly lifesavers & but we must not forget it requires determination and very hard work to stay healthy with HIV. At the vigil, people can learn about programs like MPowerment, which work with young Queer communities, so we don't fall into another vicious cycle of history repeating itself."
March and Rally
October 11, 2 p.m.,
14th Ave. E.
& E. Prospect St.
October 11, 5 p.m.
Rally, Federal Courthouse
7th & Stewart
Forty years after the Stonewall Rebellion, we march in solidarity with our brothers, sisters, and allies in Washington, D.C. to demand equal protection in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states, as well as, show public support for the approval of Referendum 71 in Washington State.
"We've set up an opportunity for our community to be heard. It's not just about LGBT rights, it's about showing unity in our country and humanity," Brambila told SGN. "Figures say around 10% are LGBT in this country, we need those other 90% to hear us and support us."
Generation Q Mega Mixer
October 11, 6:30 p.m.
The Sole Repair Shop
1001 E. Pike
Young leaders - those 25 years old and younger - will have the opportunity to socialize with and learn from some of the LGBT community's most inspiring members in a relaxed, social environment.
For more information about the Seattle OUTprotest and the Seattle Equality Weekend, visit the organization's official website at www.nationalmarch.seattleoutprotest.org.
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