Platform of the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation


The March on Washington took place April 25, 1993
Washington, D.C.
source

Action Statement Preamble to the Platform

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender movement recognizes that our quest
for social justice fundamentally links us to the struggles against racism
and sexism, class bias, economic injustice and religious intolerance. We
must realize if one of us is oppressed we all are oppressed. The diversity of
our movement requires and compels us to stand in opposition to all forms of
oppression that diminish the quality of life for all people. We will be
vigilant in our determination to rid our movement and our society of all forms
of oppression and exploitation, so that all of us can develop to our full
human potential without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation,
identification, identity, gender and gender expression, ability, age or class.

THE MARCH DEMANDS

1. We demand passage of a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender civil
rights bill and an end to discrimination by state and federal governments
including the military; repeal of all sodomy laws and other laws that
criminalize private sexual expression between consenting adults.
2. We demand massive increase in funding for AIDS education, research,
and patient care; universal access to health care including alternative
therapies; and an end to sexism in medical research and health care.
3. We demand legislation to prevent discrimination against Lesbians,
Gays, Bisexuals and Transgendered people in the areas of family diver-
sity, custody, adoption and foster care and that the definition of family
includes the full diversity of all family structures.
4. We demand full and equal inclusion of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and
Transgendered people in the educational system, and inclusion of Les-
bian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender studies in multicultural curricula.
5. We demand the right to reproductive freedom and choice, to control
our own bodies, and an end to sexist discrimination.
6. We demand an end to racial and ethnic discrimination in all forms.
7. We demand an end to discrimination and violent oppression based on
actual or perceived sexual orientation, identification, race, religion, iden-
tity, sex and gender expression, disability, age, class, AIDS/HIV infection.

Platform Demands and Related Items

1. We demand passage of a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender civil
rights bill and an end to discrimination by state and federal governments
including the military; repeal of all sodomy laws and others laws that
criminalize private sexual expression between consenting adults.
  • Passage of “The Civil Rights Amendment Act of 1991” (HR 1430 & S574).
    Repeal of Department of Defense directive 1332.14.
  • Repeal of laws prohibiting sodomy, cross-gender expression (dress codes) or
    non-coercive sexual
    behavior between consenting adults.
  • Amendment of the Code of Federal Regulations to recognize same-sex
    relationships.
  • Passage of the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Implementation of, funding for and enforcement of the Americans with
    Disabilities Act of 1991.
  • Passage and implementation of graduated age-of-consent laws.
2. We demand massive increase in funding for AIDS education, research,
and patient care; universal access to health care including alternative
therapies; and an end to seism in medical research and health care.
  • The provision of responsive, appropriate health care for people with
    disabilities, deaf and hard of hearing people.
  • Revision of the Centers for Disease Control definition of AIDS to include
    infections particular to women.
  • Implementation of the recommendation-of the National AIDS Comrnission
    immediately.
  • A massive increase in funding for AIDS education, research and care–money for
    AIDS, not for war.
    This money should come from the defense budget, not existing social services.
  • An increase in funding and research to provide an independent study of
    HIV infection in women, People of Color, Bisexuals, Heterosexuals, children,
    and women to women transmission.
  • Access to anonymous testing for HIV.
  • No mandatory HIV testing.
  • A cure for AIDS.
  • The development and legalization of a national needle exchange program.
  • Free substance abuse treatment on demand.
  • The redefinition of sexual reassignment surgeries as medical, not cosmetic,
    treatment.
  • The provision of appropriate medical treatment for all transgendered people in
    prisons and hospitals.
  • An increase in funding and research for chronic illness, including breast
    ovarian, and other cancers particular to women.
  • The right of all people with chronic illness, including HIV/AIDS, to choices
    in medical treatment as well as the right to end such treatment.
3. We demand legislation to prevent discrimination against Lesbians,
Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgendered people in the areas of family di-
versity, custody, adoption and foster care and that the definition of
family includes the full diversity of all family structures.
  • The recognition and legal protection of whole range of family structures.
  • An end to abuse and exploitation of and discrimination against youth.
  • An end to abuse and exploitation of and discrimination against older/old people.
  • Full implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the
    Health and Human Services Task Force on Youth Suicide.
  • Recognition of domestic partnerships.
  • Legalization of same sex marriages.
4. We demand full and equal inclusion of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and
Transgendered people in the educational system, and inclusion of Les-
bian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender studies in multicultural curricula.
  • Culturally inclusive Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies program;
    and information on abortion, AIDS/HIV, childcare and sexuality at all levels
    of education.
  • Establishment of campus offices and programs to address Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
    and Transgender students special needs.
  • The ban of all discriminatory ROTC programs and recruiters from learning
    institutions.
  • An end to discrimination at all levels of education.
5. We demand the right to reproductive freedom and choice, to control our
own bodies, and an end to sexist discrimination.
  • The right to control our bodies.
  • Unrestricted, safe and affordable alternative insemination.
  • An end to sterilization abuse.
  • That access to safe and affordable abortion and contraception be available to
    all people on demand, without restriction and regardless of age.
  • That access to unbiased and complete information about the full range of
    reproductive options be available to all people, regardless of age.
6. We demand an end to racial and ethnic discrimination in all forms.
  • Support for non-racist policies and affirmative action.
  • An end to institutionalized racism.
  • Equal economic opportunity and an end to poverty.
  • Full reproductive rights, improvement of prenatal services, availability of
    alternative insemination for Lesbians and Bisexual women of color.
  • Repeal all ‘English Only’ laws and restore and enforce bilingual education.
  • Repeal all discriminatory immigration laws based on race and HIV status.
  • A commitment to ending racism, including internalized racism, sexism and all
    forms of religious and ethnic oppression in our communities and in this country.
  • An end to the genocide of all the indigenous peoples and their cultures
  • Restoration of the self-determination of all indigenous people of the world.
7. We demand an end to discrimination and violent oppresion based on
actual or perceived sexual orientation/identification, race, religion,
identity, sex and gender expression, disability, age, class, AIDS/HIV infection.
  • An end to anti-Semitism.
  • An end to sexist oppression.
  • An end to discrimination against people with disabilities, deaf and hard of
    hearing people.
  • An end to discrimination based on sexual orientation in all programs of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • An end to economic injustice in this country and internationally.
  • An end to discrimination against prisoners with HIV/AIDS.
  • An end to discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS, and those perceived as
    having HIV/AIDS.
  • An end to consideration of gender dysphoria as a psychiatric disorder.
  • An end to hate crimes including police brutality, rape and bashing.
    An end to censorship.
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Speech to the March on Washington


by Urvashi Vaid
April 25, 1993
March on Washington
(source)

Hello lesbian and gay Americans. I am proud to stand before you as a lesbian today. With hearts full of love and the abiding faith in justice, we have come to Washington to speak to America. We have come to speak the truth of our lives and silence the liars. We have come to challenge the cowardly Congress to end its paralysis and exercise moral leadership. We have come to defend our honor and win our equality. But most of all we have come in peace and with courage to say, “America, this day marks the end from exile of the gay and lesbian people. We are banished no more. We wander the wilderness of despair no more. We are afraid no more. For on this day, with love in our hearts, we have come out, and we have come out across America to build a bridge of understanding, a bridge of progress, a bridge as solid as steel, a bridge to a land where no one suffers prejudice because of their sexual orientation, their race, their gender, their religion, or their human difference.”

I have been asked by the March organizers to speak in five minutes about the far right, the far right which threatens the construction of that bridge. The extreme right which has targeted everyone of you and me for extinction. The supremacist right which seeks to redefine the very meaning of democracy. Language itself fails in this task, my friends, for to call our opponents “The Right,” states a profound untruth. They are wrong – they are wrong morally, they are wrong spiritually, and they are wrong politically.

The Christian supremacists are wrong spiritually when they demonize us. They are wrong when they reduce the complexity and beauty of our spirit into a freak show. They are wrong spiritually, because, if we are the untouchables of America — if we are the untouchables — then we are, as Mahatma Gandhi said, children of God. And as God’s children we know that the gods of our understanding, the gods of goodness and love and righteousness, march right here with us today.

The supremacists who lead the anti-gay crusade are wrong morally. They are wrong because justice is moral, and prejudice is evil; because truth is moral and the lie of the closet is the real sin; because the claim of morality is a subtle sort of subterfuge, a stratagem which hides the real aim which is much more secular. Christian supremacist leaders like Bill Bennett and Pat Robertson, Lou Sheldon and Pat Buchanan, supremacists like Phyllis Schlafley, Ralph Reid, Bill Bristol, R.J., Rushoodie — the supremacists don’t care about morality, they care about power. They care about social control. And their goal, my friends, is the reconstruction of American Democracy into American Theocracy.

We who are gathered here today must prove the religious right wrong politically and we can do it. That is our challenge. You know they have made us into the communists of the nineties. And they say they have declared cultural war against us. It’s war all right. It’s a war about values. On one side are the values that everyone here stands for. Do you know what those values are? Traditional American values of democracy and pluralism. On the other side are those who want to turn the Christian church in government, those whose value is monotheism.

We believe in democracy, in many voices co-existing in peace, and people of all faiths living together in harmony under a common civil framework known as the United States Constitution. Our opponents believe in monotheism. One way, theirs. One god, theirs. One law, the Old Testament. One nation supreme, the Christian Right one. Let’s name it. Democracy battles theism in Oregon, in Colorado, in Florida, in Maine, in Arizona, in Michigan, in Ohio, in Idaho, in Washington, in Montana, in every state where , my brothers and sisters, are leading the fight to oppose the Right and to defend the United States Constitution. We won the anti-gay measure in Oregon, but today 33 counties — 33 counties and municipalities face local versions of that ordinance today. The fight has just begun. We lost the big fight in Colorado, but, thanks to the hard work of all the people of Colorado, the Boycott Colorado movement is working and we are strong. And we are going to win our freedom there eventually.

To defeat the Right politically, my friends, is our challenge when we leave this March. How can we do it? We’ve got to march from Washington into action at home. I challenge everyone of you, straight or gay, who can hear my voice, to join the national gay and lesbian movement. I challenge you to join NGLTF to fight the Right. We have got to match the power of the Christian supremacists, member for member, vote for vote, dollar for dollar. I challenge each of you, not just buy a T-shirt, but get involved in your movement. Get involved! Volunteer! Volunteer! Every local organization in this country needs you. Every clinic, every hotline, every youth program needs you, needs your time and your love.

And I also challenge our straight liberal allies, liberals and libertarians, independent and conservative, republican or radical. I challenge and invite you to open your eyes and embrace us without fear. The gay rights movement is not a party. It is not lifestyle. It is not a hair style. It is not a fad or a fringe or a sickness. It is not about sin or salvation. The gay rights movement is an integral part of the American promise of freedom.

We, you and I, each of us, we are the descendants of a proud tradition of people asserting our dignity. It is fitting that the Holocaust Museum was dedicated the same weekend as this March, for not only were gay people persecuted by the Nazi state, but gay people are indebted to the struggle of the Jewish people against bigotry and intolerance. It is fitting that the NAACP marches with us, that feminist leaders march with us, because we are indebted to those movements.

When all of us who believe in freedom and diversity see this gathering, we see beauty and power. When our enemies see this gathering, they see the millennium. Perhaps the Right is right about something. We call for the end of the world as we know it. We call for the end of racism and sexism and bigotry as we know it. For the end of violence and discrimination and homophobia as we know it. For the end of sexism as we know it. We stand for freedom as we have yet to know it, and we will not be denied.

Speech to the March on Washington


by Lani Ka’ahumanu
Washington, D.C.
April 25, 1993
Lani is co-founder of the Bay Area Bisexual Network
(source)

Aloha, my name is Lani Ka’ahumanu,
and it ain’t over til the bisexual speaks…

I am a token, and a symbol.
Today there is no difference.
I am the token out bisexual asked to speak, and
I am a symbol of how powerful the bisexual pride movement is
and how far we have come.

I came here in 1979
for the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights

I returned in 1987
for the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights

I stand here today
on the stage
of the 1993 March on Washington
for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual
Equal Rights and Liberation.

In 1987 I wrote an article on bisexuality
for the Civil Disobedience Handbook
titled, “Are we visible yet?”

Bisexual activists
organized on the local, regional and national levels
to make this March a reality.

Are bisexuals visible yet?
Are bisexuals organized yet?
Are bisexuals accountable yet?

You bet your sweet ass we are!

Bisexuals are here,
and we’re queer.

Bisexual pride
speaks to the truth
of behavior and identity.

No simple either/or divisions
fluid – ambiguous – subversive
bisexual pride challenges both
the heterosexual and the homosexual assumption.

Society is based
on the denial of diversity,
on the denial of complexity.

Like multiculturalism,
mixed heritage and bi-racial relationships,
both the bisexual and transgender movements
expose and politicize the middle ground.

Each show there is no separation,
that each and everyone of us
is part of a fluid social, sexual and gender dynamic.

Each signals a change, a fundamental change
in the way our society is organized.

Remember today.

Remember we are family,
and like a large extended family,
we don’t always agree, don’t always see eye to eye.

However, as a family under attack
we must recognize the importance of what
each and every one of us brings to our movement.

There is strength in our numbers and diversity.
We are every race, class, culture, age, ability,
religion, gender identity and sexual orientation.

Our visibility is a sign of revolt.

Recognition of bisexual orientation and transgender issues
presents a challenge to assumptions
not previously explored
within the politics
of gay liberation.

What will it take
for the gayristocracy to realize
that bisexual, lesbian, transgender, and gay people
are in this together,
and together
we can and will
move the agenda forward.

But this will not happen
until public recognition
of our common issues is made,
and a sincere effort to confront
biphobia and transphobia is made
by the established gay and lesbian leadership
in this country.

The broader movement for our civil rights and liberation
is being held back.

Who gains when we ostracize whole parts of our family?
Who gains from exclusionary politics?

Certainly not us…

Being treated as if I am less oppressed than thou
is not only insulting,
it feeds right in to the hands
of the right wing fundamentalists
who see all of us as queer.

What is the difficulty
in seeing how my struggle
as a mixed race bisexual woman of color
is intimately related to the bigger struggle
for lesbian and gay rights
the rights of people of color and
the rights of all women?

What is the problem?

This is not a competition.

I will not play by rules
that pit me against any oppressed group.

Has the gayristocracy
bought so far in to the either/or structure,
invested so much in being
the opposite of heterosexual
that they cannot remove themselves
that they can’t imagine being free
of the whole oppressive heterosexist system
that keeps us all down?

Bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people
who are out of the closet,
who are not passing
for anything other than who and what we are
all have our necks and our lives on the line.

All our visibility is a sign of revolt.

Bisexuals are here to challenge the bigots
who have denied lesbian, gay and bisexual people
basic civil rights in Colorado.

Yes, Amendment 2 includes bisexual orientation.

Yes, the religious right recognizes bisexuals
as a threat to “so called” family values.

Bisexuals are here to protest
the military ban against lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

Yes, the Department of Defense defines bisexuals separately
as a reason to be dishonorably discharged.

And yes, out bisexuals are not allowed
to be foster or adoptive parents,

And yes, we lose our jobs, our children, get beaten and killed
for loving women and for loving men.

Bisexuals are queer, just as queer as queer can be.

Each of us here today
represents many people
who could not make the trip.

Our civil rights and liberation movement
has reached critical mass.

Remember today.

Remember that we are more powerful
than all the hate, ignorance and violence
directed at us.

Remember what a profound difference
our visibility makes
upon the world in which we live.

The momentum of this day
can carry us
well into the 21st century
if we come out where ever and when ever we can.

Remember assimilation is a lie.
It is spiritual erasure.

I want to challenge those lesbian and gay leaders
who have come out to me privately over the years
as bisexual to take the next step, come out now.

What is the sexual liberation movement about
if not about the freedom to love whom we choose?

I want to encourage bisexuals
in the lesbian, gay and heterosexual communities
to come out now.

Remember there is nothing wrong with love.
Defend the freedom to express it.

Our visibility is a sign of revolt.
We cannot be stopped. We are everywhere.
We are bisexual, lesbian, gay and transgender people.

We will not rest
until we are all free;

We will not rest
until our basic human rights
are protected under federal law;

We will not rest
until our relationships and families
are not just tolerated
but recognized, respected and valued;

We will not rest
until we have a national health care system;

We will not rest
until there are cures for AIDS and cancer.

We deserve nothing less.

Remember we have every right
to be in the world
exactly as we are.

Celebrate that simply and fiercely.

I love you.

Mahalo and aloha.

How I spent my Two Week Vacation Being a Token Bisexual


by Lani Ka’ahumanu
This is a reflection on the 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation.
It was published in Anything That Moves
(source)

So there I was in the 1993 March on Washington media office in Washington DC six days before the big event working the phones and lending a bisexual presence. The five phones rang non-stop, “March on Washington media office. Hello my name is Lani.” The publisher of a small local DC paper called. He wanted to do a story paralleling the Martin Luther King March and this one. He wanted to make the connections clear so his community would come and join the march. “It’s the same for all of us,” he said, “basic civil rights.” “Yep, that’s right,” I said, “30 years later we have the same dream.” There were two to four of us at any one point fielding questions from local, national and international television and radio stations, the print media, as well as reporters of all stripes wanting interviews, press passes and faxing us their credentials. The NAACP and the White House called a few times too.

The pace was fast and furious, the mood was campy and cooperative, the setting was cramped, lacking air and windows. There was a sense of history being made. The Today Show, Good Morning America, Tokyo Television, Italian TV, the New York Times, Miami Herald Tribune, LA Times, SF Examiner, USA TODAY, and the Village Voice to name just a few who called. Everyone was looking for an angle on this civil rights march. This was not being covered as a parade or celebration. The tone was more serious.

A national gay writer who was working for a big city paper was interested in interviewing one of the speakers. “Well guess what,” I said, “I just happen to be on the main stage.” “Perfect.” he said. So I tell him I’m the token bisexual speaker and the last one of the day. He laughs when I tell him the name of my speech, “It ain’t over til the bisexual speaks.” And is hooked by the Farajaje-Jones term “gayristocracy.” He asks great questions, we talked and then there was a long pause. “This is really interesting. Maybe I should do a story for the Village Voice on bisexuality.” He asks for my home number and there is another long silence. Then says, “Well, I’d like to talk with you sometime. I’ve been having sex with all my lesbian friends and I don’t know who to talk to about it.” I encouraged him to call.

Everyday that week as new people arrived someone would introduce me as Lani Ka’ahumanu the bisexual speaker. I wasn’t being “shown off” exactly but sometimes the tokenism grated my nerves. Being the only visible one of anything is taxing and isolating. By the end of each day I wanted good ol’ bisexual company. Thank goodness there were so many bisexuals around and a BiNET USA meeting and a National Conference on Bisexuality and dance on Saturday. I was well nourished.

By the time Sunday arrived I was ready. I had worked hard and thought about this day for two months. When I pictured myself talking in front of TV cameras and a million people I rode the adrenaline rushes like a surfer catches a wave. My biggest and most surprising breakthrough came while working on my speech. I cranked up some “writing” music — Simon and Garfunkel’s Concert in Central Park. As I went to my desk thinking about being on stage the speakers filled my office with thousands of people cheering and clapping at the Central Park Concert. At that moment I experienced a level of terror that made my body shiver. I stopped in my tracks and began to cry. I cried for a very long time and then started laughing. What a perfect way to get over the fear of being in front of so many people! I played the crowd noise over and over until the adrenaline subsided.

I thought about the first National Bisexual Conference in 1990. How we applauded loudly when BiPOL’s Autumn Courtney proclaimed the nineties as the “decade of the bisexual.” The vision of our bisexual community and movement becoming a viable and respected player at the larger queer community table was within our reach. Who would have guessed that we would have secured national recognition less than two years later? But there we were in January, 1992, demanding that bisexual rights be recognized in the title of the 1993 March on Washington. Our time had definitely arrived. Many of us took leadership positions on the national, regional, and local levels for organizing the March.

A quiet sense of pride filled me the morning of April 25th. We made it. There we were in the front of the March carrying the banner, performing on the morning stage, and marching loud, proud and visible with almost every group. And there we were over 1,000 strong in the bisexual contingent! And there we were visible on the gigantic trinitron screens projecting the afternoon stage activities with the “1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation” title emblazoned across the top. And yes, there we were on the afternoon stage.

I say “we” were on the afternoon stage because we were. I did not feel alone up there for a minute. I can’t quite explain it, but you all were with me. For the entire day I felt I was speaking for more than myself. There was a definite sense of bistory in the making as I networked and challenged the biphobia, and reminded forgetful MCs and speakers that it was the lesbian gay and bisexual March on Wahsington, and appreciated those who said bisexual through out their speeches. I was very conscious of wanting to represent “us” as best as one person possibly could. Whenever I felt intimidated I just remembered how many strong and proud bisexual people I have had the opportunity of meeting here in the USA and in Europe in the last few years. I also knew there were thousands of bisexuals out there marching in huge numbers making a different kind of statement to the world. I felt proud and honored to be representing the bisexual community and movement and didn’t want to waste a moment of the precious time spent backstage. Loraine Hutchins with her bisexual pride t-shirt flashing stood out in this crowd. We consulted, commiserated and strategized all afternoon about how best to use the time accessing the media and the lesbian and gay leaders who were backstage. We worked that crowd for all it was worth.

Because unscheduled speakers were given time throughout the day, the stage ran an hour late. As the last speaker of the day my 5:30 p.m. slot came up around 6:45 p.m. Quite honestly by the end of the day I was emotionally exhausted and bruised from the general lack of respect, the tokenism, the invisibility of bisexual people and our issues and the division(ary) speeches given by many if not most of the lesbian and gay leaders. I was in no mood to be told 10 minutes before I was to go on that time was running out and the park service was threatening to turn off the sound at 7 p.m. One of the Co-Chairs told me that they were asking everyone to shorten their time to two minutes in order to get everyone who was scheduled onto the stage.

Something inside of me snapped when I heard this. I have always been willing to compromise, see both sides of an issue, build alliances, work things out. I have never been a very pushy, or disruptive in-your-face type of an activist/organizer. But honey did I turn a corner that day! I made it crystal clear that if there hadn’t been blatant biphobia coming from the stage, as well as from behind the stage all day, and if everyone would have done their homework and remembered that it was indeed the lesbian, gay and bisexual March on Washington, and if I wasn’t the only bisexual speaker out of the 18 chosen I would consider it in a heartbeat. After all I had been a producer and I understood the situation they were in, however editing my speech to two minutes was completely out of the question. A very brief discussion ensued regarding quality and quantity which I felt was ridiculous when we were talking five minutes vs. two minutes. In the end I agreed to look over my speech and edit, but not to two minutes. I knew my speech was a little more than five minutes so it seemed only fair to do this. As I walked out of the trailer the look on my face was not lost on Nadine Smith one of the other Co-Chairs who had been a consistent bisexual ally. She asked what had happened. I told her the situation. Her immediate reply was, “That isn’t right. Let me see what I can do.” A sense of injustice filled me with a focused fierceness in way I had never experienced before in my life. I would not be stopped, period. Loraine and Dannielle [my daughter] and Katherin came over to see what was wrong. “How dare they pull this on us!,” I said.

Less than a minute later someone said, “You’re on.” I hadn’t looked over my speech to begin the edit, but it didn’t matter. This was it. I felt strong and clear and angry as I walked through the security check points before the long ascent to the stage. “Lani Ka’ahumanu?” “Yes,” I said, “Lani Ka’ahumanu.” With each step my determination grew stronger. “Lani Ka’ahumanu?” “Lani Ka’ahumanu.” With each step I was filled with a powerful sense of love for bisexual people, for our courage and bravery, for the visible and viable bisexual community we have built, and for the strong bisexual pride movement we have organized. Oh no, I did not feel alone up there at all.

By the time I got to the top of the stairs and walked to edge of the backstage I was over it. Nothing was going to stop me, nothing, not even the stage co-producer Robin Tyler who literally got on her knees and asked me to make my speech two minutes. (What a lost photo opportunity!) I looked around and unexpectedly saw two familiar and friendly faces. Robin and I went over the two sentence introduction I had written earlier in the day. I had to edit one out. She liked one, but I wanted the other because it was more radical. It mentioned I had been a housewife and activist in the 60s, a public lesbian mother in the 70s and an out of the closet bisexual since 1980.

The very instant the group Menage finished singing, I walked to the podium as Robin introduced me. What a moment, there were hundreds of thousands of people as far as I could see to the Washington Monument and television cameras too numerous to count set up on a platform. I took a deep breath and said… [Read the speech here]