This week’s photo is an easy choice. It’s a rainbow pride flag flying over Charles Street, Baltimore, MD, USA for 2017 Baltimore Pride. Nothing says visibility like a rainbow flag. Plenty of transgender pride flags as well, many many more than this same event 4 years ago.
This week’s photograph was taken in Washington, DC (of course), and is of the moment the Equality March for Unity and Pride (@EqualityMarch17) started.
The very start of a march (as of this year I have seen many) is a very impactful, moving, moment, and this was no exception. What I felt was the strong intention for LGBTQ+ communities to control their destiny. See for yourself in the photos below.
The image below is a reminder that the most powerful voices are the ones from the future.
Mobilizing LGBTQ+ communities, our loved ones and our allies – with particular focus on those who have been actively silenced and neglected – in the fight to affirm and protect our rights, our safety and our full humanity.Equality March 2017
Washington, DC continues to lead the United States in promoting inclusion for all. It’s why we say that in the last century, as another State went, so went the nation. In this century, it’s “As Washington, DC goes, so goes the nation.” Our Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) calls it the most inclusive city in the world. I call it the capital of a world learning to love better.
Today’s photograph is of the first rainbow crosswalk. Tomorrow we will paint the first transgender pride flag crosswalk in the United States. Because we are DC 🙂 .
Saturday afternoon, June 10, 2017, seven temporary rainbow colored crosswalks and one representing the transgender pride flag will debut along 17th Street NW, in the heart of the traditional LGBTQ neighborhood of the nation’s capital. A community-led initiative, the crosswalks are designed to be a highly visible symbol of Washington, D.C.’s long-standing place as a welcoming city for LGBTQ residents and visitors.
Today a press preview event was held with Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, her LGBTQ staffers and appointees, community members, and regional TV and print media. One of the crosswalks was painted in advance to preview to TV and print media of the D.C.,Maryland,Virginia, Area.
General John Alexander Logan (February 9, 1826 – December 26, 1886) was an American soldier and political leader. He served in the Mexican-American War and was a general in the Union Army in the American Civil War. He served the state of Illinois as a State Senator, a Congressman, and a U.S. Senator and was an unsuccessful candidate for Vice President of the United States with James G. Blaine in the election of 1884. As the 3rd Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, he is regarded as the most important figure in the movement to recognize Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) as an official holiday.
Given the location, in one of the busiest corridors in our nation’s capital, the sight is as stunning and meaningful as was the lighting of the White House in the colors of the LGBTQ Pride flag in 2015.
Not the first time Whitman Walker preceded policy makers
This scene immediately reminded me of this one, in December, 2007, when I snapped this photograph, just a few blocks north, on World AIDS day:
Remarkably, my thoughts from that moment are here on this blog (See: Photo Friday: Miracles Happen ), and they relate the feeling present at the time, that health care would have to lead our policy makers down the street, because they weren’t going to.
Whitman Walker has the longest track record for providing compassionate health care to the LGBTQ community – all the letters. And in this location, which for many years was forgotten and without hope as Washington, DC struggled after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, and then the drug and HIV epidemics that followed.
It was an incredible day – the policy was landmark not just for Washington, DC, but the entire nation, which is slowly catching up to Washington, DC in LGBTQ-supportive health policy. Washington, DC is still the national leader.
At the time we lamented that mainstream health care was incapable of being a leader in health.
My 2013 Answer: Because I and my fellow physicians went into medicine to support the ability of every human being to achieve their life goals. (See original blog post)
My 2017 Answer: Because life is amazing, and we can 🙂 .
For those unfamiliar with Washington, DC, this is the 14th Street, NW walk of fame in front of Whitman-Walker Health (@whitmanwalker – our most awesome planning meeting host), just a few steps down from the former First Lady’s Cycling Studio.