Thanks for publishing my photo Common Dreams (@CommonDreams). As I wrote recently (see: Photo Friday: In Washington, DC, health care does what policy makers can’t…until later) symbols like the ribbon, the rainbow pride flag, the transgender pride flag, are important signals of visibility, acceptance, and caring, and I’ve photographed the ribbon every year that it’s appeared on the White House portico since 2010. It’s actually interesting how the displays of these symbols track compassion and caring, even loosely.
Final straw, they say, was president’s pushing of healthcare legislation that would deal devastating blow to HIV community
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.
Lafayette Square, the site of everything from made-up cocaine purchases to strolls on the way to the future, is this week’s photo, taken at sunset. Inauguration stands are in the process of being dismantled.
I was recently contacted by Jennifer Linney, the publisher of the book POTUS Tweets, about using my photographs to illustrate the moments of history catalogued in the book.
President Barack Obama was the first sitting U.S. president to tweet from the @POTUS Twitter handle, and he did so from May 18, 2015 to January 20, 2017. That Twitter handle will pass from president to president as terms end and terms begin, and the National Archives and Records Administration has preserved President Obama’s tweets in electronic format only, under a new Twitter handle: @POTUS44
Old-fashioned paper-and-ink girl that I am, I’ve compiled a book of those tweets.
Because, she told me, the cost of publishing a book like this in color is prohibitive, she used black and white images.
However, there’s no such prohibition here – these are the original photos. I will forever remember the honor of being in these moments in our nation’s history. It’s what happens in Washington, DC, where the future is born every day 🙂 .
The ceremony was filmed and will be broadcast this evening. One thing that you will not see on television (I think) is the fact that the first family came out very early in the show to light the tree briefly, and then they left. We were thinking, “makes sense, they’re very busy people.” But in fact, they were backstage the entire time and made several appearances throughout the filming, culminating with the President singing jingle bells with the audience. It’s an impressive commitment the leader of our country makes to the people he serves, in his duty.
Rest of the photos below, enjoy, feel free to share, all are community commons licensed (of course)