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Equality Across America – Texas Conference. Are “Ya’ll” Ready to Rumble?

April 01, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, LGBT Action Alerts

Harvey Milk Day - May 22, 2010 - EAA Call to Action and Texas ConferenceYou can stop asking what you can do to help further equality in the United States (and beyond) now.  As previously discussed on Closet Talk with Tanner Efinger, Equality Across America has made a call to action for the week of Harvey Milk Day (May 22).  In response, grassroots organizations and activists have been popping up all over the country.

Organizing of the EAA – Texas conference is well underway, with most of the logistics already worked out.  Now, we get to do the fun stuff.  Remember though, even if you can’t help organize, you can start planning to attend.  Here’s a chance for you to help from the Equality Across America – Texas team.


Regional conferences organized under the banner of Equality Across America, the network that has emerged out of 300,000-strong National Equality March on Washington last October, have drawn hundreds of people in Chicago and Boston, with more to come.

We are going to build a conference here in Austin, and you should be part of the process! We have selected the dates May 21-23 to coincide with the holiday honoring Harvey Milk, and we will have a march and vigil in his honor as part of the weekend’s events.  The Texas regional conference will feature plenary talks and workshops about the history and future of our movement.

The ultimate goal is to establish long-lasting regional and national networks of grassroots activists who want to fight for full equality for LGBTQ persons at the federal level.

We have learned that we can’t rely on politicians to give us equality.  Throughout history, fighters for justice have had to mobilize intense public pressure on elected officials.  This kind of activism pushed the system to institute reforms like the right for labor to organize, desegregation, the right of Black citizens to vote, rights for immigrants, and the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons in our society.

Today thousands of new activists are ready to fight for LGBTQ equality. They are feeling the frustration with decades of mostly fruitless lobbying and electoral campaigning.  People are realizing that it will take energized and coordinated activism to win, and we are on the move again!  We must get together to educate ourselves and strategize for the future–and the Texas conference aims to be a forum to do just that.

An Invitation to an EAA Organizing Meeting:


Organizing meeting for Equality Across America – Texas Regional Conference,

May 21-23, 2010


This Monday, April 5, 7:00 p.m.


University of Texas-Austin, Mezes Hall room 1.204.  Map here


Any individual or LGBTQ and allied activist groups are invited.

We want to build a broad, inclusive movement that welcomes diverse political orientations and open discussions about where to go from here.


Please forward this information to members of every potentially interested organization and activist and urge them to get involved.


EAA Regional Conference–Texas Statewide Organizing Committee

Join the Impact-Austin

Equality Now-Austin

Equality Across America-Houston

Queer LiberAction-Denton


Add your name to this list of endorsers by sending an email dcloud@mail.utexas.edu

RSVP on Facebook

What I Learned from The Austin Marriage Equality Rally

November 08, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, iQreport, Thought of the Gay

Several dozen people walk the streets of Austin, Texas to support LGBT Rights and show solidarity with Maine.

Several dozen people walk the streets of Austin, Texas to support LGBT Rights and show solidarity with Maine.

On Saturday, November 8, 2009, Christopher and I jumped in my car and began the long drive to Austin, Texas.  We had seen on facebook that nearly 200 people had confirmed to attend a marriage equality rally in Austin, Texas to show solidarity with the election in Maine.  We had hoped for a large turnout; however, upon arriving at the rally point, only about 20 people were standing around the small stage, still furiously attempting to make their signs for the impromptu rally.

As we were setting up and preparing to live blog the event for iQreport, we were advised that the rally would start a bit later than planned as more people were still arriving.  At 1:30 p.m. Ambri Williams took to the stage and called upon those attending to demand their equal rights. The small crowd, which had grown to about 50 people, responded.  Dana Cloud rallied the troops and permit-less activists began marching through the streets of Austin, chanting things like, “Hey, hey, ho ho transphobia has got to go” and “Obama, Obama, let mama marry mama.”

The number of marchers began increasing and, as we passed by a local Austin gay bar, Oil Can Charlies, patrons and those nearby joined the marchers as we continued disrupting lunches and other Saturday afternoon business with our demands for equal treatment under the law.  It was a moment of visibility.  In spite of the small turn out, it worked.  People listened, applauded, honked and joined in the movement.

Dana Cloud, coordinator of Join the Impact – Austin, called for the event, along with several other well connected organizations around the country.  I spoke with Dana briefly after the rally and asked her about the importance of these rallies:

I must admit that I was a bit disappointed by the small turnout for the rally and march.  After the dust settled, Christopher, the love of my life, and I went to a local Chinese restaraunt.  When he opened his fortune cookie, I learned that the numbers matter less than the cause:

Stand up for what you believe in even if it's not popular