As part of our Heroes project for October’s LGBT History Month, we are delighted that Frank Voci accepted our invitation to write a blog about why he started White Knot for Equality. You might remember seeing actors from the movie Milk wearing white knots at the Academy Awards. If you are attending the National Equality March, we encourage you to wear a White Knot not only for yourself but also for others who could not attend. And make a few extra knots to hand out and make new friends. Why knot?
White Knot Marches for Equality
By: Frank Voci
The National Equality March on October 11 has been a short-time in planning, but a long-time coming. Much like my own involvement in the new Equal Rights Movement.
I had always been a donor, but never an activist. Who had the time?!
But when Prop 8 in California passed, my activist gene was activated. I needed to do something, so I started what has become a national awareness campaign called White Knot for Equality After noticing the post-election street protests dying down, I realized we needed a way to keep the conversation going in our homes, work, places of worship, schools. I wanted to create an easy, universal way of staying visible in everyday life. Ribbon campaigns are nothing new, and as I searched for an easy to make symbol that was unique, I happened to tie a piece of ribbon in a knot. It clicked. Everyone should be able to tie the knot.
That simple act–making and wearing a White Knot–quickly became for many others who had never been active a way of instantly organizing to fight for equality. Every day I see the power of visibility, the importance of speaking out, and the value of organizing. And that’s why I am marching in Washington DC and urging the thousands of White Knot wearers across the country to join me.
The National Equality March will be an incredibly visible event that will reach millions through the media coverage. But more importantly, the March is the launching pad for the next stage of grassroots organizing that will with everyone’s great effort unite our individual and state-centric struggles in a single powerful movement for full equality. What do we want? Equal protection under the law in all matters governed by civil law in all fifty states. This is more than a philosophy. It’s a demand. And there is a tremendous amount of work to be done to achieve it.
That work is being done right now. Groups around the country have started organizing in all 435 Congressional Districts. We will win equality by demanding it directly of our lawmakers. LGBT people and our allies are already working together for the common goal of complete equality. This is why the March is so important. It is the impetus to set up a powerful network of local organizers. As Cleve Jones has said, we will think Federally, but act locally.
How can you be a part of this? If you can, organize groups to travel to DC for the March. At home, start organizing in your local community or look for organizations that already exist, many of which have set up Facebook Pages.
And of course, you can wear a White Knot to the March and wherever you go in your community to show your support for equality and hopefully spark some conversation.
White Knot for Equality is a non-profit organization devoted to fighting for marriage equality and overall equality for LGBT people. The White Knot symbol has quickly become the symbol for marriage equality and can be found in more than 1300 cities around the world (all 50 states and 25 other countries). Our goal is to create conversations that need to happen to change hearts and minds.