For those who don’t know, two days time from now (May 17th) is IDAHOT – the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. As a precursor to the events to come on Monday, today Equal Love held a pro gay marriage rally outside the State Library in Melbourne — a fantastic follow-up from the gay marriage rally that was held in November of last year. This time, Dumbledore (ED: I’m a freaking moron, and have been rightly chastized. Ian McKellen was Gandalf…Ian McKellen lookalike was Dumbledore) himself took time out to show his support at the rally:
There was a pretty decent turn out, so much so that the geek contingent made a pretty good showing (see exhibits A and B on the right), and overall things seemed to go pretty well for the march. When the petitions were handed over I think there was somewhere in the range of 100,000 signatures in support of gay marriage. One hundred freakin’ thousand. That’s the sort of thing that really oughta get someone to stand up and take notice.
There’s still something that bugs me a little bit about the whole protest though…last time, we met at the State Library, marched up to Parliament, and continued the rally there. This time, apparently, we weren’t allowed to do that and had to march in a circle, starting and finishing at the library. Ultimately, that seems like a weird way to do things — the idea that people should get permission to protest, that they have to protest in a certain way, in certain areas, and at certain times. The whole procedure seems antithetical to the whole idea of having a protest — Oh, of course you can have your little march for human rights and equality, but only if you do it on our terms.
And we comply. Because all we see is a forced choice, the choice to either play by the rules of the establishment, or to stay home and put up with an entire section of the population being treated like second-class citizens.
That’s not how protests used to work when shit got done.
But then, the media now is a completely different beast to back then. As my housemate pointed out, there’s no guarantee that having a proper protest, actually making a noise and causing a disturbance, would get any kind of decent media coverage nowadays anyway. More than likely they’d report more on the traffic jam than the protest itself.
So really then, what can you do? For the moment, I suppose we stay the course we’ve laid out — things seem, at least, to be moving forward, and there’s only so long that parliament can cater to a bigoted minority when people are standing up and making their voices heard. I just don’t want to be part of a generation that fucks up a proud tradition of overturning the discriminatory laws that they’ve inherited. Whatever we do, we have keep moving forward.