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20 Years Ago Today, the 1993 March on Washington: VIDEO

Marchonwashington

On April 25, 1993, what was then being called the largest gay and lesbian rally in U.S. history, tens of thousands marched on Washington D.C.. I was there. It was one of the biggest moments of my early life as an out gay man.

Watch news and videos from the date, AFTER THE JUMP...

March

Eyewitness News:

This clip says it was in June, but it was in April:

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  1. I was there! I remember I had just moved to NYC the October before and there were all these busses leaving from various parts of the city at 5am. I got on one and found my friends from Austin (where I had moved from) when I got to the march and this was before cell phones. I met up with my very first bf too. It was so amazing as it was my first time and actually now that I think about it the only time I have been to DC. I cannot remember how I got home though. The next year was the 25th Anniversary of Stonewall in NYC. THAT was so cool too.

    Posted by: tooboots | Apr 25, 2013 4:36:27 PM


  2. I made it to all the marches and they were very empowering. I remember, my lover and I held hands and raised them as we marched past the White House. It felt good to make that simple gesture. I pray I live long enough to see full equality.

    Posted by: John Simpson | Apr 25, 2013 4:36:46 PM


  3. I was there too!
    That was during the time when the newspapers and TV stations would ALWAYS under report the number of people attending. It was well over a million folks and the park service estimated 300,000. I was 29 at the time and remember being so excited to be with all my gay tribe!
    It's been an amazing journey and will continue to be for all those pushing for equality in the world. :)
    Thanks for posting.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Apr 25, 2013 6:13:13 PM


  4. I was discharged from active duty the previous December and even though I was still in the Reserves, I let myself be "recruited" by the most amazing people I have ever met to work on LGBT social justice issues almost immediately after my discharge.

    Just a couple of weeks before the March, I came out at a press conference in Connecticut as someone in the military in order to combat the misinformation and other BS that Sen Nunn spouting off in the months after Clinton's election and before the DADT compromise.

    Going to the MOW was more about me going to Capital Hill to lobby. While I still have memories of my first time lobbying...

    It was the March itself that will always be imprinted in my memory! Someone above talked about the cheers in DuPont everytime a train let out! Just thinking about that sound 20 years later, I am getting chills! The sheer numbers of queer and queer-friendly people walking everywhere! For someone who less than 6 months previously was afraid to say a word and was running away from anybody I ever remotely perceived to be gay - it was such a powerful and affirming experience to say: This is who you are...and these are the people who respect you for who you are...and it's okay to respect them as they are as well!

    What a totally freeing experience...and really a huge boost towards the journey of self-actualization (I'm still on that journey but at least I'm not still at the starting line!).

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 25, 2013 6:22:59 PM


  5. My husband and I were there and were part of the inaugural Spring To Life Event that raised money for the Harvard AIDS Research and the initial funds that began the VICTORY FUND.

    An amazing weekend

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Apr 25, 2013 6:48:37 PM


  6. My husband and I were there and were part of the inaugural Spring To Life Event that raised money for the Harvard AIDS Research and the initial funds that began the VICTORY FUND.

    An amazing weekend

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Apr 25, 2013 6:48:38 PM


  7. Correction VICTORY FUND was already around we just raised 125k that weekend for them.

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Apr 25, 2013 6:50:49 PM


  8. A bunch of us from Vermont took an overnight bus down (horrors--we were younger then) and during the march the VT contingent forged ahead, chanting, "VT waits for no one!" Which turned out to be prophetic as we didn't wait to get the marriage equality ball rolling. My husband and Facebook friends have been putting up pics from the day--a sunny stroll down memory lane. So much has changed, yet not enough.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 25, 2013 7:57:38 PM


  9. We were just remembering about this the other day as we prepared to gather in Portland, Oregon in front of the court house as the Supreme Court looked at Prop 8. Before we went were looking for something to wear and found all the buttons from the 1993 March on Washington and realized how far we had come. They read "Silence=Death" and "We Count!" That march was about visibility, which we finally have. We are on T.V., movies and in all walks of life (except the NFL, so far). We are Proud. Next month we will be attending the same-sex wedding of a former student in Washington. Yes we have a ways to go, but it feels good to have come as far as we have.

    Posted by: Patrick and Chuck | Apr 25, 2013 8:04:23 PM


  10. I was there from the Bay Area, tagging along with LYRIC. Met some amazing people, toured the Smithsonian, saw the concert with the Flirtations and Michael Callen, and the party on Saturday before the big parade Sunday. I never even made it to the lawn for dancing and concerts, etc--I was too busy standing on the side of the street watching history march by!!

    True story: I was trying to find a cute guy whom I'd made out with in Dupont Circle a couple days prior, so I had a giant sign reading "BILL?" People thought it was a political statement since Clinton was out of town. Amazingly, I found the guy again in the midst of a million or so people--but he was now with someone else. C'est la vie! Hooked up with someone hot in a church stairwell. (Hey Bill from Northwestern--you still owe me another kiss. ;) )

    Posted by: Dback | Apr 25, 2013 8:40:37 PM


  11. That's me talking about hate in the ABC clip. I was still in the closet at work and had no idea I had made the news - until the next day when I was back at work in NYC and a couple of admins said they'd seen me. I just remember pure exhilaration... and pride unlike anything I'd ever experienced.

    Posted by: Jon Hartman | Apr 25, 2013 9:23:27 PM


  12. Unfortunatly I didn't get to go but had a lot of friends who did.I do still have a Pussy Tourette cd someone brought back for me though. :)

    Posted by: greenfuzz | Apr 25, 2013 9:27:37 PM


  13. I was there in 1993 and the thing I remember most was the feeling of euphoria I had for 3 weeks after the march because I got to be surrounded by a giant community of amazing Gay people that were all there for the same cause. It is one of my prouder moments for sure.

    Posted by: Joe De Hoyos | Apr 26, 2013 4:04:29 AM


  14. I was there as well. In the middle of an amazing relationship with my now ex. Visiting with friends from all over the country. One of the highlights of the weekend was the Body Electric event on Saturday night before the March. Anyone else attend that?

    Posted by: Reel Charlie | Apr 26, 2013 9:36:27 AM


  15. My Partner and I were there and that was the weekend that changed me as a Person and my life forever! We Participated in the mass Wedding the day before in front of the IRS with the Reverend Troy Perry and we have Celebrated our Anniversary on that Day ever sense and Yesterday was our 20th! the feeling was Amazing for as far as you could see from the capital to beyond the Washington Monument there were Hundreds of thousands of Gay People and the feeling of joy and love was Amazing we were every where and to be a Part of History was a moment in Time I will never forget. And to see the Aids Quilt Displayed was the Most Humbling of moments and Showed us what our Fight was about and we weren't going to be Ignored So glad to have those Memories.

    Posted by: David & Gary | Apr 26, 2013 2:00:15 PM


  16. Thank you to my brothers and sisters who marched and opened the doors for me!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 26, 2013 2:04:51 PM


  17. I drove down from Boston all by myself, just out and without any gay friends to speak of. What an affirming, electrifying experience! You'd be riding the Metro and someone would shout, "Cheer if you're queer!" -- and the whole car would burst out.

    I've never felt alone again since.

    Posted by: DW | Apr 26, 2013 2:33:45 PM


  18. My husband and I were there. He's been positive since before we met. Now about 26+ years. In 1993 we had been together about 3 1/2 yrs. As I looked at all of panels of the quilt I wondered how long it would be before I added his panel to it. 20 yrs later and I've still not had to.
    My special memory was also in the metro cars and escalators when people would break into song. The best were the. "Going to the chapel". At that time it felt like a fantasy now it is almost a reality here in CA. Maybe by our 25th anniversary we can get legitimately married.

    Posted by: steve | Apr 27, 2013 2:22:24 AM


  19. I was there that day, too; one of the most important days of my life. All shame that had been buried burned away. I spent the day in absolute tearful joy. I got to see my first partner's panel in the AIDS quilt for the only time. It was the very first time I'd been completely unafraid. And the giddy happiness of an entire D.C. Metro train packed to the gills with everyone singing the theme from 'The Brady Bunch' at the top of their lungs. There was an elderly couple sitting smack dab in the middle who were so uncomfortable, until the singing finally made them laugh. The whole train burst into applause for them, and when they got off the train they turned to all of us and said, "You all have a good time." It was like an en masse benediction from all our parents in absentia. Beautiful.

    Posted by: Sean | Apr 27, 2013 2:29:45 AM


  20. I was there, I marched with the Orlando, Fl group. There were many more than 300,00 people. A day that I still cherish.

    Posted by: Carlos | Apr 27, 2013 7:04:01 AM


  21. I was there too, one of the best days of my life.

    Posted by: Patrick | Apr 29, 2013 8:52:52 PM


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