Name: Christopher Parker
Hometown: Austin, TX
Why I Found Him at The NEM:
The National Equality March was Christopher’s “first real activism.” He’s newly out, and as a gay man he’s realizing how prevalent stereotypes are. He also knows someone who was kicked out of the military because of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and feels strongly that “it’s not right you could lose all that you’ve worked for.”
To participate in the March, Christopher got involved with Join the Impact, Texas (as I interviewed him, the large group of Texans were doing cheers in the background). I purposely put off publishing his profile because he told me that his mother did not know that he had traveled to DC, but he was thinking that he might come out to her when he got home. Christopher definitely had a sense of awe about him as he saw the marchers gathering, and the energy with which he spoke seemed fresh, reflecting the empowerment of standing with others like him.
Even though the community and issues are new to him, he knows he “definitely wants kids and a family.”
What He’d Change in America:
Christopher has serious concerns about the gap between the upper and lower classes. In his hometown of Austin, he sees a literal divide by I-35 that is not just socioeconomic but also ethnic. He personally knows a woman who lost her home because people who were more wealthy moved into her neighborhood and she could no longer afford the property taxes.