Name: LaDesta Atkinson (Pictured above on the right with her girlfriend)
Hometown: Canton, OH
Occupation: Emergency Medical Technician, Student at Stark State College of Technology
Why I Found Her at The NEM:
LaDesta came to the March with the entire LGBTS GLOBAL group from Stark State (pictured on the side), but standing up for equality is a very personal experience for her. I spoke to her several hours before the March even began, but she was already pumped up: “Screw Obama’s civil unions!”
She explained that she wants to see rights for everybody. Even though people had only begun to gather, LaDesta knew it would be a big event and that everyone in attendance would have real passion.
I could tell from the energy in the way she spoke that it was very personally meaningful for her to be there. Her claim that “this will be emotional” was not just a prediction but a personal admission. “You can look left and right and have someone on your side.” For LaDesta, simply experiencing a feeling of understanding and belonging is a huge impact of the March.
We should all be able to feel that way all the time.
What She’d Change in America:
LaDesta gets frustrated when she sees programs and commercials on TV about “starving African children.” In her opinion, “We have to help our own before we can take care of others.”
That was certainly her intent by participating in the National Equality March.