Reflections on the Faces For Equality Project

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Faces For EqualityOver the past three weeks, I’ve been posting vignettes of folks I met at the National Equality March. I collected 20 profiles in total, featuring 22 individuals with their friends, family, and loved ones at the March. I called this project Faces For Equality.

My original goal was to put a more human face on the March. Who are these people and what is important to them?

I can definitely say I accomplished that. While the project itself is pretty simple in design, I feel like I painted a lovely portrait of the movement. Even though 22 people is not a lot, I think the faces in this project demonstrate the importance of the March and the incredible diversity within the movement.

Even in just my little cross-section, there were people of a variety of ages and ethnic backgrounds. There were people from all corners of the country. There were students, teachers, lawyers, accountants, actors, artists, musicians, people who work in healthcare, and more. And what’s more important is they all had their own personal concerns about the world.

From just this collection of vignettes, people who support LGBT equality are also concerned about the wars abroad, the economy, immigration, corporate regulation, education, healthcare, religion, foreign policy, poverty, homelessness, sustainability and energy use, HIV/AIDS, and the future of American society. That’s a gay agenda if I ever heard one!

Reflecting back on the project, I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t sure how people would react to some random person approaching them to interview them. I think there were only two people I asked to interview at the March that weren’t interested. Everyone else was happy to share their stories, and I included every single interview we did. What was also interesting is that none of the folks I interviewed flinched at the idea that their name, age, and picture would be published online. I thought some might be wary, but everyone seemed on board with the authenticity I was trying to portray in this project.

One of the things I avoided was directly asking people about their sexual orientation or gender identity. Some directly mentioned it, and I included it in the profile if it was relevant, but for many it was not. There are a lot of folks in this project whose sexual and gender identity are totally unknown to me and and cannot be discerned from their profiles.  The important thing about this project is that their identities don’t matter. They support equality, and that’s what this is about.

For now, this is the end of the project. If I have another opportunity to participate in a large political event for equality, I might develop a Phase 2, but for now, I’ll let the National Equality March Faces For Equality stand as they are. I am proud and honored to have met so many amazing people and you all have my profound appreciation for willing to be a part of this project.

Mandi's Graduation in May 2004As I end this project, I have to offer another big thank-you to my amazing fraternity sister, Mandi. Not only was she the photographer for this project, but she also hosted and took care of me while I was in DC. I am so lucky to have a friend for life like her, and I was proud of her for joining me for the March. Thank you Mandi!

Click on the collage below to go to the Faces For Equality page where you can read all of the profiles. Below that is an interactive photo gallery of all the pictures we took for the project. Enjoy!

Faces For Equality Collage

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