Last Saturday (a very hot Saturday), the second Love is Love rally took place. This time the rally was held in Hamtramck, the last one being in Ferndale. The turnout was nice. Many came out and showed their support. There were maybe one or two hecklers but the positivity drowned them out. The Love is Love rally is about LGBT equality, love for each other, and self-love.
LGBT equality is something that we still fight for now. In August, a LGBT leader's residence the target of an arsonist in Jackson, Michigan. The alleged hate crime took place not too long after the city passed its non-discrimination ordinance. ACLU Michigan has recently filed a lawsuit to challenge Michigan's practice of allowing state contracted child agencies to reject couples solely based on their sexual orientations. LGBT activists have also fought for LGBT people to be included in the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act. Unfortunately, Michigan Civil Rights declined their requests. Our president proposed a bill to ban all transgender people from the military. Let's not forget the "bathroom" debate.
The LGBT rally kicked off with upbeat songs like "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross, "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga, and "I Wanna be Your Lover" by Prince. The wall decorated with heartwarming posters about LGBT equality, made by high school students across Detroit.
Avery Grey, Huffington Post Queer Voices Contributor, member of MDPAN, gave an emotional speech about their life as an intersex person. They also read a beautiful poem about self-love titled "The Greatest Love of All". Avery's speech and poem was definitely the highlight of the rally. It represented what the rally was all about. The Mayor of Hamtramck, Karen Majewski spoke about her support for LGBT equality. She let the audience know that everyone is welcome in Hamtramck. It was nice to see a government official stand up for LGBT rights. Abhay Sinh Rathwa, a local musician, also performed acoustic guitar covers of "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King and "What a Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke.
Love is Love was full of peace and support. There were nothing but positive vibes in the atmosphere. MDPAN plans to have more rallies in various locations around Metro Detroit. MDPAN will announce the city for the next rally soon. We hope to see you at the next one.