By Charles Karel Bouley @reallykarel

Be careful what you post on Social Media, because from the smallest of things… Just ask Los Angeles’ Brian Pendleton. In January he felt strongly enough about something to head to his Facebook Page. And then, he found out about viral.

“Within a short time we got 30,000 plus likes,” Pendleton told me on my daily Karel Cast heard at reallykarel.com “I posted that we should change the Pride parade this year in to a Resistance march. And now, we are less than three weeks out from that very thing,” he added.

For years Pride organizations have come under fire from many in the community, myself included, for being too commercial, for losing touch with the true spirit of the Christopher Street West riots at the Stonewall Inn and for being nothing more than a glamorized, somewhat debaucherous event; this year especially as GLBT rights come under attack from the Trump administration, religious right and the GOP.

“We are not resisting who so much as what,” Pendleton explained. “We are resisting the things that we see happening, rolling back of human rights for all people, bigotry in the name of religion, push back on marriage equality, trans rights, bathroom laws…” he stated. “We want to resist the actions not a party or a people.”

I am quick to remind him that the only party, and the only people, that are trying to do all of these things are the GOP and the Oligarchy confirmed and mandated by them in the guise of Trump and his cronies.

“Then come on out on June 11th and share those views loudly, views I happen to agree with by the way, with our crowd,” he added.

The march beings at Hollywood and Highland, historic for more than Oscars and Red Carpets. Before Stonewall in 1969 Los Angeles rioted several times for Gay Rights, with the first being the Black Cat uprising February 11, 1967 at the bar of the same name.

resist-march-la-2017-750“Alexi Romanoff was there, and he’s going to be with us at the #ResistMarch,” Pendleton proudly exclaimed. “We are starting at Hollywood and Highland, which has historic meaning for the Black Cat protests and others. And we need a show of strength there. Don’t join us along the way. Don’t catch up to us in WeHo. I know you’re going to be out the night before, but get up early, and help us show the world, which will be watching, that we are paying attention, that we are not going to accept a reversal of rights and that we matter,” he added.

Businesses in WeHo have for the most part been amenable to the change. While some worry that changing the parade to a march will change the mood and thus the dollars made, Pendleton isn’t worried.

“For once, it’s rights over commerce,” he started. “I can’t worry that someone won’t sell as much coffee or pizza that day, although they will. They should be out marching with us. We aren’t sponsored. No one is co-opting this. It’s for and by the people. But it is incumbent upon those that were going to have floats, to still march. Some aren’t. This is a march for our First Amendment rights, a march for equality, so why any corporation would not still let their employees or their contingent participate, is beyond me,” he stated.

The #ResistMarch should take over the country, period, when it comes to gay pride events. Especially as gays are dying in Chechnya, Uganda, and Nigeria and as our rights at home become more fragile. There is a time for a party, and this is not it.

“It’s the time to resist, marching to congregate, to solidify, to have a show of force and unity that the world can’t ignore,” Pendleton stated. “There’s plenty of things to celebrate and be grateful for, and we are, and will be, but June 11th, we join others around the country in letting the world know we will resist evil, inequality, bigotry whenever and wherever it forms,” he added.

For the march to succeed, for others to take note and follow, it needs to be a success here. If it isn’t, they’ll lay blame and move on, instead of nurturing this as it should be. Until we can honestly say we are equal, we are one, we should be marching, resisting and protesting like the women have, like so many are and will. The #ResistMarch is a great way to do that.

“CSW has been on board since the beginning, and I’ve worked with city and civic leaders to get them on board so we have as much of a success as we possibly can. I don’t know what to expect that morning, but all I know is something has to be done, to be said, someone has to stand up. Let it be us, on June 11th at Hollywood and Highland.”

Indeed.

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