Someone recently asked me, “What is your proudest moment?”
It took me no time at all to answer: “Pissing off John McCain.”
See, back in September of 2010, I and some friends from HERO traveled to Washington, D.C. to protest Don’t Ask Don’t Tell during a senate meeting, with our efforts directed totally at Senator John McCain. As an Arizona native, I relished the thought of being able to stand directly in front of McCain to tell him how I really felt
It was one of the most glorious days of my life. I can still remember the four of us (Meg, Paul, Jimmy, and myself) standing in the front row. McCain’s face was bright red. He could not stop fidgeting, and was very obviously and consciously making an effort to ignore us. Which was nearly impossible to do, because we were standing in the front row, directly in front of him, our signs held high, and his name printed on them in bold, black lettering. Senator Harry Reid could have easily instructed us to sit down — but he never did. Security motioned at us a few times, but it was Reid who was in charge. If he had asked us to sit down, we would have (non-violently) refused, something that could have eventually led to our arrests. We didn’t say a single word the entire time; we just stood silently, holding our signs, for almost 45 minutes. Harry Reid let us stand.
John McCain left — early and unplanned, and clearly agitated — and we immediately sat down. Our arms were exhausted!
I also got to ride both a real train AND subway for my very first time! That was fun, too.
I’ve included the group picture taken the day after the protest, because we all look completely terrified in the picture taken before the senate meeting started, standing with our signs at dawn, but you can view my public Facebook album of the week’s events here.Also, and I hope this is allowed, but please visit HERO’s Equality Walk website. HERO is a fantastic and very active Arizona LGBT non-profit organization. They are also full of amazing activists who are completely out of their minds: This year, they will be walking 101 miles through the entire state of Arizona, visiting all 15 county seats. The walk starts in downtown Phoenix on July 17th and ends in my home town of Parker (one of the hottest towns in a very hot state) on July 26th. These people don’t mess around!
What is YOUR proudest moment?