View Full Version : Pilgrimage to the Equality Ride
04-24-2006, 10:07 PM
Today, I took the day off work and drove two hours with my girl to go visit the Equality Riders - something I had to see for myself. We met them at Eastern University.
I'm amazed that anyone could ever think these warm people were threatening. They were great. :love: They were very friendly and willing to talk to anybody who stopped long enough. The college was really welcoming, too - there were even printed schedules of the day's events posted. [see attachment]
When I saw Haven and Jake, the two cofounders of the ride, I confess I was a bit starstruck and fumbled over some words. [see attachment]
:) :) There was a giant rock on campus, seemed bigger than a car, which rested beside the waterway. Some kind person painted a special message on the rock that made me grin. [see attachment] :) :)
We were disappointed not to see the big bus, but were told that it was waiting back at their hotel until later tonight. I can understand why it probably had to stay there during the day after the graffiti that happened at a different location.
I'm so glad I went and I hope to maybe meet up with them when they stop in New York. Today, I realized just how big this Equality Ride reaches. I know people all over the country are involved, but seeing it and hearing about all the different people and places just made it more real. I feel very lucky for the experience - someday I'm sure Bridget and I will tell our children about today's trip.
04-24-2006, 10:30 PM
Sounds like fun Mia... your lucky to have gotten to see them on the road. They all seem like great people. The only one of them I've ever met is Jake, and that was last year I'm sure he wouldn't ever remember... I was just one of so many people. You're lucky. Glad you had fun.:)
Oh, how exciting!!! Yay!
(can we get an icon with a bigger grin?)
Loved the rock! (We've got our own painted rock here at Northwestern)
04-24-2006, 10:49 PM
I'm sorry to say, Jen, that they see so many people I'm not sure they'll remember me in a few weeks. There are just so many people and places, it's hard for them to remember - I had a conversation with one rider about it after a man came up to her and asked if she remembered him from Texas.
I don't blame them, though, as I can have problems remembering people I've met more than once - nevermind their endless stream of so many different faces and places.
04-24-2006, 10:55 PM
I probably saw you today and didn't even know it. (I'm an Eastern student) Thanks for coming out to support E.R. (not to be confused with the popular TV show) on our campus. I was really happy they painted the rock too... I know who did it now, but at the time I was baffled because we in Refuge (Eastern's GSA-type group) were planning on doing it, but uh... we're kind of bad at... you know... actually doing stuff.
So I'd just like to share in your joy, because it was awesome having Equality Ride here.. and went better than any of us could have even hoped. Even the "Repent America" guy kept it on the d/l. haha. :D
04-24-2006, 11:09 PM
Mr. Repent America - giving out pamphlets on parts of the Bible that support homophobia. I haven't had a chance yet to review his literature, but I made a point of taking his flyers to read his view.
This unhappy man, I was told, spent the entire day debating his beliefs behind a table of handouts. I always think its so interesting how peopl will debate for hours about God and the Bible - we do it here on Soulforce all the time and it's no difference in person.
I actually happen to have a picture of the people who were discussing outside one of the main buildings (maybe volez could clarify). [see attachment] You can see how many people were around there, but even more were engaging with Equality Riders all around the campus and upstairs in the building.
04-24-2006, 11:12 PM
Mia I know that's true... they just see so many people. I guess that's a big part of what everyone admires, they just go from place to place... just trying to make a difference in the world.:D They're all great, and you can't expect them to remember you.
04-24-2006, 11:19 PM
Well put, Jen.
I think I might like to try for the Equality Ride next year. :D Especially after an ER named Kate (who has posted on this forum before, in the thread about the sit-ins) told me that the charges of their arrests are not federal, just misdemeanors that don't stick to their permanent records. She said that she was in the education field herself. That's a really big green light for me, if the charges for arrest aren't on permanent records. I wouldn't mind being in jail, paying fines, or whatever else I had to do for the justice, but I wouldn't be able to let myself be arrested if every potential employer would be able to look up my arrest and deny me because I had a record. I'd have to find out mroe information about it from someone who knows law mroe, but if its true, then count me in for the next round!:D
If I could be an activist for the rest of my life and still manage to pay the necessary bills, I'd abandon all else and do it. Unfortunately, I'd be out of a job as soon as we won our rights. :p
*edited to correct a typo*
04-24-2006, 11:27 PM
I know what you mean, to bad it doesn't pay anything... I'd do that in a second. The only connection I currently have to equal rights (not just gay rights) is soulforce, and my 'uncle', who is a human rights commissioner for this washington. Yeah, but if I could 'grow up' and work for gay rights/human rights... that would be my dream. ;)
I'm also interested in this thing about the arrests not being on your permanent record... I wish I knew more about that.:)
04-24-2006, 11:33 PM
I'm just glad to hear so much positive feedback about the Ride. Yay!
It is being really, *really* hard to have any image of the Ride in mind when talking about it based only on articles, clips, and things posted on the forum.
Makes me very happy to hear the good things. I too have wished I could do more somehow - since I was 6, I've wanted to do something every day, but - what?
04-25-2006, 03:30 AM
It is being really, *really* hard to have any image of the Ride in mind when talking about it based only on articles, clips, and things posted on the forum. I agree, helps to personalize it. Thanks for the input and pics Mia. :tup:
04-25-2006, 10:25 AM
I am so excited to hear about your trip, and to see the photos! I have to admit, I would have been a little starstruck as well seeing any of the riders in person, after all they have done and accomplished. Thanks for making the trip and walking the walk. It is inspiring. See you soon, Vanessa
04-25-2006, 01:01 PM
Good for you Mia -- I'm sort of jealous, I would have loved to support the ride in person (if they'd been within 1000 miles of me!)
04-25-2006, 03:50 PM
Mia: Yes, that table was very crowded.. it's funny, because I'm almost CERTAIN that I was just seconds away from being at the table at that time. a few of my friends who I was talking to Mr. Repent America with are in that photo, and they were only out there for a bit before I came!! Weird. We were probably right near each other.
I admit, I did go up and start debating with Mr. R.A. I'm a little ashamed now, a girl at the sidelines stood up for him and said "How can you harass him for picking and choosing his issues? You guys pick and choose too!" (We were grilling him about why he's focusing on this when Jesus actually SAYS to do things like help the poor)... and I realized. I'm picking and choosing who to love. As in, I'm telling everyone to love everyone, including GLBT folks, which I think is absolutely true, but I went up to that table with intentions of harming that man. And that's not love. So anyway, I think that's important to remember, even if we think what he's saying is wrong.
I'm glad he got debated with though... others did so with more love than I did. He wasn't very sound in the things he was saying (He actually told my friend at one point that "The church isn't for sinners".. but that could have been him making a mistake of speech as he also said "I think stopping beating hearts should be a priority of this nation" when he meant "stopping-stopping beating hearts")...
haha, sorry this ended up being so long. But I was thinking about this all day. :)
04-25-2006, 05:38 PM
I know what you mean abour debating with people like Mr. Repent America (hahaha, bet he never pictured himself being nicknamed for the slogan on his baseball cap!). I actually stopped myself from debating with him and tried to let soulforce's riders represent us with love as they had more practice. I didn't think I'd be able to express my views as well as some other people might. I didn't want my first interaction with the Equality Ride to have me possibly misrepresent myself by saying something in a time of excitement that I hadn't thought through.
I think that gentleman was probably better versed and prepared to discuss his beliefs than I was to discuss mine.
I also tried to stay on the sidelines and let it be their time to be in the focus. Yesterday was not my day to voice, but to observe and support.
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