On Monday afternoon, hundreds of LGBT equality advocates gathered in front of the National Rights Museum for the first-ever March for Gay Rights. The event was held in conjunction with National Coming Out Day.
There were plenty of straight allies in the crowd:
This was my favorite sign of the day!
March for Gay Rights organizer Michael Hildebrand addressed the crowd before kick-off, leading marchers in a chant of "We are Memphis!"
Around 4:15 p.m., the marchers began making their way down South Main, headed for City Hall:
This lady marched for Tiffany Berry, a 21-year-old transgender woman who was gunned down in February 2006 after stepping out of the Camelot Manor Apartments in South Memphis. Police originally believed it was a robbery, but nothing was missing from Berry's purse or apartment. Some believe Berry's death was a hate crime.
Before the march, American Apparel handed out a bunch of free shirts that read: "Legalize Gay: Repeal Prop 8 Now." I missed out on the shirts when I walked away for a few minutes, so I ended up purchasing one at the American Apparel store afterward:
This guy chose to honor Duanna Johnson, the transgender victim of police abuse by former Memphis Police officer Bridges McRae in February 2008. In August, McRae pled guilty to violating Johnson's civil rights. Johnson was killed in late 2008 in an unrelated incident:
The marchers ended at City Hall for a rally. I wasn't able to stay for the rally, but my colleague Jackson Baker snapped this shot of Tennessee Equality Project's Jonathan Cole addressing the crowd at the rally in front of City Hall. City councilperson Shea Flinn also spoke: