Thursday, May 17, 2007
Courting Equality Book Launch a Huge Success
The party seemed as if it may be off to a bad start at 5:30PM. With less than an hour to go, we found out that the hall that had been reserved for this event months in advance had somehow been double booked. We had to relocate to the YMCA instead of the YWCA, which fortunately was a very short walk away. That is important to note since it was raining like crazy. People didn't seem to let the weather stop them though, and by 6:30PM enough people had found the new location that the theater was filled to capacity.
It was my great pleasure to be in attendance of such an historic event. The list of distinguished guests was so long it is nearly impossible to remember them all. Senators Jarrett Barios and Byron Rushing both gave impassioned speeches, as did Mary Bonauto and several others. Two giant wedding cakes sat in the background along with over 100 copies of Courting Equality.
After several people had spoken, it was time to watch a 9 minute short presentation video put together by Salem State's Richard Walsh. I knew that when my normally modest friend was able to give even the faintest approval of his own work, that it was going to be great. While the video played, the crowd would erupt in applause at different photos they related to. Walsh's work was wonderful, and elicited a thunderous ovation when it concluded.
Once everyone had spoken, we were invited to join the celebrants in eating cake and having our newly purchased books signed. Plaintiffs of the Goodridge Decision were also signing books, as well as KnowThyNeighor.org's Tom Lang, Co-director of KTN Aaron Toleos, MassEquality's very own Mark Solomon, and MGLPC's Aileen Isacson. It seemed that even with as many books that they brought, they either sold completely out, or came very close, and this caused a huge line to form at the purchasing table.
In short, the event was awesomely inspiring, the book is amazing. I am left with the feeling that we may have a lot of work ahead of us, but we have momentum behind us. That momentum and spirit has been captured for us for all times in the pages of this book by these wonderfully gifted artists. Buy one for yourself if you are GLBT so you will have a great piece of our history. Buy one for your friends who do not understand what all the "fuss" is about, and I am confident they will think very carefully about their position on equality in the future. If you think I might be exaggerating, read it. This book is a home run, and it was given a proper coming out party on the eve of marriage equality's third anniversary.