Moni’s DC Tourist And Activism Day

One of the things about me and my trips to Washington DC is that I’m only here sometimes for three tightly scheduled days to lobby with little or no time to just play tourist.  

Sometimes it’s just a matter of hours, like the 2007 trip to DC in which Polar and I drove 10 hours from Louisville to protest the HRC dinner and then headed back after the protest was done

On this trip for Out on the Hill I built some time into it to do just that and my opportunity to do so came yesterday.   

Jeri and I got out of the house and rolled over to the just opened MLK  Jr. Memorial.  Was a bear parking her car because the National Book Festival was this weekend on the Mall so we had to drive around for a bit before we found a parking space near L’Enfant Plaza.  The clouds were looking dark and ominous at first but they parted to allow the sun to shine as we walked over to it.

But it was worth it.  Jeri and I took some pictures of the monument and of me next to my fave MLK quotes that were on the Inscription Walls.

We then headed over to the nearby National Holocaust Memorial Museum  where we spent two hours until the museum closed at 5 PM EDT.    We then headed over to Dupont Circle for the 7 PM candlelight vigil and march to remember Gaurav Gopalan, a South Indian gay man who was dressed in women’s clothing when he was killed in his Columbia Heights neighborhood two blocks from where he lived.on September 10. 

The initial MPD police report presumed Gopalan was a Latina since the body was found with no ID.   Nevertheless, Jeri and Earline Budd were there to rep the DC trans community, and my presence there meant the national trans community was represented as well.   I was there simply to pay my respects and let the local activists handle their business.

I got to meet the Washington Blade’s Lou Chibbaro, more DC activists and local politicians.  After Earline spoke at the vigil, conducted a few interviews with reporters including Patricia from Georgetown’s student newspaper, we took ‘Number Four’ home.   We rolled past the landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl enroute to her place and after I admitted I’ve been to DC five times and haven’t been there yet, promised her on my next DC trip I’d rectify that omission as we both waxed poetic about Five Guys.

Yeah, have a feeling it may not take me two years to return to DC again.   But I definitely have to do the tourist thing more often.  

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