Walt’s Soapbox: Notes from the First Rally of a Long Cold Winter War

Don’t they ever have to worry?
Don’t you ever wonder why?
It’s a part of me that tells you
Oh, don’t you ever, don’t ever say die!”

Black Sabbath

I was standing on the statehouse steps, wrapped up my leather jacket and flannel shirt, waving the Trans Colors, about a hundred other activists around me, holding signs, waving flags, cheering, ranting, chanting.

One lady got up to the podium; she was with Freedom Indiana and apparently had some inside connections. She told the crowd that she received an email mere hours before this rally was scheduled to start. It was from the senate and it said that SB 35 (the Bathroom Bill) that we were there to rail against, was dead. Capital “D” Dead. It would not advance to committee and it sure as hell wouldn’t go to a floor vote.

The crowd stood there in silence for a moment, then a massive roar arose, scuttling away squirrels. One speaker, and twenty minutes into this, and we won. Holy fuck! We won!

Well, won one anyway. It wasn’t a total victory. It was one down and three more to go. Still, the air immediately became electric. Once the podium was declared open, brother and sister after brother and sister got up and began furiously ranting into the megaphone. There was no surrender in their voices. Emboldened by the unexpected victory, the improv speeches were heavily laced with stands against any sort of compromise or backing down, the message was clear: “We’re here! We ain’t going away!”. And we will stand this fucking ground until the final victory comes!”

The last moment was captured beautifully; one hundred activists on the steps, fists raised and flags waving.

On the drive home, I lit a cigarette and began thinking about the next rally, slated for Saturday at the statehouse. It wasn’t one bill we were targeting, we would be railing against the whole bit, the Unholy.

“Trinity of Homophobia” you might say. Would the other bills fall so easily? Would we walk away victorious before the last of the winter snow even melted? I remembered what happened with RFRA and how we got that fucking thing castrated and bleeding before the ink was even dry on the Governor’s signature.

Shit, why not? It’s completely possible. Two rallies back to back. Not to mention, the constant pressure of the local media on Pence to back the fuck off and leave us alone. We could beat it, quickly. It wouldn’t be a long cold war of attrition.

But then again, it might be a quick battle victory for us, but what about next session? How long would this go on?

I didn’t care how long it went on. I had my flags, my signs, and plenty of cigarettes and good loud rock ‘n roll. I am ready..

Then I thought about the show that night. I was slated to be part of another midnight gig and I had to get home, unwind for a bit, eat, and then get my make-up and tits ready. It had been a high-speed afternoon and now I had to get ready for a high-speed night as Cher Guevara.

Shortly after midnight, a theater full of freaks fucked and kicked around a giant severed papier-mâché head of Governor Pence.

That seemed to say everything.


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