Monday January 19th came quickly as I didn’t end up getting to my room until about 1am. Even then I was still so excited for what I was about to experience that I couldn’t fall asleep until about 2am. When I woke up it was 10 or so, and I had scheduled to meet a good friend of mine, Brad Ogilvie, who founded the Mosaic Initiative and now lives in DC and works for the Quaker William Penn House on Capitol Hill as their Program Coordinator.
I love getting together with Brad because he is one of the growing number of gay men that I know who look at homosexuality, politics and religion in quite a unique, countercultural way from the overwhelming majority of the rest of the GLBT community. As Brad says:
“The most close-minded people in Washington DC seem to be the GLBT community and liberals who say they’re open minded.”
“Do you ever wonder why Gene Robinson is always reduced to—including GLBT organizations—being called “the gay bishop” instead of Bishop Gene Robinson? That’s not helping our cause because our own organizations even still focus solely on sexual behavior as the identifying characteristic.”
Here is an example of an AWESOME article that Brad sent around to our conservative Christian friends (coincidentally, the article was written by a mutual friend of Brad and I).
Since I had never been to DC before, Brad took me around and gave me the quick tour of what is called the “Mall”.
Here is a picture of me in front of the Capitol Building a few hours before I was to go and speak (taken with my cell phone).
The excitement in the air permeated every inch of Capitol Hill. People were packed everywhere—in the restaurants, on the sidewalks, in the streets, and packed in and around any legally walk-able area, museum or building. I found myself getting easily swept up in the excitement as well. I bought a shirt that had all the former President’s white faces in a circle around Barack Obama’s face which was placed in the middle. I usually see those types of shirts and automatically think, “Cheesy”. But this time it wasn’t so cheesy to see 43 faces of white men, and then 1 face of a black man—which one of these doesn’t look like the other?
My time with Brad quickly flew by and then it was off to the event where I was speaking at on Capitol Hill.