Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SLDN's event celebrating the end of DADT: overwhelming turnout in Washington DC

Tonight, SLDN held its Washington DC celebration of the official end of “don’t ask don’t tell” at the K Street Lounge at 13th and K Streets NW.

I got there at about 7 PM, for an event that started at 6, and found the line out into the street. It took about an hour to get in, as apparently well over 600 people attended an event in a facility that could only hold a much lower head count.

NBC News was there outside on K Street.

I missed the speeches. What was left was a business-dressed but festive crowd. Back in my days in Dallas in the 80s, a physician friend of mine had liked to use the word “effete”, which probably overstates it.

I talked to one person about the concerns over the 2012 elections and the possibility that a conservative GOP president could unilaterally reimpose the ban (as Aubrey Sarvis has written). He said, "you can never take away rights."

Afterwards, I went into the “Five Guys” fast food joint at McPherson Square Metro and ran into people from the event.  The restaurant had an interesting request, not to remove any peanuts or shells from the restaurant to protect children in the neighborhood that might have a peanut allergy.

Outside, at the Metro Station, I’ve never seen so many homeless people sleeping around the entrance to the station.

On the Metro Orange Line back home in Arlington, an Air Force officer in uniform happened to sit next to me. I finally mentioned the significance of the day, and he said the Pentagon had been preparing for it for months.  At work, in the Pentagon today, it was a non-event.

I’ll keep people posted on the availability or theatrical showings of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.

There were flyers announcing Josh Seefried’s new book “Our Time: Breaking the Silence of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’”, to be available Oct. 13.  There is an announcement on the site for LGBT military network Outserve here.  Apparently Josh had previously written under a pseudonym.  (When I see the title "Our Time", I immediately think of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town".)

There was also a poster announcing a (different) anthology book “The End of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.
Note: WJLA Channel 7 reports a big party at Freddie's in Arlington, near the Pentagon. I'm not omnipresent.

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