WINDY CITY TIMES
||Inauguration 2009 LGBT band marches in parade
by Paul Marinkovich
This article shared 2661 times since Wed Jan 28, 2009
The Lesbian and Gay Band Association ( LGBA ) , a musical organization that provides a network for gay and lesbian bands, participated in the historical president's inauguration parade, honoring newly sworn President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
"It was exhilarating," said Doug Litwin ( Pictured. Photo courtesy of Litwin ) , a Chicago native and San Francisco resident who is an LGBA board member and participant in the 2009 inauguration. "There were about four or five times throughout the parade that the announcers mentioned how we were making history as the first openly gay band to have ever performed at the inauguration parade. Every time I heard that, it gave me a little chill. I think we all felt the same way."
The LGBA was made up of 177 of its members from 26 different states, and marched along with various citizen's groups, marching bands, floats, and ceremony military regiments. ( Six members of Chicago's Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles marched with the band. ) More than 1 million people turned out to watch the ceremony and an estimated 37.8 million viewers tuned in through live television coverage.
"Representing the gay community was really amazing," said Phil Oliver, a trombonist in the 2009 inauguration parade. "You can't think of a marching band and think bad things, so it was a way to present gay people in a positive light. That is what we wanted to do, we wanted to create the same kind of impression about gay people in regards to a wider audience, and I think that is what we did. We presented a very positive view of gay people."
Since 1982, the LGBA has been bringing people together, solely based on their love of music. The association started with just seven independent bands out of Chicago and over time has grown into 34 member organizations from different cities and states in America, to various parts of the world. According to the mission statement on its Web site, "LGBA bands are sources of pride within their cities, as well as positive symbols of the same communities. Making music creates a family where affection means more than affectional preference. By 'banding together,' LGBA shows that people of different sexes, ages, creeds, races, and challenges can build a strong community."
This article shared 2661 times since Wed Jan 28, 2009
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