FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Media Contact: Alan Bounville, 917-903-5870, firstname.lastname@example.org
Into the Light Begins: A 6,000-Mile Walk to End Gender and LGBTQ Discrimination
(May 31, 2011) Today, Alan L. Bounville will embark upon a journey from Seattle, Washington, walking 6,000 miles to Washington DC. While he walks, Bounville will be highlighting the need for equality based on gender, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. The walk will begin in the Capitol Hill area where a brief candle light vigil will mark the beginning of the walk.
In the United States of America we are required to declare a gender and that it ‘match’ archaic beliefs about maleness and femaleness. Our existing social and governmental structure expects that our declared gender align with the roles hegemonic forces believe we should embody in that gender. Because of this rigid binary, inequalities abound in employment, health care, voting rights, marriage, social services, religious practices, parenthood, public restrooms, housing and social respect. And worst of all, gender related discrimination leads to murder and suicide.
“A person’s gender identity and gender expression should be decided not by predetermined expectations, but by each of us as individuals. Until that is the accepted norm, we will continue to live in an imbalanced world where people who are transgender are beaten, murdered and refused jobs, where women are paid less than men for the same amount of work, where men aggress against each other, where lesbian, gay, bisexual and all people are judged not on the quality of who they are as people, but on how ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ they are perceived to be – and that’s just the beginning,” says Bounville.
Along the trek, the Into the Light walk will coordinate with people and organizations to hold numerous candlelight vigils at the specific places where people have been murdered or have taken their own lives due to gender expression/identity discrimination. During this 9-18 month journey, Bounville will also offer free gender expression/identity, social movement and civil disobedience workshops. And he will perform plays that inspire people to walk into their own light and true potential.
An overarching goal of the Into the Light walk is to grow social movements that are working towards full social and legislative equality. “It is vital that people have the proper tools to recognize injustice and create their own actions that demand the changes they seek,” says Bounville.
In addition, the walk is donating 10% of every dollar raised to the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (www.transgenderlegal.org), an organization whose mission is in line with that of this walk – to end gender discrimination. Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Into the Light Walk at www.intothelightwalk.com.
“Together we will remember those we’ve lost as we walk into the light of the world in which we want to live,” says Bounville. “Each step we take will be one closer to the transformed world of our dreams.”
Four Square: https://foursquare.com/intolightwalk