LGBTQ+ liberation march: ‘None of our work is about one thing’

The writer is executive director of Out in the Open, an organization connecting rural LGBTQ+ people to build community, visibility, knowledge, and power.

BRATTLEBORO-I'm writing to share more context about our Rural LGBTQ Liberation March and to also correct some misperceptions that the article covering our work in last week's Commons has created. There is quite a bit about the march that this article misses.

Yes, there were chants about ending occupation and about ending genocide. As an organization we support an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza. You can read our statement from the fall about that on the Out in the Open (OITO) website at weareoutintheopen.org/blog/ceasefire-now.

Moreover, we believe all of our struggles against oppression, including the long and ongoing fight against antisemitism, are connected. That critical and overall point has been missed here.

This march wasn't about one thing - none of our work is or can be about one thing.

We are glad that a contingent of rural LGBTQ people from Jewish Voice for Peace joined us. And we're glad that people from many other groups, as well as those belonging to no particular group, joined us, too. The interconnectedness of our challenges is integral to how and why we organize, not an aside.

Much of what we shared at this march and what I talked about with the reporter was about OITO organizing for our community's freedom more broadly.

It was about our support for people needing safe and secure housing; people needing safe access to drugs (at the march we also had people sign postcards to urge our legislative delegation to overturn Phil Scott's veto of H.72, which would provide support for Overdose Prevention Centers); people needing safe and fairly compensated workplaces, including the importance of things like decriminalizing sex work here in Vermont and corporations like Hannaford signing on to support the Milk with Dignity campaign; it was about the tidal wave of state-based anti-trans laws targeting trans youth and adults (we had dozens of signs at the march detailing some of these around the U.S. at the march), and more.

This was a liberation march in support of all LGBTQ people, whether they're out or not, whether they live in the U.S. or not, regardless of any other piece of their identity or experience. It was not a not reactionary event.

We've been planning this march for the past six months with OITO staff members and a dedicated group of community volunteers, steering everything from the name of the event to the choice of route, which brought us past a number of local LGBTQ historic and current landmarks, to what songs we'd sing together at the end.

We organized with a group of nearly 30 local volunteers who are teachers, paramedics, therapists, parents, performers, designers, land workers, and more to coordinate a safety and de-escalation team to help keep our group of marchers safe.

Our trained and skillful safety team employed many supportive strategies, such as handing out goodie bags containing snacks and candy along with a note thanking drivers for their patience.

We're not shying away from saying we support a ceasefire in Gaza. And this march, as with all of our efforts, was about working in interconnected ways toward justice and collective liberation for all rural LGBTQ people in our lifetimes, regardless of the specific challenge we're up against in any given moment.

I welcome your questions or dialogue about our work or approach. Feel free to reach out to me any time at [email protected].

HB Lozito


The writer is executive director of Out in the Open, an organization connecting rural LGBTQ+ people to build community, visibility, knowledge, and power.

This letter to the editor was submitted to The Commons.

This piece, published in print in the Voices section or as a column in the news sections, represents the opinion of the writer. In the newspaper and on this website, we strive to ensure that opinions are based on fair expression of established fact. In the spirit of transparency and accountability, The Commons is reviewing and developing more precise policies about editing of opinions and our role and our responsibility and standards in fact-checking our own work and the contributions to the newspaper. In the meantime, we heartily encourage civil and productive responses at [email protected].

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