Month 10: Books and Banners


The view down a hallway in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Marble floor, marble walls and pillars, and a series of dome ceilings. There are windows along the right side, each with a rainbow flag and different LGBTQ-related symbols. A velvet rope divides the hallway lengthwise.

Cultural Event: Library of Congress Pride Pop-Up Exhibit

Last month, most every major metropolitan area in the U.S. was decked out in rainbows in celebration of LGBTQ Pride. Washington, DC was certainly no exception.

The Library of Congress presented a powerful pop-up exhibit, which displayed a representation of the astounding amount of LGBTQ-related facets of their collection. Sections of the AIDS Quilt. Photographs from historic events. Books, music, and scripts authored by members of the LGBTQ Community. Legislative reference materials pertaining to homosexuality, dating back over 500 years.

As a classical musician, I got a kick out of seeing things like Aaron Copland’s Kennedy Center Honor medal, the manuscript from the musical Rent, and the manuscript score from a string quartet by Samuel Barber that my colleagues had just performed two months prior.

The Library of Congress is a force to be reckoned with, both as buildings and a mighty collection. It remains one of my favorite places to bring people when they visit DC.

Protestors outside the White House Mansion during the Equality March for Unity and Pride. The sky is blue and cloudless, and people are holding signs and wearing clothes in honor of LGBTQ and Gender Rights.

Labor Event: Equality March 2017

Similar to the labor event during this challenge’s fifth month, June saw the Equality March in Washington, DC. Thousands of people from all along the gender and sexuality spectrums gathered to march from the White House to the National Mall in the name of LGBTQ Rights. And while at first glance this might not seem like a labor event, fighting for equality includes fighting for rights in the workplace.

Being allowed to use the restroom of your true gender. Not being at risk for losing your job (or getting one in the first place) simply because of your sexual orientation. Knowing your safety will not be compromised because of who you are.

The people who currently serve in the Executive Branch of our federal government are not advocates for LGBTQ Equality. No matter what someone might have said during a campaign speech, their actions have made it clear that labor rights are something we need to continue actively standing up for.

About Doug Rosenthal

No one told Douglas Rosenthal to give up playing music. Not even his patient siblings, who endured many early-morning practice sessions; even they encouraged their brother to follow his passion. As the years passed, that passion evolved from simply playing music to advocating for music, musicians, and music-lovers. Douglas is based in Washington, DC. He is the Assistant Principal Trombonist of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra/Washington National Opera Orchestra. He currently makes his home on Capitol Hill in DC with a pug named Jake, who serves as a constant reminder to relax, eat well, and sleep plentifully.

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