It was a long journey from Seattle to Washington DC. In fact, it lasted from 31 May 2011 to 23 February 2013, and was conducted all on foot. Still, Alan Bounville’s journey had a strong message. The cart with his belongings bore two rainbow colored signs reading “Full Equality NOW!”
At the end of the journey, Bounville stated “Walking across the country in a straight line essentially twice is one thing. Walking as an out queer person pushing a cart emblazoned with rainbow signs while sharing the demand for full equality based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation is quite another. People stop me all the time to ask what I’m doing and why I’m walking. Many people are supportive. Some are downright discriminatory. I keep walking because I know that the more I share my truth, the more I humanize to others my demand to be treated equally by my government and my neighbors. When people who don’t support my demand look me in the eye, they walk away from me changed. Something always seems to shift in unsupportive people after I tell them why I’m walking and that I’m gay or queer.”
Bounville held candlelight vigils to remember those who lost their lives due to discrimination based upon the victim’s actual or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation. He also talked at various religious services about his mission.
Bounville is still walking. In fact, he has said that “On Saturday, February 23 at 3 PM all are welcome to walk the final three miles of the 6,000-mile Into the Light Walk with cross-country equality walker, Alan Bounville. The walk will start at the Best Western Rosslyn/Iwo Jima, 1501 Arlington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209. From there the group will walk across the Potomac River and arrive outside of the White House for a vigil and press conference. Participants can join the Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/325883617526117/.”