(January 17, 2013 Washington, DC) Since May 31, 2011 Alan Bounville has walked from Seattle, Washington, pushing a cart of his belongings. On the cart are two rainbow-colored signs that read, “Full Equality NOW!” He’s walked every step of the way, zigzagging from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, often over harsh terrain and in even harsher weather.
“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,” says Bounville when talking about the walk as a whole. “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.”
While walking, Bounville has held numerous candlelight vigils remembering people who were murdered or who have taken their own lives due to discrimination based on the victim’s perceived or actual gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Bounville also talks at religious services about his mission, facilitates social movement and art as activism workshops, and performs a solo interview theatre-based play inspiring people to walk into their own light and true potential.
“For nearly two years I’ve been invited as an equal into hundreds of homes across this great land. The walk ends at the People’s House, where transgender, bisexual, queer, lesbian, two spirit, intersex, and gay Americans are still not welcome as equals. The time for full equality is now.”
Into the Light – On May 31, 2011 a walk began. Embarking on a journey from the Pacific Northwest of the United States, walking 6,000 miles to Washington, DC, the walk embodies one simple goal – an end to gender and sexual orientation discrimination. To accomplish this, walker Alan Bounville is encouraging people he meets along the journey to fight for full federal and social equality – nothing less.
10% of every dollar raised through the Into the Light Walk goes to the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, an organization whose mission is aligned with the purpose of this walk. As of the date of the release, $1,700 has been donated to this organization.