Thursday, March 19, 2015
January 5th of 2015 was the Eve of Marriage Equality in Orlando. Ashley Inguanta organized a Marriage Equality Celebration and Reading which were to take place in the green across the street from the Lake Eola Panera Bread. She advised everyone in the invite to bring a blanket or chair. The evening would be a literary celebration of the arrival of same-sex marriage with a series of readings by LGBT writers. Readers on the bill included Dianne Turgeon Richardson, Tisse Mallon and Ricardo Williams. Ashley Inguanta was the host.
I arrived early and started sketching the green across from Panera's. The plan was that I would populate the scene with the crowd as they arrived. The event was going to start at 7pm and as that time grew near, I was surprised that no one had yet set up on the lawn. Tisse Mallon arrived with a microphone and speaker and she advised me that she planned to set up in the small amphitheater right next to the field. I quickly added color washes to this sketch resigned to the fact that there would be no huge crowd. This happened once before in this same field. Jessica Early organized a human cinnamon roll hug. This hug works great with a large crowd with people spiraling outward in a nautilus or Cinnamon bun pattern. The people in the center of the hug are completely enveloped. Anyway on that occasion I sketched the same field and only three girls stood together and hugged.
Eventually close to a dozen people did show up for the Marriage Equality Celebration. I finished this sketch and then joined them for the readings. Perhaps I am naive to have hoped that thousands of people might show up to celebrate love. I wasn't disappointed with the readings however because it was a heart warming and uplifting on an otherwise chilly evening.