Tomorrow night, I will be hosting, with my good friend State Senator Barbara Favola, my Third Annual Rainbow Democrats Extravaganza.
I am very excited about it. We have an excellent lineup of entertainers and storytellers ready, from a man who was in the Stonewall Riots, actually present at the Stonewall Inn when the police invaded, sparking the gay liberation movement 50 years ago, to a welcome video from openly gay Presidential Candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg, from a young up-and-coming lesbian stand up-comic to the anguished note from an anonymous trans constituent on why she still is afraid to come out of the closet even in Northern Virginia, from talented gay singers and hilarious drag queens and kings to a man who successfully escaped conversion therapy barely with his life, to someone who has devoted his life to providing a safe space to rainbow youth of color. This is far from your ordinary karaoke night at Freddie's Beach Bar (555 23rd Street S. in Arlington). And yes, I'll share my own very personal coming-out story.
It will truly be a night of entertainment and learning, of laughter and tears. And although all the funds will go toward Mission 51 -- our plan to finally give the Virginia House of Delegates a progressive majority -- I assure you it is unlike any other political fundraiser you have ever seen (unless you came last year or the year before!)
If you've never been to a gay bar or a political function before, or if you're a long-time donor and/or friend of the Rainbow Community, I hope you can join us for the only Rainbow-focused Democratic fundraiser in Northern Virginia. And I want to particularly thank the half of the audience who is not part of the Rainbow Community. Thank you, supportive straight folks! I think we will all learn something tomorrow night about the humanity and suffering of the diverse Rainbow Community, with a heavy dose of creativity, humor, and general good cheer.
Three years ago, when I first came up with the idea of hosting a Rainbow-centered fundraiser for Virginia House Democrats, I had no idea that it would grow into such a big event that people would come to look forward to every year. I just knew that it was important to hold events where we can show pride in who we are and build political power at the same time.
Because, now more than ever, we need political power.
And Republicans in the Virginia legislature support anti-LGBT bigotry with the same fervor as they attack a woman's right to control what happens to her body.
So you have a choice this year. Will you fight to elect a Democratic majority that will expand and protect people's individual freedom? Or will you let Republicans turn back the clock on our rights and maintain their slim majority (a majority they owe solely due to their own illegal racial gerrymandering)?
In 2019, we can elect the most pro-equality, pro-Rainbow-rights state legislature in Virginia's history. We can pass policies that help all Virginians fulfill their potential and live with dignity.
But you need to choose to help make that happen.
Will you join the fight for justice by coming to my Extravaganza or, if you can't make it, by donating online before tomorrow night's state fundraising deadline? Or will you sit back and let the Far Right continue to trample on our Constitutional rights?
The choice is yours.
I have made mine. I choose to fight. My Democratic colleagues in the legislature, like Senator Favola, choose to fight. I hope you make the right choice, too.
Thank you for the honor and privilege of representing you.
Delegate Mark Levine
Proudly serving Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax
in the Virginia House of Delegates
We'll miss you, but you can still contribute to the cause.
So a Democratic-flip in Virginia in 2019 is the key to the momentum and excitement and massive national turnout we need to Take Back America in 2020!