Equalize Warped Tour 2013!
After attending Warped Tour in 2008 and not finding any gender or sexual minority representation in their non-profit area, I saw not only a gap, but an opportunity to bring about a massive change in the music community. I founded Equalize, an organization dedicated to educating music fans about issues that affect the sexual and gender minority communities and giving folks (both LGBTQ and straight allies!) the tools to create positive changes in the world.
I've always felt that I've had to keep my sexuality and gender identity, my passion for social justice, and my music separate from each other, but through Equalize, I've discovered that there are so many people like me in the world that want to mix the three together. We want to create a safe space not only in places like the Warped Tour, but the world as a whole, where people can be themselves, no matter who they are or whom they love.
Last year, thanks to you all, we successfully funded and completed a week of Warped Tour out on the east coast. We met over 1500 new Equalizers (that’s nearly one per minute!) in Boston, New York, DC, Hartford, and Virginia Beach. We also were able to reach out to many supportive musicians, such as Taking Back Sunday, who were happy to spread the good word about Equalize.
This year, we’ve got our sights set on total coastal domination! We need your help to get us not only back out to the east coast, but also to travel with the tour to Seattle, Portland, and California, as well as parts of the Midwest. Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago, here we come!
Going on Tour
All of the Equalizers going on Mission: Equalize Warped Tour have been on the road before. We know how to cut costs while still ensuring a safe and healthy tour. Our budget of $3500 includes transportation to a gateway city for each leg of the tour (Portland and Boston), a rental car to get us from city to city, gas, tolls, food, admission, supplies, literature, and merchandise.
We learned a lot last year about life on the road with Warped Tour. It’s a little different than your average, run-of-the-mill tour, and we have created a budget this year that will better reflect our needs based on last years costs. Here is a breakdown:
$800 Rental car
$500 Supplies and other miscellaneous costs
We will be taking the Equalizer Pledge campaign with us again this year. This is our most successful campaign, and our most effective. It allows us to educate music fans about how they can speak up when faced with homophobia or transphobia in a way that is positive and respectful, instead of negative or shaming. When we ask someone to sign the Pledge and become and official Equalizer, we ask them not to use homophobic or transphobic language, as well as to interrupt any homophobic or transphobic language or actions that they safely can.
Equalizing is all about inspiring people to start conversations with people who will inspire others to start conversations with people and those people will start more conversations and...you get the idea. We know that every person makes a difference, because we have witnessed it so much in our own lives. Every conversation about homophobia and transphobia plants a seed, and every conversation following it waters that seed.
Being an Equalizer brings positive changes to the world in a way that anyone can do!
In Portland, we have started thousands of conversations already. From conferences to concerts, panels to parties, Equalize has reached out to more than we can count. Our NO HOMO(PHOBIA) shirts and stickers alone spark meaningful interactions on a daily basis!
Beyond just getting people talking, we also offer leadership opportunities for youth and young adults. We have started a street team program where young music fans across the nation can learn how to be leaders in their own communities and organize events, actions, and workshops. Many of the Equalizers we meet at shows travel hours from small towns and rural areas where there aren’t many opportunities to safely discuss sexuality or gender identity; starting a street team gives them a way to do this. In larger cities, even ones known for being gay-friendly, street teams will give people a chance to find each other and work together in new ways to uplift their communities.
Either Way, Namaste!
Whether or not you contribute to our campaign, please share the message through the Indiegogo share tools, and the old fashioned way. Every conversation started is a win, every person we connect to a victory.
Also, please be sure to “like” our Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/equalizeit - and share it with your friends.
Thank you so much for your time, and for any and all contributions. See you in the pit!!