Local teen civil rights activists Colton McLain and A.J. Wilmoth joined around 150,000 others for the National March for Equality in D.C. Oct. 11 but received an unequal amount of camera attention, with their images being videotaped or photographed and displayed in Southern Voice, Advocate.com, and BBC and MSNBC coverage of the March. "We were right there, up in front with other students, holding a banner," says McLain, who was featured in last year's Metro Pulse cover story on openly gay high school students ("Out in School," April 20, 2008). "The whole march was so empowering, it gave me a lot of hope for the future, for equality—words cannot even describe it. I wish you all could have been there."
An outtake of McLain and Wilmoth marching and chanting was also featured on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, in a segment titled "Queer and Loathing in D.C." that lampooned major news outlets' avoidance of the event, particularly Fox News. Here in Knoxville, McLain's studying at Pellissippi State and planning to major in public relations. "The march made me want to come home and start advocating all I can," he says. "You start in your home town, and go from there."