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Worldwide LGBT march announces Chicago leader
News update posted Jan. 17, 2012
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

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The committee coordinating a "Worldwide" LGBT march has announced a lead Chicago organizer.

Noa Shayden, 23, a rising activist in the Chicago scene will be heading up efforts for the April 21 LGBT march, set to coincide with marches around the country.

According to Joe Knudson, principal organizer of the national effort, Shayden's name came up several times in conversations on who in Chicago could lead the march. A committee chose Shayden from a pool of six final candidates.

"I feel like [Shayden] is dedicated and has the heart and soul in it," said Knudson.

Shayden, a genderqueer/ trans-identified activist, has just begun to make a name in Chicago. Shayden began organizing with Join the Impact- Chicago and has since worked with the Queer Intercollegiate Alliance, Occupy Chicago, Get Equal, Marriage Equality U.S.A. and Genderqueer Chicago. Ze (Shayden prefers gender-neutral pronouns) also co-founded Video Action League and currently works for Cramer PR and Events, which has a hand in much of Chicago's queer nightlife advertising.

According to Shayden, the Chicago-based march will focus on mainstream LGBT issues like marriage equality and upcoming elections. But ze also wants to use the march to show the community's diversity.

"With the Chicago march, I'm trying to bring an awareness of the other identities of the alphabet soup," Shayden said, adding that intersex, queer, questioning and pansexual identities will be represented during the march.

At least 10 other U.S. cities will be staging marches on April 21 including New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Portland. Organizers from Pakistan have also signed on. According to Knudson, marches in European countries will likely be announced soon.

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