WATCH: The Bitchfest Between Queer LiberAction + Nat’l Equality March

We always knew there were fractions and rifts between gay rights groups. Why do you think the Log Cabin Republicans split into a second group? Or why Equality California and the Courage Campaign only sometimes see at eye-level? Except never have we seen such arguing between two camps explode like it did last night at a Cedar Springs, Texas, rally over Maine’s marriage defeat. In one corner, Queer LiberAction; in the other, the National Equality March. Welcome to the new era of gay rights, where we just bitch at each other!


Queer LiberAction’s Blake Wilkinson (the younger gent in the orange shirt) and Rick Vanderslice (in the glasses), who staged an Obama protest outside the HRC dinner in D.C. on the weekend of the National Equality March, encountered NEM’s executive committee member Mark Reed (in the black shirt, with writing on the front) and his partner Dante Walkup in an episode recorded by Laura McFerrin and relayed by The Dallas Voice‘s John Wright.

And they had some words!

Namely, because Reed had offered a dozen airline vouchers so various LGBTs so they could fly to D.C. to be at the march. He even offered Wilkinson a ticket, only to rescind the offer when Wilkinson and Queer LiberAction began criticizing the NEM. It’s a debate about power, money, and who gets to claim the term “activist,” boiled down to this comment from Vanderslice to Reed: “You’re amazing, masquerading as a gay rights leader.”

If you believe the script, Reed is a “piece of shit” and “slimy motherfucker” who tried to “buy his way into activism,” while Wilkinson is “a fucking liar.”

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #blakewilkinson #dallas #dantewalkup stories and more


  • jojococoa

    mark reed (black shirt) is obviously the bigger person here. the whiney bitch with the orange shirt and mutton chops needs to stfu.

  • Brian

    Mark Reed is the asshole that keeps posting on Queerty that EqualityAcrossAmerica is the “answer.” No wonder it failed. He repeatedly called the other two activists a “piece of shit.” Pardon me, but wouldn’t that be “pieces?”

  • Miguel

    Inspriational. Watching them all claim leadership because they’ve donated the most on the one hand, or pounded their heads against the wall for 3 decades instead of 3 months on the other. Never mind that the money went to an event with no clear goals, strategies, or lasting outcomes, or that the activists have been doing the same ol’ shtick since the 70s with imaginary results.

    We need an idea and a strategy to lead us, not these children posing as petulant MLKs.

  • Jason

    @ JoJoCoco:

    There isn’t anyone “big” here. All three are whiny bitches. They all claim to be “leaders” in our Community. I think the best thing for all three of these guys would be some duct tape.

    Mark Reed was posting comments that Dallas was the “center of the LGBT Movement.” How frightening. If I was from Dallas I would be embarrassed. I’d give them all “plane tickets,” one-way to Canada. No, wait, I like Canada. Tickets to Maine.

  • Chance

    These clowns are the biggest soap opera to come out of Dallas since Dallas.

    But everyone’s just working for equality right?

    I’m sure they said it in there, somewhere. Maybe I just need to watch the video again… Laughter is the best medicine…

    And in the immortal words of Rick Vanderslice – “We’re all sick.”

  • Tyler

    Point of note: This actually happened in Dallas, TX. Cedar springs is the gay area. Queer Liberaction kind of prides itself as being the “other” gay rights movement, free of an establishement, etc., etc.

  • Deanna

    wow…queerty…you can even credit the videographer correctly? What does that say about your reporting…oh year…it’s half ass….

  • Lady Ga-Gasp

    Wow, that’s depressing. Reminds me of the last days of ActUp, where noble efforts gave way to unhappy “activists” who cared only about getting attention and framing everything around their presumed moral superiority. And one wonders why people opt out of the process.

  • Tommy

    As far as I’m concerned, Mixner and Savage are my leaders and sources of inspiration.

    Everyone else can fuck a duck.

  • Kurt

    It is like the Trotskyites fighting with the Maoists. Or factions within the Trotskyites; or factions within the factions within the Trotskyites!

  • Jason

    @ Tyler:

    It doesn’t matter what Queer Liberation says they are – they are morons. All three of these guys are childish morons. Instead of discussing what happened in Maine, we have to endure these idiots.

    These losers obscure the fight for equality. I hope I never bump into any of them.


    My first impression was to say “fuck all three of them.” The it occured to me that this conversation was not supposed to be public…it was a behind the scenes, PRIVATE disagreement.

    The real assholes here are the ones that decided to air this for the public…thereby squashing everyone’s hope of a unified front just a little more. WTF is wrong with you? This isn’t strange or specific only to the gay rights struggle. But NOW it will be part of everyone’s mental landscape as they mourn yet another marriage loss.

    Fucking low-class, muckraking assholes…who’s side are you on?


  • The Swimmer

    Who are these people? I never heard of ANY of them in my life. They are just a bunch of faceless nobodies who do NOT control my money, my activism, my protest power. They are four drama queens who need to be put in time out and denied access from future LGBT events unless they learn to behave themselves.

  • Attmay

    When did the Jerry Springer Show move to LOGO?

  • Not Surprised

    These are the people who made up the Equality circuit party in Washington, which drained people and resources away from Maine. Thanks for promoting them, Queerty, and thanks to the others who followed them. Heckuva job.

  • Pete Palin

    This prick Mark Reed offers Blake a free ticket to the DC march.
    When he found out that Blake would protest Obama, he took his ticket back, like the spoiled little rich bitch she is. A radio host name Jack Jett came in at the last minute and gave Blake a ticket to go. There is a huge battle going on in Dallas between the wealthy ultra pissy gays and the middle class/financially strapped gays.

  • Not Surprised

    These people literally couldn’t organize a two-car funeral. Is there any wonder that the circuit party on the mall drew only 20,000 people? If this is the future of gay activism, we’re in a shitload of trouble.

  • Stephen TX

    Mark Reed and the others are an embarrassment to being gay and to being from Dallas.

  • Johnson

    Haha – that’s painfully funny. Grown children fighting.

  • Daniel

    There are lots of great organizers in the community who are GLBT as well as some really great straight allies who organize on GLBT human rights issues, so everyone needs to set aside ego, roll up your sleeves, and work with the good ones (or become a good one).

  • GeoffM

    THIS behavior is why people leave causes, and stop participating in glbt causes. I’m disgusted. Either of them could have walked away rather than put on an embarassing spectacle.

  • Mike L.

    Wow, um I loved the bitchfest. I wish they’d been critizising Obama to his face like this.

    Anyways, much a do about nothing trully important.

  • Not Surprised

    I just played the recording, and Wilkinson is really a piece of work! Hey Blake, word to the wise: He who has the gold makes the rules. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Et cetera.

  • Brian (The Original)

    Pathetic. Mark Reed. Rick Vanderslice. Blake Wilkerson.

    Three angry, stupid losers we should hide in the closet.

  • SaM

    I just get the sense that these 3 guys all met at a Leather Bar and fucked each other senseless. This argument was just Part 2. I hope we see more. That bitch Blake needs it bad.

  • DJ Anderson

    Nothing I love to see more than a bunch of middle class white dudes argue about who’s more entitled.

    What’s sad is that at a time when we are supposed to come together as a community and stand in solidarity, some use the forum to settle petty personal disputes in an all but private way.

    You’re right – we’re all sick.

  • Nelson G.

    I don’t believe this to be ridiculous at all, especially with respect to news this week that Kip Williams and Robin McGehee have left NEM.

    As with Stonewall, it shouldn’t come at all as a surprise that with the Equality March being as successful as it was, that we would learn of people within the organization wanting to reap all the awards from it’s success, and exclude others from it.

    This video brings a new perspective.

  • Mark Philly

    Hmmm, three Cleve Jones wannabees. Yuk.

  • Mark Philly

    @ Nelson:

    Uhmm, how was the National Equality ScreamFest a success? Take your time – nobody has ever demonstrated how it was successful. It’s just spin.

    EqualityAcrossAmerica is another dumb idea. All they had was a website begging for donations.

    The video is the same as their strategy – yell at those that disagree with you. If they don’t see it your way, yell louder. If that still doesn’t work, insult them. Just keep getting more and more angry and all of a sudden . . . you win.

    Too many in the LGBT Community are stuck in the 1960s. Grow up.

  • Ian

    I’m sorry but the guy from NEM bought the tickets, didn’t he?

    So if he wanted to take them away from Queer LiberAction because he disagreed with them or because he wanted to give the tickets to grandma instead, that’s his decision and he’s got the right to do it.

    And what if he’s only been doing this for a year? I didn’t know you were required to be an activist for more than a year or else you get to be called names.

  • David Alex Nahmod

    A sad example of what gay activism has been like for over 20 years. THIS kind of shit is why we keep losing~~maybe the celebrity activists don’t want real equality, maybe they’re holding us back on purpose:
    some of them are actually making a living doing this!

    Just a thought!

  • Jay

    A simple message to Blake, when a group (or backer of a group) is paying for your ticket and you started talking negatively about that group, they pull their funding. No matter how minor the criticism is, no matter what the funding is. No organization is going to foot the bill for you to bad mouth them.

    Not making a judgment on who was right or wrong, I have no idea the details and I don’t care, but an groups funding is at the pleasure of that group.

  • NG

    Mr. Philly,

    1. Be Nice.

    2. NEM was a success because 200,000 (est) people showed up, though didn’t stay for long.

    3. This video is very telling. Queer Liberation mad some accusations against NEM, they got major heat for it. However, in the waking of Kip and Robin’s sudden departure, it looks as they they right all along.

    4. You need to get cum out of your eyes, love:

    As with Stonewall, it shouldn’t come at all as a surprise that with the Equality March being as successful as it was, that we would learn of people within the organization wanting to reap all the awards from it’s success, and exclude others from it.

    I’m calling out NEM, too. Not you, not Queerty, not the paragons of digital blog activism, me.

  • Mark Philly

    @ NG

    You said: “NEM was a success because 200,000 (est) people showed up, though didn’t stay for long.”

    Not even long enough to be seen?

    I was there. 25,000 – 30,000 people showed up.

    How’s this for a coincidence: 16,000 people registered on the NEM site. A guess a few of them brought a friend.

    Mark Reed from Dallas was one of the “liars” that organized the March and lied about the attendance. His behavior in this video, calling Blake a “fucking liar” is just the Pot calling the Kettle black.

  • Sean Leitner

    All of this childish behavior because of a $200 Plane ticket? What, are these homeless activists?

  • Thomas Johnson

    This is rich. Wasn’t it Mr. Reed that just last Friday was telling us his organization was the next national group? If you can’t get it together and hold it together at a rally (in Dallas), I don’t know how you can get it together as an organization. NEM is over, and as far as I can tell, nobody is doing the in-district lobbying that was supposed to happen.

  • Brian (The Original)

    @ Thomas:

    The above “childish shouting match” is an Activist Training Video.

    Anger. Anger. Anger.

    Not working?

    Louder. Louder. Louder.

    As Cleve Jone’s new Dallas area protege Mark Reed is an embarrassment to the LGBT Community.

  • NG

    I’m not playing the numbers game, Mr. Philly.

    I liken that sort of revisionism and whitewashing to those currently out pigeonholing gays so as to exclude people who have fallen victim to the prison industrial complex or suffer from mental health issues problems stemming from religious motivated hate.

    NEM was a success. Period. end of story.

    And so are all the concerns and criticisms about NEM. Period. End Of Story.

    What else you got?


    Thomas Johnson: I understand that somebody has been posting under the name Mark Reed which I can believe because some of the comments (even as I read them) didn’t sound like him at all nor even served his own interests. What I couldn’t understand is why anybody would falsely post under HIS name, as opposed to Cleve Jones or someone more widely known to be associated with the March. Having watched this video, I now think we can all figure out both the motivation and the person behind the false postings.

  • Sean

    @ GEEBEE: Mark Reed should post his comments again. All four of these guys must have something to say besides “you’re sick.” Are they scheduling another round of fighting? I’ll buy the gloves.

  • Kiyundrum

    rumor has it that Queer Liberaction hold their meetings at a Dallas bathhouse. I hope they are this vocal on the sling!

  • Laura

    I sent the video to The Dallas Voice. I did it because it was newsworthy and because I think people deserve to see how Rick and Blake treat people. I was a supporter of QL. I went to the first meeting. I donated my time and money to direct action because I believe in it.

    I still support direct action,but I no longer support Blake or Rick. I watched them verbally assault Mark and Dante and then they moved on to Erin Moore. I cannot support people that would bully someone in public during a protest! If Blake and Rich cared about our movement, then they would have shut up and joined the protest. They saw my camera and they kept yelling at Mark and Dante.

    BTW: If Mark or anyone else had verbally assaulted Blake or Rick, I would have sent that video to the Voice as well.

  • John NYC

    Mark Reed
    Rick Vanderslice
    Blake Wilkenson

    Biggest losers in America.

  • atypicalG

    Really any kind of serious conversation like the one these men were having (be it an argument or not) should have taken place in a different setting. Emotions were clearly running high. Considering their status as leadership they should be held accountable for this display of nonsense.

    At the same time though, should we not be showing some respect to these activists? Surely they are doing (or at least attempting to do) more than you or I to fight for our rights.

  • John NYC

    Remember, Mark Reed said Dallas was the epicenter of the LGBT Movement. My friend in Dallas said these guys were “all hat, no horse.”

  • JR Dallas

    The old guy – Mark Reed, gave airline tickets for the March in DC – to “young guys” in Dallas. Everyone gay knows about old guys giving treats to young guys – Blake didn’t put out. Ticket cancelled. It’s that simple.

    Mark Reed is just a few years from “troll.” So, if you need airline tickets, or some clothes, or an iPhone – hurry!

  • JM Dallas

    Sorry JR. Reed is already a troll. I should have gotten some tickets or an iPhone. Now, I know better.

  • Keep'n em Honest

    Yeah guys, but this fellow is a businessman first and foremost, so being as such he apparently hob nobs with other businesses and companies in that North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce there in Dallas.

    So do you think that free airline tickets, iphones and other corporate perks are really his doing ?? Sounds more like the companies are expanding their branding strategy and exerting their political views via their activist business friends………thus this issue.

    And of course if some of the activists aren’t playing ball like the companies agree with they are cut out of the loop. No more corporate freebies for them, while the others continue to get their palms greased with corporate perks.

    Its all about the politics of businesses and where they exert their power, money and influence.

  • Johnson

    This video demonstrates why some people “demonstrate.” Driven by anger, instead of reason. What a sad bunch.

Comments are closed.