SHEPHERD: Well, you know, I marched on Washington in a major gay and lesbian march. The Human Rights Campaign sponsored me, and when I got there I said, ''I want to be in that first row and carry the banner'' and they said, ''I'm sorry, unless you're gay or lesbian, we're not going to let you carry it. Because the people who've worked so hard, they deserve to carry it.'' I took issue with that. I said, ''I don't know why you'd have to be gay and lesbian to lead the march and carry the banner. It is an equal investment for anyone, regardless of what their orientation is or whatever you want to call it.'' I said, ''Would Martin Luther King not have let me march with him because my skin was white? I don't see any difference in the issue.'' It's about bigotry and hatred. MW: Did you end up carrying the banner? SHEPHERD: I did.