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Actually, not off to bed quite yet. 
9th-Jan-2009 02:04 am
me
Had an interesting conversation with indigocub tonight that was mirrored in a post by blackwingbear. which has me wanting to write a rebuttal to myself.

As I stated back on Dec. 29th, I think we as GLB folks should take pride in the progress we have made, even if we haven't yet achieved all of our goals.

However, I was reminded tonight of some of the reasons we haven't met these goals, as well as some of the things that piss me off about my fellow brothers and sisters under the sheets.

1) By far, one of the major faults the GLB rights movement lacks is any kind of national figure to get behind. during the heyday of the civil rights movement, on a national level, you had Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. While the ideologies of the two men were completely different, both were national figures with movements people could get behind.

2) Gay people of both genders are about as easy as herding cats when it comes to organizing. Perhaps this is due to a lack of racial identity to get behind, but since homosexuality cuts such a great swath across ethnic, social, and financial lines, the diversity within the gay community leads to a lack of communication lines that hinders organization on most levels.

3) While I'm thankful for our straight allies, I do get kind of annoyed that any rights I get as an oppressed minority are pretty much due to people who are not part of that minority recognizing my God-given right to exist.

4) A lack of a single issue that we can work on. I mean, Like I said back in September, we've changed issues of importance 3 times in 20 years, none of which have been resolved. AIDS is still with us, and still spreading. Yes, it's crossed into other populations, but we've stopped fighting for a cure to the degree we did back when no one seemed to care. Gee, we got it down to chronic rather than fatal. Whoopie. GLB's still can't serve openly in the military. Yes, we managed to get DADT instituted, but that still doesn't mean we can serve our country openly if we want to. And marriage...Don't even get me started. at this point, marriage issues need to be addressed on a state level. Thanks to DOMA. While I have great hopes ENDA will come back and pass sometime in the next 4 years, I'm not exactly holding my breath, particularly since there are more important issues that need to be addressed first. (Yes, I think the economy trumps civil rights at the moment.)

5) While I hope our transgendered friends get rights as well, I'm still trying to figure out when us gay folks started collecting other tangentially related sexual minorities like so many baseball cards.

6) The sense of resignation and/or ignorance towards rights and the pace we get them at. which I'm just as guilty of. I understand the desire for everything NOW, but unfortunately, it just doesn't move that fast. The wheels of justice run slow, and money has become so ingrained in justice that iot may be a while before things start to move faster. Ignorance comes into play as not all the issues have a real appeal to all of us. While I fully understand why certain people want marriage and want it now, for me, it's a principle issue, rather than a fully engulfing emotional issue. Yeah, when I was dating John, it was more important. but now that I'm single again, it's kind of a back burner.

So, what can we as GLB people do to fix this?

1) Find one issue to work on and stick to it instead of changing focus every few years after half completeing a project.

2) Find a way to get one or two leaders into a national spotlight. While we don't have to agree with any of them, national visibility of any kind of figurehead is going to do more than several chiefs on a local or regional level.

3) Find common cause within our communities. Which won't be easy. Gay people are human people, and humans tend to disagree.

4) Realize we're already farther along than we tend to think we are and use that to our advantage. Unlike some of the other civil rights movements, we've never been denied our right to vote or assemble peacefully. We don't have our preachers being bribed to try to keep us from the voting booth. And thank god, we've never had state mandated segregation. (We're quite good at self-segregation, however. Not only do we separate ourselves from the straight community, we tend to divide ourselves among the twinks, the bears, the gym bunnies, the lipsticks, the butch...)

5) Recognize our diversity and use that to help make inroads within other communities. There was an old game we played as part of residential programming back at WSU called "Archie Bunker's Neighborhood". Basically, one group was set aside in a big square, while several smaller groups got put in smaller rectangles. Our goal was to get the rectangles to work together to help each other improve, but generally, they ended up fighting after watching the people in the big square get all kinds of perks. Basically, if we want rights, we need to start breaking down the barriers that we have helped build. I'm not by any stretch saying we did it alone, but we were complacent in the construction of those barriers.

So there we go.
Comments 
9th-Jan-2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
Do you mind if I share my thoughts about this? This is not arguing just my thoughts.

1) By far, one of the major faults the GLB rights movement lacks is any kind of national figure to get behind.

I agree, the problem is that none of our national leaders in Queer movement are leaders in the queer movement. For the most part they are entertainers trying to get a laugh or sell a record, while that is great it is not what we need. Harvey Milk was the closest we have ever come.

2) Gay people of both genders are about as easy as herding cats when it comes to organizing.

This is true, but it is also true that no one is really trying. The vast majority of queer events (except for the local "Gay Pride Days" are really exphensive dinners and award type events. Lots of people cannot afford that.

3) While I'm thankful for our straight allies, I do get kind of annoyed that any rights I get as an oppressed minority are pretty much due to people who are not part of that minority recognizing my God-given right to exist.

Well, that is one way to look at it. I happen to believe that the vast majority of people voting and otherwise holding back gay rights are misinformed and pushed in that direction by a small, but very influencial, minority. The religious right pushes so hard against gay rights because they know they have to, they know if their parishoners start viewing us as just normal people (like the AMA and APA say) that they will loose a huge bargaining chip. I perfer to think of the strides we make as gaining allies and working our asses off for a better tomorrow.

4) A lack of a single issue that we can work on.

I happen to think marriage is that issue. We have never received more media support, gained more allies, or motivated more people that we have with any other issue. Now that it is getting sticky a lot or columnists are suggesting we walk away from it. I think it is a bad idea but it will happen.

5) While I hope our transgendered friends get rights as well, I'm still trying to figure out when us gay folks started collecting other tangentially related sexual minorities like so many baseball cards

I hate to say it, but day one. The Stonewall riots where not just GLB people they were drag queens and trannies, butch dykes (which call themselves Gender Queer today) and club boys.

Also, much of the hate that Gay people experience is based not on being GLB at all but about not conforming to the standard gender norm. I happen to think that both GLB folk and Trans folk need to stop insisting that gender identity and gender non-comformity have anything to do with GLB sexuality.

And I swear if one more gay dude trys to tell me "I am just an average guy who likes guys" thinking he is so butch while drinking apple martinies and flitting around the room, and is 40 years old but "I LOOOOVVVVEEE Britney Spears" I might slap the bitch. IMO, it is time we acknowledge the link between gender identity and sexuality.

6) The sense of resignation and/or ignorance towards rights and the pace we get them at.

I agree with on this 100% and admit that I am just ignorant as many sometimes when I am feeling especially frustrated or angry about something.



Edited at 2009-01-09 12:34 pm (UTC)
9th-Jan-2009 08:27 pm (UTC) - part 2
Well, that is one way to look at it. I happen to believe that the vast majority of people voting and otherwise holding back gay rights are misinformed and pushed in that direction by a small, but very influencial, minority. The religious right pushes so hard against gay rights because they know they have to, they know if their parishoners start viewing us as just normal people (like the AMA and APA say) that they will loose a huge bargaining chip. I perfer to think of the strides we make as gaining allies and working our asses off for a better tomorrow.

I was kind of drunk when I was typing this. but much of what I was trying to say had to do with apathy. I'm not sure how bad it is in Ohio these days, but down here in MO, I sometimes get the impression that gay folks would rather let the allies fight the battle for us like so much cannon fodder rather than use "sweat equity" to get what it is we're supposed to be fighting for. And yes, I too dislike being used as a boogeyman for the far right. I notice much less in the way of personal attacks with my gay rights letter than I expected this time. Which conforms for me that people are less likely to attack an individual rather than a whole group of people who can be written off as faceless.

I happen to think marriage is that issue. We have never received more media support, gained more allies, or motivated more people that we have with any other issue. Now that it is getting sticky a lot or columnists are suggesting we walk away from it. I think it is a bad idea but it will happen.

This has been a problem as long as I've been following the movement. we make a little progress then drop it like it's hot.

I hate to say it, but day one. The Stonewall riots where not just GLB people they were drag queens and trannies, butch dykes (which call themselves Gender Queer today) and club boys.

Also, much of the hate that Gay people experience is based not on being GLB at all but about not conforming to the standard gender norm. I happen to think that both GLB folk and Trans folk need to stop insisting that gender identity and gender non-comformity have anything to do with GLB sexuality.

And I swear if one more gay dude trys to tell me "I am just an average guy who likes guys" thinking he is so butch while drinking apple martinies and flitting around the room, and is 40 years old but "I LOOOOVVVVEEE Britney Spears" I might slap the bitch. IMO, it is time we acknowledge the link between gender identity and sexuality.


They goy movement in particular is an annoyance. I will however, point out groups like Mattachine (I may have mis-spelled that) that pre-date Stonewall. Mind you, they weren't quite as out there as those involved in Stonewall were, but the movement was out there prior to the breaking point.

Really though, gender identity and sexuality, while related, really aren't quite the same thing. and there are folks out there who think that us GLB folks are trying to become the opposite gender, which gets frustrating.

I agree with on this 100% and admit that I am just ignorant as many sometimes when I am feeling especially frustrated or angry about something.

I think we're all guilty of it on occasion.
9th-Jan-2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
I agree, the problem is that none of our national leaders in Queer movement are leaders in the queer movement. For the most part they are entertainers trying to get a laugh or sell a record, while that is great it is not what we need. Harvey Milk was the closest we have ever come.

And the problem with Harvey is that he only really became a national figure after he was pretty much martyred. I still get pissed about the fucking Twinkie defense.

This is true, but it is also true that no one is really trying. The vast majority of queer events (except for the local "Gay Pride Days" are really expensive dinners and award type events. Lots of people cannot afford that.

not to mention the problem with PRIDE usually being sponsored by beer companies. While I'm happy we get recognition from certain industrioes, it would be nice to see PRIDE events that don't re-enforce the stereotype of GLBS having a "bar culture". Thankfully, the number of gay related activities is on the rise, with things like Gay Games, choruses, sporting leagues etc. Problem being I don't think mainstream America ever really gets to see that side of gay culture. And I do agree, I can't afford $1000 plate dinners. Hell, there are weeks I'm lucky to afford $5 plate dinners:)

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