There's been a lot of chatter about pushing back against those who financially supported the Yes on Proposition 8 initiative to show that the LGBTQ community will not have our rights ripped away and then blindly spend our $$ to fill the coffers of those who did the ripping.
LGBT organizers have been posting lists of donors to the Yes on 8 funds causing those folks to cry “foul” on issues of free expression and participation in the political process. That's bullshit. You can't fund a very targeted political issue and then expect those of us in the crosshairs to gladly hand over our pennies.
One of my sisters over at Lez Get Real has published a list of Yes on 8 Donors.
So, you might be asking what this has to do with us yinzers not planning to travel to California anytime soon.. I'm glad you asked. In a mere week or so, the new movie based on the legacy of Harvey Milk “Milk” will debut and the CEO of Cinemark Theaters made a nearly $10,000 donation to strip away marriage rights.
Hmmm. So, you can inform yourself about which local theater are owned by Cinemark and make an informed decision to not finance our own oppression, especially when it comes to the legacy of one of the greatest figures in contempary gay life.
I can hear you saying that boycotts don't work. Apparently, similar tactics in Sacramento resulted in a contribution to the HRC and a public apology. Plus, we are from Pittsburgh and know the power of the girlcott, right? If our girls could take on Abercrombie & Fitch, surely you and I can make a conscious decision to see Milk at a theater that is not owned by Cinemark. These include:
– Cinemark IMAX Theatre at Galleria Pittsburgh Mills (425 Pittsburgh Mills Circle)
For those of us in Pittsburgh, this is a no-brainer as we have a zillion theater from which to choose. What's the situation in Erie — are there alternatives? Clearly, someone should also take the lead on notifying the theaters of the call for the boycott so they can let corporate know and maybe we can see what happens.
Getting back to the larger issue, the response of the LGBT community and our allies hasn't always been something of which we can be proud. I've heard some stunning racist comments and these sweeping generalizations about African-American folks and Mormons. NPR reported that some Morman communities have received anthrax threats. That's despicable.
The boycott idea is fine because its pretty low energy, but what we really have to find the initiative to do is wrestle with the racism within our own community. We can't simply lay the fault at the feet of the African-American Christian community and call it a day. I don't really know many groups that are thoughtfully reaching out to the African-American community, both gay and straight. Yesterdays rally was pretty homogenous. The Dyke March gets it right — that's one of the more diverse events in the City. This is the real underlying challenge. We have to find a way to engage Pittsburgh's African-American community around our shared struggles for equality.