Recently, I was invited to attend a meeting with Onorato. I asked if someone from the queer-identified community could attend and I was told no, it was invitation only. Then I was told it was a meeting for people who supported Onorato. I explored that a bit with others attending and decided that I didn't want to risk 1) supporting the ongoing exclusion of queer-identified persons from the table and 2) being perceived as supportive of someone who doesn't get domestic partner benefits.
I was debriefed. No one queer was invited. They were “represented” by the upper echelons. Some people changed their minds and threw their support to Onorato. The best is that I was apparently publicly derided for “refusing to attend unless I could bring my own guests.”
That's not true. I refused to attend because they didn't want queer people at the table, not because I couldn't bring queer guests. I refused to attend because the campaign was intentionally vague and I'm not interested in being a token.
When I called the Mayor's LGBT Advisory Council and asked if they would invite a dyke identified and a queer identified group to their meeting, they immediately said yes and sent out invitations. I can't say if the groups will attend, but at least they were invited and included. At least, they have an opportunity to bring up their issues and concerns for themselves.
I tried to be civil with the Onorato folks. I asked around to see what the meeting was about. The campaign ignored my inquiries and the other LGBT (not Q) folks invited had widely ranging theories on what the meeting was about — from a public announcment on civil unions to a brainstorming session on gay issues.
But I'm the problem. Not the elected officials whose lack of action I write about. Nope, it is me. A lesbian with a little blog here in Pittsburgh.
If they had responded in a civil manner instead of bashing me in a meeting with LGBT (no Q) leaders, perhaps there would be room for conversation. That's too bad.