Who Do Our Allies Really Welcome to the Table?

Tonight, I have no tact, I’m paranoid and I don’t understand how collaboration works.

So the gatekeeper decides that I do not get access to my elected official unless I explain myself to him first.

This is why I hate that so many elected officials have gmail accounts that are screened by staff anyway. What’s the point except to create an illusion of being part of an inner circle? Is that how we want government to run?

It doesn’t matter if I’m tactless, paranoid or lacking in collaboration skills. None of those are listed in the Constitution as prerequisites to have a conversation with my own elected official.

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And what kind of person believes they are doing collaborative work on behalf of all queers if there are “rules” for us to follow to get to the table? That’s ludicrous! Women who have the audacity to challenge the status quo are often on the receiving end of mental health slurs and accused of not knowing how to get along nicely. Women elected officials should not TOLERATE that conduct.

Do you think the homeless LGBTQ youth are going to get prettied up for a meeting so they can discuss their needs? Should we prescreen the trans community to make sure they don’t offend anyone by being crass at a meeting with elected officials? And those dykes – what if they talk about vaginas and not in the good “pro-choice” way? There are poor queer folks who can’t attend $50 cocktail parties or even free happy hours because of childcare, work shifts, transportation and more. (In case you missed it, this is snarky.)

So let’s just get this straight (For the record this is what’s euphemistically described as “my crap” by those who can’t stop reading even though they profess to despise my writing. Uh oh.)

On November 1, every single person in the US – including queer families – will lose some SNAP benefits (food stamps)

On November 4, LIHEAP opens and since the federal gov hasn’t finalized rules on same sex marriages, God knows what happens to our community members who need help yesterday with their heating bill.

We are searching for coats, blankets and deodorant in addition to food for homeless queer kids.

A gay young man was executed in Homewood last week for a cell phone. (NOTE:  A previous version of this post mistakenly listed East Liberty as the neighborhood.)

Another gay young man was beaten for standing up for himself.

And the problem is that I want to talk about these things isn’t it? Not that I’m tactless, but that I’m going to bring up the uncomfortable topics. Not that I’m unable to collaborate, but that I don’t fall into lockstep. That I’m gravely concerned that the “gay” community never ever ever wants to talk about poverty.

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It is really a shame that business as usual is part of the new Progressive Agenda in Pennsylvania.

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For the record, I have been right several times in just the past year (City blocking my website, City losing personnel files for the domestic partner registry, and more.) The accusation that I’m paranoid has been leveled to make me doubt myself and isolate me from people.

But even paranoid people have a right to representation. We can joke all we want about letters about tin foil hats and goverment conspiracies with the aliens to read our minds – those people are still human beings who deserve a chance to participate in democracy, in their government. That’s the point, right? Even the humble, the poor, the alienated, etc.

I find that most insulting – the gatekeeper to a meeting with an elected representative must certainly be mindful of priorities, but slandering constituents and implying that there is a “worth” factor to those who get a meeting is not supposed to be how it’s done. And the suggestion that my individual actions stand in the way of an entire community having a chance to talk with a leader is so sad and manipulative. You don’t need to go through me to have that conversation, but to refuse to have the conversation because I’m part of the crowd is horrible.

So I won’t be able to get to this elected officials – MY elected official – unless I happen to run into them somewhere and then I’ll get like 30 seconds. Fortunately, they are up for reelection and that should give me plenty of opportunity to bring this up. Because queer people live in all the districts after all.

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