Rift in the LGBTQ Community

From Congress.org comes this insightful analysis on what the looming failure to repeal DADT says about activism within the national LGBTQ community.

The grassroots folks are calling for more accountability from Gay, Inc.  perhaps to form a more cohesive and inclusive strategy to getting *something* accomplished?

Personally, I think stripping away the veneer of cooperation is the best way to forge more sincere relationships and move forward.  The artifice is probably the most difficult thing to swallow along with the smug sense that we should trust the privileged to know what's best for us.

I don't proclaim to be any more knowledgable or smarter than you on these issues (even with my master's degree!), but I just continue to be tired of having to smile and dance while we admire the emperor's new clothes.  On the other hand, I do get that electing quasi-Democrats is in our own best interests. 

I was invited to attend the Onorato fundraiser this weekend.  I was probably too curt and snippy in my response and not just cause Onorato is a faux-gay ally.  But they scheduled it during the Steelers game!  I have no idea who could possibly think this is a good or viable idea.  I don't watch the Steelers, but even I'm practical enough to know that the very folks you really really need to connect with are not giving up the Steelers for a campaign that is simply the lesser of the evils. 

I was actually going to go, but then I just realized that I don't care.  I plan to vote for Onorato, but I can't imagine him saying a single thing that would inspire me to do anything more.  And that makes me really sad.  I could tell him some of my libertarian acquaintances are very impressed with his conservatism and plan to vote for him which is good for him and not so much for me.

This is the sort of organizing tactic that widens the rift.  Not only between mainstream Pgh Gay Inc and moi (and I doubt anyone cares about that), but between the informed political gay elite and the everyday LGBTQ folks who they want to turn out.  It is that ongoing lack of understanding that undermines forward movement. 

I'm really surprised Joe Hoeffel doesn't get this.  He's coming to the event to rally the progressive faithful and I know he gets the power of sports in Pittsburgh.  I read a lot into that decision. 

As I've said before, Pgh does not have a thriving grassroots activist community around LGBTQ issues.  We have Gay, Inc and we have the queer anarchists.  The missing link is a serious problem.  All the voices are needed for the continuum of organizing to work effectively.  If that doesn't turn around soon, the rift will widen and apathy will become even more entrenched.

Lest you think I'm a malcontented middle aged lesbian, take a gander at what Pam and Autum are posting on the largest lesbian blog in the nation.  I'm just applying the analysis locally in the political blogger sort of way.

With statements from President Obama telling us progressives that our alleged “apathetic” feelings about voting are “inexcusable,” and Vice President Biden telling us progressives that we need to “stop whining” and “buck up” — Is it any wonder many progressives like me aren't very enthused to vote this November?

I didn't vote against the other guys in 2008; I voted for candidates that I thought were going to boldly follow though with their campaign promises. I voted for President Obama and Vice President Biden in part because Presidential Candidate Obama said he was going to be a “fierce advocate” for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. If the best the cowardly Democrats in the House, Senate, and White House can offer us is “we're better than the other guys,” I know my motivation level is going to be low. If they're going to insult my intelligence by telling me I should be more motivated to vote — even though the Democrats didn't live up to their campaign promises — I'm even less motivated. I'm sharply angry at beltway Democrats, not apathetic in the slightest.

Oh, I'll vote this coming November as I was already planning to do, but I'm not excited at all to vote like I was in 2008 — not by a long shot.



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