Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Movement of Personalities

Special interests are just that -- special interests. These interests are often comprised of a select group of individuals who unite around their common interests often at the expense of everyone else. So what does this reality mean? Let's apply this situation to the broader LGBT movement as an example.

The broader LGBT movement contains within it a multitude of activists who are truly devoted to the cause of advancing the rights and the dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the United States and around the world. They work tirelessly on our behalf and have secured a number of monumental victories in recent years for which they should be commended. Yet, the LGBT movement, like other social and political movements that have come before it, is often driven by a select group of personalities who place their own agendas above the progress of the broader movement.

There are those leaders put their best faces forward as a desperate attempt to cover up their organization's own short comings. There are others whose only purpose within the movement is to grandstand their own divisive brand of politics and movement disintegration to solidify their own illusion of power. And there are yet others who selfishly court the spotlight -- through strategic photo ops, press conferences and media opportunities -- to further advance their own personal and political agendas. Let's not be naive about whether these situations actually take place on a daily basis -- they do Mary! But hope [and people of course] are the driving forces behind any social movement. The focus should be on those, such as activists here in Bushwick who work tirelessly within the local community to improve the climate for LGBT residents, who have put their own personal agendas aside for the benefit of the broader movement. These are the personalities [and not those driven by selfish personal agendas and divisive politics] who actually build the movement upon which we can all be proud.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, these "personalities" are our Britneys and Anna Nicholes. The movement is about them and their egos. They usually set out to achieve a single goal. Gay marriage is a case in point. Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships, whatever they are called are of no value when ENDA still sits in the hopper. You can civil union but you can get fired in 11 states just for being queer.

These one issue celebrities who have their mugs mushed up against every politico are not the leaders we should be trusting. Somewhere a wallet is opening and these luminaries are going to make a buck off of this somehow. It could be a government appointment or sitting next to Ellen. Wait and see.

The folks in the trenches who tirelessly research and investigate and motivate are the ones who should be sitting at the big table.
These are the folks who publish local newsletters and emails and blogs. These are the folks who see the big picture and realize that GLBT rights are provincial and that not until it is universal will the war we won. One state with Civil Unions does not make a nation when 27 states have DOMA's.

the hinterland hyena