February 28, 2008
'We are the ones we are waiting for'
Posted by: Chris
Andrew Sullivan has a great post today takes the Barack Obama catch-phrase and applies it to the gay rights movement. The result is dead-on:
The Clinton model - exemplified by the Human Rights Campaign - is: give us some big donor checks, we'll hire a lobbyist (if you're lucky), and we'll work the Democratic party establishment to give you your equality (which somehow never happens). Meanwhile: keep whining (and sending the checks). The Obama model is: you will only get your equality if you stand up for it, risk your job, status, even life for the sake of your own integrity. Stop whining and start explaining and persuading and acting.
So many gay people over the years have asked me where our "leader" is. It's the wrong question. We are the ones we have been waiting for. Be the change you want to see in the world. And the world changes. In exact proportion to the number of gay people who have abandoned their fear and self-hatred, it already has. No excuses, guys. And no need to wait.
I've heard lesbian Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), a Hillary Clinton supporter, give a similar exhortation, including in her memorable speech at the Millennium March on Washington:
If you dream of a world in which you can put your partner’s picture on your desk, then put his picture on your desk and you will live in such a world. And if you dream of a world in which you can walk down the street holding your partner’s hand, then hold her hand and you will live in such a world.
If you dream of a world in which there are more openly gay elected officials, then run for office and you will live in such a world. And if you dream of a world in which you can take your partner to the office party, even if your office is the U.S. House of Representatives, then take her to the party. I do, and now I live in such a world.
Remember, there are two things that keep us oppressed: them and us. We are half of the equation. There will not be a magic day when we wake up and it’s now OK to express ourselves publicly. We must make that day ourselves
Amen, sister Tammy!
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