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    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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    1. Double T on Feb 28, 2008 1:36:11 PM:


      I will agree there is a problem. I liken the problem to something that happened with the CIA. For years Americans believed the CIA was “fighting” the USSR. When in fact the mission of the CIA was to contain that “cancer”, not remove it. I was amazed at how shocked the CIA was when the Berlin Wall fell. I actually thought some of them(CIA) wanted to fly to Germany and re-erect the wall. I remember thinking “What the hell is going on here?” I know this over-simplifies things, but it was job security. Everyone at Langley understood the mission of “containment”, they all know how to “contain”. Now it was a whole new ball game. Everyone back to school, re-learn everything you thought you knew. Those were scary days for some.

      I see the GLBT organizations facing the same situation. In theory, every one of these organizations should share the same mission statement.

      Change the world to the point where this organization is obsolete (or less needed).

      You don’t see many people supporting the Women’s Suffrage Movement anymore do you. Gee, why is that?

      In college I wrote a paper about the world without the Soviet Union. My poli-sci professor gave me a “D” and yelled at me in front of the class. “There was a USSR before you were born and there will be a USSR long after you are dead. Imagining a world without them is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.”

      I think the biggest problem is that gays fail to imagine a world of tomorrow, different from the world of today.

    1. Jack Jett on Feb 28, 2008 7:42:11 PM:

      Let’s get something straight!


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