Stephanie Donald—Publisher, LGBT-Today
It’s a wonderful time for me to talk turkey about what it means to try to be an activist in the 21st century and it isn’t a pleasant tale that will cause future generations to toast our wondrous victories like Harvey Milk is receiving today.
It’s also a metaphysical question as to whether today’s LGBT community rejects the one thing that made Harvey Milk so successful, charisma, or whether Americans now worship cynicism much more than simply believing in the qualities of leadership anymore.
I can remember that even 15 or 20 years ago, the memory of Harvey Milk and the value of a good leader actually meant something. A Gay Pride Parade and celebration meant so much more than an excuse to get drunk off your ass and party. People actually came together, held hands to show their solidarity and we played games like volleyball and listened to speeches from community leaders and cheered them on.
Enter the age of electronics. People go to Pride events so they can get as drunk or as high as possible. If you attempt to try to get them to listen to speeches, their eyes get glassy and they wander off to one of a hundred commercial vendors (we never had commercial vendors 20 years ago) to get another drink and then after things wind down they head to their cars so the cops can scoop them up for DUI.
Before I go any further, let me say that I’m very grateful to my loyal readers. I know there are many of you who do read just about everything I publish but you’re actually a minority of our community so please don’t be offended by my next statements.
Are we dealing with the metaphysical question of whether charisma is dead in America? Have we come to doubt every potential leader presented to us as a combined population of both heterosexuals and the LGBT community? Why should we trust anyone these days? Even President Obama seems like he’s not to be trusted a good deal of the time. He allowed the Department of Justice to take sacred property protected by the First Amendment from the Associated Press and even Fox News (as much as we all hate Fox, they don’t deserve to have their Freedom of the Press rights violated).
Why do Americans who follow maniac Christian ministers and people like Bryan Fischer and Matt Barber and the hundreds of hateful ministers across America who keep beating the drum against LGBT equality? Sometimes, for lack of water, people dying of thirst will drink the sand because they’re too stupid to know the difference. This won’t make any friends but the more people in the LGBT community who devote themselves to the Christian faith, the more LGBT people we have out there drinking sand. How can we have Christianity “light”? You either believe in the same thing they all do or you don’t believe at all.
On the day we’re supposed to be honoring Harvey Milk, in truth, if Harvey Milk were alive today and trying to organize the LGBT community in order to do the things that still need to be done, young people would roll their eyes at him and make fun of him like many of them do to me and many of the stubborn activists that are still left and trying to attain equality for our community.
Charisma has been reduced to tapping on a keyboard to sign some online petition or donate to the Human Rights Campaign while their director, Chad Griffin, squeals with delight as he walks out occasionally with his entourage to encourage his electronic grass roots movement following that amounts to a 50 year trek toward…nowhere. If we actually were to pursue full equality then Griffin would be out of a job within a year. It would be that simple. Humankind is capable of achieving anything as quickly as they choose to. We put a man on the moon in less than 8 years and while younger people might not appreciate the scope of that achievement now, it’s nonetheless mankind’s most shining moment so why couldn’t the LGBT community attain full equality in a year if we really wanted it?
Chad Griffin has all the charisma of a jukebox. If you pumped some quarters up his ass he might even do a little mechanical dance for you.
I would love to think that our immediate future would accept a charismatic leader but everyone is too busy getting high, getting drunk, play their Xbox, cruising the bars for their next piece of ass or making fun of the people who are trying to help them get their full civil rights.
So why ruin everyone’s grand slam? Raise our glasses and toast to the victory of cynicism.
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