5 Big Takeaways From Creating Change
BY Daniel Villarreal
January 28 2013 12:27 AM ET
4) Humanitarian Aid: The Future of Our Movement
I had a drunken chat with a celebrated LGBT activist during the conference. The activist basically went on a riff, which I've paraphrased below:
The American LGBT rights movement is eating itself. We're so hyper-focused on marriage, military rights and then the right to work that we forget about LGBT persecution around the world.
Just think for a second how often you see stuff about Glee and Lady Gaga and pictures of shirtless guys on gay websites, and then think about the frequency of international LGBT news on those same sites — it's lopsided beyond compare.
It's long been a criticism of gay culture that we're self-involved. True, maybe we're helping shift LGBT rights around the world by exporting our pop-cultural messages and by Hilary Clinton declaring that gay rights are human rights, but that's it — the average gay person isn't directly involved with helping out where our LGBT brothers and sisters are hurting the most.
But it's time for a change.
You probably know about Scott Lively, the hate group leader who is currently involved in a federal court case over his stirring antigay sentiment in Uganda. Why do you think he went to Uganda to start planting his seeds of antigay hate? Because he thought that no gay American would ever dare to go over there and fight against him; that no LGBT person would ever show the Ugandans that we care about their basic needs — the need for clean water, the need for agriculture, farming equipment and other humanitarian work.
So Lively goes over there as a missionary — as a church leader, the sort that has historically done humanitarian work, though at a high price — and he's been able to influence the culure and the politics with Uganda's odious "Kill the Gays" bill ever since.
The likes of Lively don't expect LGBT Americans to go over there and do humanitarian work too. Hell, according to Lively gay people are akin to Nazis. Whenever you tell an American queer that you want to go to Uganda, they'll look at you like you have a death wish. But when you tell fellow LGBT Ugandans that you'd like to invest your time and money, they welcome you with open arms.
We need to change the way we do things. The world is beginning to think that LGBT Americans only care about our piece of the pie, and it's eventually going to work against us.
The LGBT mobilization of international humanitarian aid on a global scale is really where the future of our movement is. And it's time to start doing that work now so that our missionaries can stop haters from cornering the market on "moral authority" abroad.
It's just an opinion, but one well worth considering… preferably while sober.
- Pa. Students Allegedly Throw 'Anti-Gay Day,' Write 'Lynch List'
- Op-ed: I Met My Best Friend on Grindr
- WATCH: The Weirdest Antigay Marriage Arguments Before the Supreme Court
- WATCH: Ireland's New Marriage Equality Ad Will Give You Goosebumps
- Op-ed: New Jersey's Most Antigay Teacher Shouldn't Have Her Job
- Prominent Queer Korean, Chicana Leader Killed in Her Atlanta Home