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The root of all

The root of all


If only the wealthiest gays have any real say in the equality movement, what's a poor 17-year-old artist and activist to do?

Satre is an incoming senior at Notre Dame Academy, a private Catholic high school in Middleburg, Va., and the founder of the Virginia LGBT activist group Equality Fauquier-Culpeper. He writes regular journal entries for The Advocate.

For the past few weeks I have been staying in New York City's Greenwich Village, studying at the CAP 21 studio at New York University just a few blocks from Stonewall. I ran away from Virginia to come back to my senses, to return to my city of art. I have come to take the artist in me out of hibernation--the artist who had been clouded by the darksome politics of activism and media at home.

I have often wondered why it seems that in the gay rights movement in particular, there is a certain type of person I see all too often, who is an activist simply to get praise, pity, and the hope of fame. Is it the job of an activist working in political campaigns to question and strive to push the LGBT community for attention? Or is it to lift that person in the "gay hierarchy," which excludes a large number of people?

This high school pettiness permeates some of the most profound and prestigious organizations and people who work for equality in our country. Nowadays, to survive in the world of gay activism, one must be extremely wealthy. You have no say in things if your pockets are not deep with potential and actual donations. You have no say in things if you are not on the highest rung of the economic ladder. You have no say in things if you are on the lower bars of the social class system.

This economic animosity that has taken firm hold of our movement has made us forget where we came from and how we began. We are our own society of people who run a system that mirrors the politics of this country--the politics of fortune and glory.

People are abusing this movement for their own purposes, and it is no rarity to witness such political perversity. We have worked so hard and have come further than we could have ever imagined since the Stonewall riots. Yet money and politics have gripped this movement and will not loosen their embrace. I am 17, and I want out of this corrupt scene before it corrupts me.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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