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Monday, March 22, 2010

Gays Fed Up With Ineffective Queer Leadership

Posted By on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 12:20 PM

click to enlarge Dan Choi's not gonna take it anymore ... and neither is Uppity Fag
  • Dan Choi's not gonna take it anymore ... and neither is Uppity Fag
The raucous events of last week -- protests at Nancy Pelosi's offices and the arrest of Dan Choi and Jim Pietrangelo at the White House - indicate that the LGBT community is no longer willing to abdicate its power to advocacy groups that have not produced results.

Think about the impertinence of those queers knocking on the Speaker's door and demanding an audience days before the historic health care reform bill came down to a long delayed and tortured vote. Really! How rude! The woman is busy ... hello??

Yet, she is always busy. She and her party are supposed to be busy and that is why the LGBT community has relied upon the Human Rights Campaign. For years the HRC has been building relationships with politicians and lobbying on our behalf. They have been doing it for decades; for a long, long time. And that long wait is precisely why there is impatience. 

The federal government continues to be antagonistic toward us . Meanwhile, the Democrats take us for granted and the organizations that are supposed to lobby on our behalf seem to be enjoying their access to power more than they are committed to enacting or repealing legislation that would improve our lives like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

For example, Pelosi's spokesperson issued a statement following the demonstration at her offices that is indicative of her party's attitude: The Speaker "hopes that we can bring ENDA up as soon as possible." Wishing and hoping isn't producing any results. It sure didn't keep the LGBT provisions included in the health care reform bill. While we wait for her to take action on employment discrimination, please observe while she strips the good that was promised us from the bill currently being passed.

And what results does HRC have to boast about? What have they accomplished while networking at cocktail receptions at the White House? Last week they helped Kathy Griffin and Bravo stage an event about Don't Ask Don't Tell while avoiding the opportunity to exhibit disobedience regarding the continued application of the unjust law.

The demonstrations led by Get Equal exhibit the absolute frustration that young LGBT people experience as the well heeled establishment types take their sweet time and avoid confrontation and continue to embrace the concept of working within a system that perpetually seeks to keep the less connected queers at an arm's length. We should have been sick of this during Bill Clinton's terms. We have waited long enough for our leaders to produce results.

Apparently, the HRC is aware that rebellion is imminent. HRC's office in D.C. was locked down the day after the Pelosi sit-in because its leaders were afraid that Get Equal would target them next. The rift is real and it's growing and it won't be quashed.

What Get Equal did last week was nothing short of brilliant and inspired -- and they aren't done. On their Facebook page Sunday night, Get Equal indicates that the passage of the health care bill gives the community the opportunity to get the attention that has been denied and promised for far too long. Since Barack Obama took office, the mantra -- from Democrats, allies and obedient gays -- has been "health care first." Okay -- it's done. What's the next obstacle that we have to overcome?

Get Equal is planning community meetings all over the country. They are promising a summer of action. No more delays. No more excuses. No more cocktail parties and fiddle playing.

This is just the beginning.

Patrick Connors is an uppity fag that is married to a man and he is ready to Get Equal.

Follow Patrick on Twitter: @uppityfag

Photo | SeanMD80

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Patrick Connors


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