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A Student Uprising for Gay Marriage in California

picture-110Dave Valk, a political sciences major at UCLA (and Queerty’s inauguration correspondent) found himself, like many other his age, transformed by the Prop. 8 decision and protests. He looked around at the people his age and realizing that they had passion, but lacked organization, decided to create what he calls, ‘a moment.’

That ‘moment’ became 1Fest, occurring this Sunday (April 19) at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles from 12pm-6pm (full details here). Part concert, part grassroots organizing rally, the goal of the day is to “create a platform for student and political speakers from every community to express their support for marriage equality.”

We spoke with Valk about what it takes to put together an event this size, why, like every civil rights movement before it, gay rights needs student organizers and how many of the traditional LGBT rights groups have failed young gays– and why it’s time for the youth to take over the movement.

QUEERTY: What kind of groups have come on board?

Dave Valk: There’s a lot of different groups. The whole point of 1Fest is that it’s a student-initiated, student-run event, so we have students from all across California coming to this. The majority of the student groups that will have the table space– First of all, I should tell you the point of these tables is to be action booths. What that means is that they won’t just be passing out information, but will have some sort of issue or cause. And they will be asking people to do something– sign a petition, call a legislator, something that’s going to develop real results at the end of the day.

They’re not just LGBT organizations. They represent different communities and different issues. They represent different social issues…

There are groups that don’t normally work together. When we say it’s a time for people to come together, we really mean it. There are groups like Bruins for Israel and Students for Justice in Palestine who never work together– ever– and they will both be at 1Fest and they’re trying to coordinate something towards working towards a mutual equality within their own communities for LGBT people.

I think we’re going to see a lot of really good things that come out of 1Fest that we haven’t really seen before.

Watch Dave Valk explain 1Fest:

What was the genesis of 1Fest? I mean, I know a little bit…

It’s funny that you asked me this. Don’t you remember? Maybe you should be the one that’s getting interviewed. We had a conversation and I was telling you some of the ideas I had and I said “We need to have some sort of event to bring people together” and it was basically the idea of making a Woodstock, that’s what we used. Not just an event, but a place where a lot of people could come together and have a good time, but also do a lot of good stuff at the same time. It was literally from that conversation.

Well, I think a lot of people have had those conversations where you say “Oh, we should do something and here’s some ideas”, but you’ve certainly taken it and run with it. There’s a world of difference between talking about something over a drink and making it happen.

Yeah, but talking over a drink is how you get it started. It certainly helps if there’s that drink part.

So, tell me how you pulled all this together so quickly. It’s been maybe four months…

Well, I was working with a few other people in the grassroots and do some activism and we were trying to do something about getting marriage licenses. I noticed a couple things. One, we couldn’t get anything done because we got a ton of flak from people who were established in doing this and doing it for 30 years and they were saying, “You can’t do that, because that’s not how we do it.” Which was incredible. These are supposed to be some of the most progressive and open-minded people, but that’s absolute baloney.
picture-25
Who was saying this to you?

Well, there were people who were planning things at the marriage license offices for February 14th and we wanted to do it in January as a prelude. We literally lifted it and wanted to make it something that young people could get involved in and get more people involved statewide and nationwide in February. It never happened.

The problem is that these grassroots groups didn’t have two things: They didn’t have central leadership, because everyone was being polite and saying “I think this, I think that”, but there were too many cooks in the kitchen. And they had no resources, no money, no backing. It’s the God’s honest truth. It’s hard to do anything without the resources that we later got.

…We started a group called Won Together and it gave is access to incredible resources. We have the UCLA name behind us. We have an adviser, we got our venue for pretty much for free. And we got access to students, which is the most important part.

It all goes back to changing the dialogue and that has a lot to do with the imagery. It all comes down to who’s standing in front of the camera. No offense to the 70-year-old ladies who have been fighting to get married forever, but the truth is, you have to stop putting the 70 year-old ladies in front of the camera and start putting the 26-year-old ladies in front of the camera. If these girls are saying, “Listen, we just want to get married. It’s not that big of a deal”, that changes things.

The point of 1Fest is that we have young people from every different community coming out and able to have their own voice. They get to speak through their own communities about why these issues matter. I think it’s a changing of the guard.

Well, let me ask you, did you reach out to any of the older, more mainstream LGBT groups like the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to get a response from them?

Yes we did. We sent them our sponsorship packet, so they could sponsor a table.

Did they?

They did not. There were a couple of things. We were offered money by one of these groups, but of course, there were stipulations. For me, it was absolutely paramount that we maintained an independent student voice. If we didn’t do that. If we attached these big name gay organizations: The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Task Force, EQCA, HRC, we wouldn’t be what we are. It would have been just another event that they’re putting on and that’s not what we are. We approached them to be involved by asking them to sponsor and we didn’t get a response.

Another thing we did, there was an article in The Blade about the salaries of 30 gay rights organization leaders and we wrote personal letters to all 30 of those people saying, “Listen, we’re putting on 1Fest. We want your personal support.’ Never heard back from anyone. It’s too bad.

Do you see 1Fest as being a grassroots alternative to these mainstream groups and if so, why make that distinction?

Well, I should back up. This makes it sound like we’re trying to alienate these mainstream groups– I can’t believe you’re calling them ‘mainstream’, that’s incredible– these organizations. But, these people screwed up royally. We don’t even have to go into it. No, we will go into it. The way that they screwed up royally is that they didn’t reach out to young people.

That’s the bottom line. How in God’s name could Barack Obama run a national grassroots campaign upon the foundation of young people going door-to-door asking people for money and support? But the No on on 8 campaign, not only did they not incorporate young people, they shut them out, because they made it completely hierarchical. It’s the end of the system. The system completely died. In ten years, someone’s going to write a paper about what happened [in the last few months.]

jones-cleveI think these larger organizations are basically lobbyists and fundraisers. They do a great job at what they do. A lot of money, they know how to push it where it needs to be pushed. However, at the end of the day, the most valuable commodity in creating social change is the speaker. It’s who you put in front of the camera– and that person has to be a young person,. You can’t put that 70 year old lady on TV anymore. It doesn’t work that way anymore. If you want to change the mind of that person in Bummfuck, Wherever thinks, if that’s what you want, you have to change the imagery.

How does 1Fest fit into that?

Well, we’ve invited a lot of media. It’s not like we decided, “Oh, we need to put this person on stage”. It happened organically and it’s a reflection of the fact that it is young people who ran and created this thing. I hope to God that these [large LGBT orgs] come to 1Fest and say, “Holy Crap”, because the reality is they could never have put this together. You can’t pay young people to do this. We’ve been working 24 hours a day for three months to put this together.

So, why should someone reading this go to 1Fest?

It’s not an event. It’s a moment. It’s a very rare moment when different social movements are coming together. You have Cleve Jones, who led the LGBT movement who is now with the labor movement. You’ve got Dolores Huerta, whose part of the United Farm Workers and who worked with Caeser Chavez and you have the students. You have all these different organizations coming together and this is a catalyst. It’s the day we came together. We have to expand the us’s. That’s how you win shit– at least in California.

By:           Japhy Grant
On:           Apr 17, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 23 Comments
    • Mickey's mouse :P
      Mickey's mouse :P

      Finally! The old Bitches that run the gay rights movement are getting pushed in front of the trains. It’s kind of like stonewall in the fact that the young’uns fought harder than the old established(closeted) queens. I like the mainstream gay and lesbian organizations, don’t get me wrong, they do their jobs but they sometimes glaze some things over in order to remain politically correct. We can’t be PC anymore, we’ve got to light a fire under their asses and make sure proper legislation is passed for everyone.

      It is one of the major tenets of america that everyone under it’s protection should be equal. Everyone is afforded the same rights no matter what your color, creed, nationality, sex, and pretty soon sexual orientation. The facts have been ignored for far too long, and it’s time we fought back. The old school gays have gotten lofty, and are kind of out of touch with the times.

      The main reason they’re out of touch is that their priorities shift as they age. We need firebrands and loud-mouthed diva’s(not necessarily homosexuals) to get our point across.

      1fest is actually bringing tons of people together from many cultural, political, and religious belief systems. It’s time THE PEOPLE got their point across, and not THE CHURCH.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JJ
      JJ

      you go, girl

      Apr 17, 2009 at 9:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rogue dandelion
      rogue dandelion

      gay activism article about UCLA?
      those fools haven’t even contacted the queer group at UCB (where I am currently).
      this sounds like a half baked idea.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lejoneric
      lejoneric

      Personally- I totally agree with the point that is being made about “established” GLBT organizations. They are stuck in the past- full of stagnent thoughts- and not young and progressive enough to think outside the closet. Way to go!!

      Whatever help I can provide- please let me know.

      Jon

      Apr 17, 2009 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @rogue dandelion:

      Well then you better go out and see before you start bitching! But hey, you proved his point!

      Why have homophobes bitch about gays, when we ca do it amongst ourselves!

      Way to go dude!

      Apr 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hunter
      Hunter

      Gosh, I had no idea it was an “either or” choice, as to who we needed to have in front of the cameras. I’m not in the 70 year old demographic, but let me just speak on their behalf for a moment.

      Our culture, the gay culture in particular, is so frickin’ agist, to the point of being tragically so. What have the older gays seen? They fought at Stonewall, they mobilized and fought through the AIDs crisis in ways that those born in and after the 80’s just couldn’t possibly conceive of. Every homosexual was deemed diseased, folks jumped out of pools if someone thought to be gay and infected jumped in, and some pools were even drained. They were told repeatedly that they finally received their death sentence, had earned it, and had better be quick with it. The social condemnation was absolute, but somehow, Larry Kramer (who most folks, gay and straight, just chalked up to being a wack job), mobilized gays who had been badly beaten down, and moved them into action through Act Up.

      The 70 year olds have more insight to the civil rights movement than Dave Valk could possibly imagine. Those in their 40’s and 50’s rose up against incredible odds, fighting for and winning funding for AIDs research–their fight was particularly arduous, in that they were not only dismissed for being deviants, but also for being diseased, infectious, and worthy of death.

      Everytime I see an older couple getting married, two thoughts spring to mind: 1) well, it is about time–there is something so special about these two people who fought so long to finally be able to marry; and 2) thank God they were willing to get up there in front of the cameras, because the younger generation is failing to show up.

      I am thrilled that a younger generation is coming in to fight this battle, and they absolutely must do so. They are needed, and this is their fight, but this moveement needs a face that represents the full spectrum of the GLBT community, from fresh faced 18 year olds willing to put themselves on the line, to those craggy faced 70 year olds who have fought their battles and have taken up yet another one to fight for the generations behind them.

      This movement needs everyone one of us, and if we don’t all come together, we will make no progress whatsoever.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GAYPETCLUB.com
      GAYPETCLUB.com

      I Repeat- How in God’s name could Barack Obama run a national grassroots campaign upon the foundation of young people going door-to-door asking people for money and support? But the No on on 8 campaign, not only did they not incorporate young people, they shut them out, because they made it completely hierarchical. It’s the end of the system. The system completely died. In ten years, someone’s going to write a paper about what happened [in the last few months.]

      Apr 17, 2009 at 2:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      There was a string of like 30 comments on this thread, what happened to all of them?

      Apr 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Captain Freedom
      Captain Freedom

      I think some of the anger is misguided here.

      It is very wrong to aim our anger at older gays who indeed have fought battles we ourselves dare never dream to fight. They stood up to the bigots of Anita Bryant, Richard Nixon, the exterminationists who created the Religious Reich. Even worse they stood up to AIDS which further exposed the agenda of the Religious Right and Ronald Reagan.

      They stood up to Jerry Falwell and televangelists who OPENLY called for the extermination of gay and lesbian Americans in concentration camps. In fact, they had to deal with lobbyists who approached the Reagan Administration calling for AIDS victims to have tattoos on their foreheads.

      Old gays are not the ones who deserve the criticism. If anything, that criticism goes to HRC and the Establishment Gays in DC who keep taking our money to throw big parties and bankrupt the LGBT communities in America. They acted Machiavellian during the campaign and in my mind should either get out of the way this time or be a help and not an obstacle.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 6:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @Hunter:

      Completely agree BUT I don’t think he meant it the way you intepreted it.

      He was being pragmatic and talking ‘image’ instead of working together etc with various ages/groups which he seems to mention towards the end of the interview, so I’m not sure why you felt Valk wasn’t all about unity?

      The bottom line and it sucks but ‘image’ is everything and when you are fighting a fight and trying to translate a message to a digital nation brought up on MTV with gay characters on Reals World OR to middle America white/Blacks who are dripping in religion and bigotry..

      You need an image that will have an effect to make them think, empathise and relate..

      Now what are the ‘Youth’ who you need to recruit to empathise have in common or be able to relate to a 70 year old gay campaigner who doesn’t talk their language?

      And what would a religous conformist family/person be able to relate to a 70 year old gay campaigner that they feel is ‘typical 60’s/70’s hippie who spread aids in the 80’s?

      However unfair or untrue it is…that’s people..

      So when you have young black or white kids that look like thier friends, themselves or THEIR kids…

      People can relate..

      That’s all.

      Like I said it sucks, but I think Valk is on your side as he stated.

      We’re living in a branded world, esp since the turn of the century with the growth and power of advertising and imagery…it won’t go, however ‘real, honest and genuine’ your method is…the person who delivers it is equally if not more important..

      :(

      Apr 18, 2009 at 10:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Barrie
      Barrie

      @Hunter… Well said, and well written.

      Apr 18, 2009 at 10:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan
      Dan

      Most young people support LGBT rights. They’re a pool of millions of people that we could recruit just as Obama did for his campaign. They could help change everyone’s mind, making the younger generation even more pro-gay and influencing older generations as well.

      The 70-year-old couple who want only to get married have an important role to play as well. They may be most effective in influencing other older people, and they have a certain emotional appeal to many others as well.

      Do the established groups have a role? I think so – especially the cagey legal groups like Lambda Legal and NCLR. Their successes over the past several years have been incredible. Where would we be today if they hadn’t got the Supreme Court to knock down the few remaining discriminatory sodomy laws, and established, for the first time at the federal level, that gay people are included in the constitution?

      The victory in Iowa just days ago was a culmination of seven years of planning by LGBT legal groups. The marriage victory in Massachusetts was partly a result of an effective ad campaign. The established groups can’t do it alone, and they haven’t always succeeded. But I think that they too have a role.

      Won Together has brought many diverse groups together to support LGBT equality – a tremendous advance. The more people and groups we have in our corner, the more successful we’ll be.

      Apr 18, 2009 at 1:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CaLi_BoY
      CaLi_BoY

      woo hoo!

      Apr 18, 2009 at 11:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andy (age 48)
      Andy (age 48)

      “You can’t just have LGBT community fighting. You have to expand the us’s” ??

      Yet you spend a good part of your intro dissing older Lesbians. How precisely does that “expand the us’s”? It’s as trite and stupid as the phrase “don’t trust anyone over 30″ was a few generations ago.

      Worse than that, it’s plain sexist. Apparently Valk has no problem with (older) gay men like Cleve Jones being on his program, but as for older Lesbians, he goes out of his way to saying he wants them invisible, apparently because they’re not “marketable” enough. Are we so shallow and susceptible to bigotry as all that?

      Apparently some of us are, as Volk’s statement provokes the first poster above to use the “B” word. How is that any more acceptable than using the “N” word to refer to African Americans, or straight people to call us faggots or dykes? I would have hoped that leaders and would-be leaders in the LGBT community would have learned something from the disastrous attempts by some to scapegoat African Americans for Prop 8’s loss, but apparently not. Divide-and-conquer blaming of any group, whether African Americans or older Lesbians, is apparently still okay for some.

      Students can and should have their own conferences, organizations and actions — controlled by them, run by them. Historically, that kind of autonomy served the African American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s quite well, with groups like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) making invaluable contributions.

      But a little humility and investigation about what previous generations have contributed, and are continuing to contribute, is necessary to avoid repeating mistakes of the past. One of those devastating mistakes, which the Civil Rights and anti-war movements learned the hard way, was that sexism is poisonous to our movements, stunting the voices and contributions of those who might help us win more easily.

      It’s an old sexist canard that male TV personalities can age on screen, but women personalities are out the door once a few sags and wrinkles set in. It’s sad when our own movement reflects these bullshit superficialities.

      Apr 18, 2009 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bob Schwartz, age 70
      Bob Schwartz, age 70

      The real issue here is strategy for change, not the age of the people carrying it out.

      First of all, do we defeat LGBT liberation by a top down, corporate driven campaign as occured in the fight against Prop 8, or do we organize democratically from the grass roots? (The Obama electoral machine was at its heart a corporate campaign as shown by his Wall Street agenda, but let’s save that debate for another time.)

      Jeff Kohrs and Lori Jean and their national counterparts in HRC and the Task Force think our interests are advanced by alliances with the Democratic party and by skillful issuance of press releases and focus group-driven media products. In fact, direct action sometimes coupled with timely legal maneuvers is what carries the day.

      Sure, I’m pleased to see thousands of young activists in the field angry and pushing for equality following the Proposition 8 debacle. But I’m also proud to stand along side “70 year old ladies.” And isn’t the preferred term “women?”

      Thanks to Robin Tyler, Diane Olson and–the even older pioneers– Phyllis Lyon and the late Del Martin.

      Apr 19, 2009 at 12:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lee
      Lee

      “Who is she? Who was she? Who does she hope to be?” Valk? Valk? Isn’t he the guy who thought Obama’s elevating Rick Warren to the President’s Personal Pastor a cool idea?

      Or is this the Valk who wrote about how Rufus Wainwright is the gay movement’s Bob Dylan because everyone at all the gay demos now are singing Rufus songs en masse?

      Regardless…he can clearly match any queen of any age in self-adoration and delusion. Jesus, Mary, & Joseph Hill! He’s already imagining the history books HE’S going to be in! Hurry and get your pre order in on Amazon!

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for new ideas, but he doesn’t have any. Alliances with other groups have been tried over and over and over, from the sinister ….the Communists successfully exploited various minority groups until Russia’s initial pack with Hitler … to the superficial….the anti Vietnam War movement, led mostly by pale skinned children of privilege, inspired Phil Ochs to write and sing “Love Me I’m A Liberal” while they formed skin deep alliances with the poor and Leonard Bernstein held cocktail parties for the Black Panthers…to the sincere of all types doomed to failure because they confused the means with the end.

      Gatherings of people with card tables and pamphlets on a college campus? STOP THE FUCKING PRESSES! Revolutionary! Wait ’til he invents tie dyed shirts and sex! “I think I shall call it a ‘penis’.”

      This is just another $250 a ticket black tie dinner circle jerk in which no one actually comes except the tickets don’t cost $250, street clothes and visible boxer waist bands will substitute for black tie, and there won’t be any dinner, and the only ones who’ll come themselves will be the Valkettes.

      Coming to a YouTube video near you soon.

      Apr 19, 2009 at 1:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John in CA
      John in CA

      @Bob Schwartz, age 70: It is not a well kept secret that there are more than a few registered Republicans at Equality California and the Human Rights Campaign. If people believe they’re Democratic organizations, it is only because that’s the public image they want to project.

      Like lawyers, lobbyists are paid to represent their clients. Since Democrats are a little more open to legislation that might help sexual minorities, that’s who they have to talk to. It is nothing personal. These lobbyists might toe the Democratic line in a press release on Monday and then vote for a Republican on Tuesday.

      For them, politics is simply a job (i.e. a way to make money). Which is probably why they’re not particularly effective at it. You can’t really outsource your civil liberties to a class of “beltway” professionals. There’s no passion and no sense of urgency at HRC. They’ll say the words. But you can tell they’re more interested in fundraisers than actually getting results.

      Apr 19, 2009 at 2:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • zeke
      zeke

      I happen to be one of the old grassroots gay rights activists Valk speaks so disparaging of. I couldn’t be more pleased or proud our youth is picking up the torch in the GLBT civil rights movement. For decades, it was the 70, 60 and 50 year old male and “female” activist, who fought to advance GLBT equality, and we did so for our youth, more then for ourselves. To dismiss the tireless contributions the old activists put forth on the front lines in the fight for GLBT equal civil rights is arrogant. It’s offensive this young whippersnapper to imply we haven’t reached out to our youth to join the GLBT civil rights movement. Fact is we have continued to do so, however, sadly many were more interested in partying, than being involved in the movement. Thank God many more are now getting more involved. Because, us old folks won’t be around to continue the fight and it’s up to them to carry on what we started.

      Valk hit a gay nerve with his obvious ageist and misogynist attitude. Who does he think laid the ground work for the GLBT civil rights? It was us old activists, and our lesbians sisters played a leading role in the GLBT civil rights movement. Wake up kid, one successful event doesn’t make you an expert. We must work as a united community, if we are to continue move forward.
      The last thing we need do, is alienate a segment of our community, especially those who worked so hard to get us to where we are today. Those who would deny us our equal rights would relish us fighting among ourselves, instead of joining together to achieve our common goal of full equality.

      R. Zeke Fread

      Apr 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zoe Nicholson
      Zoe Nicholson

      Mr. Valk,
      Don’t stand by me at any of the protests – I am 60 and queer. Wouldn’t want to spoil your image.
      Harvey Milk didn’t mind, Lyon & Martin didn’t mind, Dick Gregory didn’t mind, Dr. Lowery didn’t mind. But you seem to be faint of heart – so you can go stand over there — I won’t mind.

      Apr 19, 2009 at 6:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JR
      JR

      How refreshing to hear a new, honest voice in the movement for LGBT equality. I am so relieved to have a new breed of activist, like Valk, Kip Williams of One Struggle, One Fight, and Robin McGehee of Meet in the Middle who are willing to challenge the entrenched and often out-of-touch so-called-leaders who run the big “mainstream” groups. The fact is that many of these leaders, however well intentioned they may once have been, have become complacent and self-congratulatory. Though the infighting in the LGBT movement makes me uncomfortable at times, I have come to believe that these are necessary growing pains to move us forward. The new grassroots leaders are not overly-passionate and uniformed, they are the true future of this movement, if the old guard doesn’t start giving them some genuine respect, the old guard is going to become irrelevant.

      Apr 19, 2009 at 6:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      It’s so refreshing to scan the comments and find a bunch of crotchety old whiners who smack of death and sick complaining about not being heralded as the NEXT great thing with effusive empty praise for your sacrifices and blah blah blah blahs. It’s time to move over, peepaws and meemaws. Let young people like david valk reignite the torch.

      Apr 20, 2009 at 12:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PJ
      PJ

      For all of you who criticize these organizations, I asked you where the hell were you when the Prop 8 fight was going on. I have friends that gave blood sweat and tears as organizers who worked 7 days a week, and worked in the hinterlands of Fresno for decline to sign well before the decision was passed down. I had other friends that were too lazy to get off their ass to give time, let alone money.

      It’s easy to pick apart the establishment. Yes, there were mistakes. How many of you are ready to do door to door canvassing in Fresno, Riverside, Imperial Valley, San Jaoquin Valley, Sacramento every weekend to make the reversal happen, because until you are, SHUT THE HELL UP.

      We lost the fight because we got lazy, because we thought it was a forgone conclusion, and because the opposition wanted it more, and was willing, to lie and TO SACRIFICE.

      It’s easy to blame the establishment because we’re trained look at the experts in the room, and if things go wrong, we blame them, because they’re supposed to know. The LGBT community has won 1 of the 34 fights at the ballot; that’s not a good average. Maybe the loss was a good thing so that we pay attention, and actually do something about our destiny.

      And how may of you ACTIVELY give to these organizations (HRC, TaskForce, The Center, EQCA0 who work tirelessly and/or to the work of organizing: you can do it without the organizations. because FOCUS ON THE FAMILY has a larger budget than all our LGBT equality orgs combined – Per Christine Quinn (if you don’t know who she is, look her up). It’s time for all of us to put our money where our mouth is, get to work. It is a numbers game… just look at the Obama campaign. Money+Organizing=Power. $700million+ 3 million e-mails = Presidential Victory.

      Rally’s are nice, but they don’t deliver elections. Obama’s campaign had great rally’s but their (our) power was around an effective ground game that would slave day and night to get across the goal line. Are you ready to do the same?

      One last sentence: Go Bruins!

      Apr 20, 2009 at 2:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • zeke
      zeke

      @TANK:

      I’m proud of our youth who want to pick up and carry the torch for the GLBT civil right movement.
      As difficult as it was to see Prop 8, as well as AZ’s Prop 102 and FL’s Amendment 2 pass. At least it served as a wake-up call for our youth, they realized it’s their future at stake and are stepping up to the plate. I commend all who were involved in organizing and participated in 1Fest.
      Holding a rally to publicly express your opposition to passage of these mean-spirited Props and Amendments is a good start. I can only hope ya’ll continue to work to keep the momentum going.

      That said, the lack of appreciation, gratitude and respect for the papaws, memos and old geezer activists who worked tirelessly 7/24/365 to advance the GLBT civil rights movement to where it is today, is extremely disappointing. It’s easy to point the finger at a particular group and organization for passage of these mean-spirited anti-gay marriage Props and Amendment. Instead of being inclusive as ya’ll claim, you’re alienating the very people who have forgotten more about advancing the GLBT civil rights movement than ya’ll will every learn. Your attitude that ya’ll have all the answers, that us old activists have nothing to bring to the table, makes ya’ll sound like know it all pompous asses.

      As a community we’re all in the struggle for equality together. We need each and every member of our community to do their part if we are to succeed. I for one, will I step aside and trust leaving my future rights in your hands. You have much to learn my young friends and us old activists are the ones who are more than willing to teach you. But, ya’ll have to be willing to listen, if not, ya’ll do more harm than good.

      R. Zeke Fread
      Day of Decision Florida Coordinator/Organizer
      Director Pride Tampa Bay

      Apr 20, 2009 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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