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What Did Richard Socarides’ ‘Secret’ Gay Activist Meeting in Knoxville Accomplish?

When Queerty was the first to break news of a secret activist meeting taking place outside Knoxville, we were short on details. We knew a few attendees, that it was a coming-together of power players, and that it was supposedly “all expenses paid” for guests. But who was running the thing? And what was the goal?

Richard Socarides (Bill Clinton’s former LGBT advisor and this guy, pictured left) and Paul Yandura (a Dallas Principles organizer and leading critic of the gay-cash-loving DNC, pictured right) have been identified as two organizers. Jonathan Lewis, heir to the Progressive Insurance fortune and cash-happy Prop 8 foe, paid the bill; Yandura is said to be on his payroll. And in the crowd of about 40 were the “young set” of activists, many of whom — like confirmed attendees Robin McGehee and Kip Williams — worked with Cleve Jones on the National Equality March. (UPDATE: McGehee and Williams posted this note about the meeting.)

Also taking part? Larry Kramer, the playwright, who’s insisting there was nothing “secret” about the meeting — which has some truth to it, given attendees were tweeting the event under the #radminds hashtag, which apparently stands for “radical minds.” But as Laura Kanter notes on her blog No Back Seats, “The tweets were intriguing but vague and almost purposefully cryptic, leaving me first curious, then envious, then resentful, then relieved.” (Kanter did not attend; she wasn’t invited.)

So what was this meeting about?

For starters, it isn’t connected to the Gill Foundation-NGLTF’s just-announced (but also “secret”) project. But it does appear to be another of these grassroots, anti-Gay Inc. strategies to secure equality.

Writes Derek Washington, the Las Vegas activist who attended: “I would be the first to tell you if we were reinventing the wheel up here in a place so cold my cojones went into hibernation. We’re not. What we are doing is taking the Bull by the horns and doing something to make our world, our country, a better place for all of us. … We , the grassroots activists are doing it. Are you Gay Inc.?”

But was there anything “radical” about it? Some names attending include David McElhatton, Chris Miller, and of course McGehee, who tweeted toward the end of the retreat: “As #radminds ends – humbly think about sacred HIGHlander ground I walk and I dream of a revolution that pushes back ALL who stand in our way.” Exactly: It’s hard to tell.

Which means we’re reserving our judgment until we have more details. But at least we’re seeing movement, outside the typical gay rights establishment (your 501(3)(c)s, we mean), to push forward with a cohesive group of motivated individuals with a common goal. This isn’t about self-serving interests, outside of fighting for equality across the board. Which, when it comes to gay rights struggles, is a novel idea.

Or maybe just another opportunity for activists to bitch at each other. Tweets Join The Impact founder Amy Balliett (on right, with partner Jessica Trejo): “I think one of the most powerful next steps I can take for my activism is to take classes to learn to mediate activist groups.”

(Photos: via, via)

By:           editor editor
On:           Jan 28, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • 98 Comments
    • Rob
      Rob

      These wealthy, influential leaders could have been working on a plan to fund the UCC commercials for the upcoming Super Bowl.

      Right… in my dreams.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PADude
      PADude

      @Rob: Those wealthy, influential leaders could have been working at ANYTHING instead of just talking about it.

      Right…in all of our dreams. Once complete, their influence fades. We don’t need them any longer.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • leanleft
      leanleft

      The leaders of the National Equality March are our saviors? I’m terrified.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pete
      Pete

      Typically, your headlines are bitchy and misleading.
      Americans have “freedom of association”. I am glad that these meetings are taking place on behalf of gay rights. There is nothing wrong with a private brainstorming session. Our opponents on the right do not let us in on all their thought processes. Why should we tip them off when things are in the thinking stages?

      I am also hopeful that numerous groups promote our agenda. Why should there be only one spokesman or one group pushing for our rights? Sometimes Queerty, you sound like an infantile bitchy gay National Enquirer. I know that this is an “entertainment site”. But really, on some subjects you should show some maturity and maybe even some journalistic ethics.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles Merrill
      Charles Merrill

      They met there to raise money to give the organizers of NEM a job. Bureaucratic 501(c) 3 Fundraising has replaced true activism. All LGBT’s have to do is stop paying taxes as a group promising to pay when equality changes are made. Change will happen pronto. Rich gays could do it. Most gay rich men have no balls to go against the law for a protest. They ride around in there Bentley’s with HRC equal bumperstickers. Lesbians have balls though.
      Check out these two uber activist lesbians.

      Elizabeth MacDonald, Forbes financial
      http://www.gfn.com/recordDetails.php?
      page_id=19&section_id=27&pcontent_id=43

      Judy Wieder, former editor The Advocatehttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/judy-wieder/do-something-kenneth-star_b_170937.html

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles Merrill
      Charles Merrill

      hashtag in the tweet. Lewis’s father, Peter Lewis founder of Progressive Insurance is a strong advocate for legalizing marijuana. Sounds like they had a party.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles Merrill
      Charles Merrill

      I know, A hash tag is simply a way for people to search for tweets that have a common topic.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      No. 3 · leanleft said..
      The leaders of the National Equality March are our saviors? I’m terrified.
      _______________

      The boycott of the DNC fundraiser, and the treat of the March got the White House to at least manke token improvements for gay govt. employees versus HRC spending tens of millions of dollars over a decade and getting nothing. As far as I’m concerned the more people that come to the table to play the better. If HRC was so great at their job there wouldn’t be an opening for these people to do this.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 12:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • A nonny mouse
      A nonny mouse

      Why oh why did they not prevent all this bullshit by releasing a well-worded statement? Considering all of the bitching we did after the Dallas Principles meeting and all the tweets, I find the lack of foresight mind-boggling.

      And I sure as hell hope Robin and Kip aren’t believing their own hype. They’re good people, but they’re green and have a lot of learning to do when it comes to communications and strategy.

      Oh, and when are you going to come out and say that Rex Wockner pretty much researched and wrote this piece for you, Queerty? Tsk Tsk.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David
      David

      @Charles Merrill:

      Your views might be taken more seriously if you hadn’t shown such poor judgment in wasting $5K of your money on the completely useless NEM while only donating $1K to the fight for marriage equality in Maine. That’s a 5:1 ratio in favor of a BS event that even you eventually opposed.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 12:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      As a poor grad student who has been seriously fucked over by the failed ‘American Dream’ – who was at this retreat – I’d like to share with you all my processing of what we did down there at The Highlander Center (which – by the way should be an organization we all support in whatever way we can).

      http://minimizethemargins.blogspot.com/

      The post from today contains my thoughts on the retreat and where we can all go – together. It’s going to be tough as shit – and we’re going to piss each other off in the process – but through that we have the opportunity to finally unite in a radically inclusive way.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles Merrill
      Charles Merrill

      @David: Lack of money is not what defeated the Maine ballot or Prop. 8. You missed my point entirely. It is passion from the LGBT community and the willingness to put lives on the line that will make change.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Francis
      Francis

      So many bitchy angry comments. Its been said that we eat our own. Obviously many of these comments prove that. I know we’ve all been through a lot of crap and it is truly a testament to our strength that many of us are still alive, but folks do we really have to take it out on each other? We have enough political enemies including HIV, alcoholism and meth without turning on each other. I wish those who met at the Highlander the greatest of success. I will do what I can, too. Frankly, if DOMA and DADT are not repealed I’m hoping sustained acts of civil disobedience at the Department of Justice in DC are on the table!

      Jan 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott
      Scott

      Am I right or wrong? The majority will recognize gay rights legally when they perceive gay people as offering them something they value. In other words, the gay rights movement needs to support children or religion or education or something that heterosexuals think they can get from us.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Scott: When you examine the unfinished work of the Civil Rights Movement – that is exactly what is meant by examining intersections between oppressions – queer people cross into almost every oppression out there – we have the power to unite past the limited world view of Gay Inc. and really get some shit done. So, yes – heterosexuals have a shit load to gain when the queer movement becomes radically inclusive.

      I’ll also put it this way – during the retreat I pissed off two different people of faith. They ended up walking out of the room. At the end of the retreat, we stood side by side in this fight – THAT is what it is all about – it’s OK to scrap with each other, but we have to do it in a way that brings us together in the end – THAT is the change I believe in!

      Jan 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @Alan Bounville: According to your blog post, this is what you agreed on:

      DEMAND LIBERATING EQUALITY THROUGH DIRECT ACTION AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE!

      Same old shit. A bunch of angry queers making demands doesn’t accomplish anything – in fact, it only delays our equality.

      Somehow this small band of misfits believes people don’t know about our struggle. They think they need to make clever signs and march around. Wake up! People do know and the last thing we need to show them is childish displays of anger.

      This is what I meant in previous comments. Too many people are stuck in 1964. This is 2010 – the world has changed, GROW UP.

      This Knoxville effort should have the same fate as the silly National Equality March – 15 minutes of fame and good-bye.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @Scott: I agree with the idea that the people must see us as equal. Whether we do something of value or we stop being “oppressed victims” and demanding protections, ultimately people need to see as as equal. Marching around with signs containing angry demands doesn’t make us equal – it makes us pathetic.

      I don’t want sympathy, I want equality.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      Recent LGBT Failures:

      National Equality March
      EqualityAcrossAmerica
      JoinTheImpact
      ActOnPrinciples
      EqualityNow
      The Dallas Principles

      and on and on and on.

      Unless we have some new ideas, we will continue to have more failures.

      The secret meeting in Knoxville is nothing to get excited about. Same old ideas, maybe a few new people, but nothing NEW.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      I hope Jonathan Lewis doesn’t waste his family’s money promoting us as victims, like this group wants to do. That will only defer our equality. We don’t need more pity, we need more progress.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Brian NYC: Just as in the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s one meeting led to the next led to the next led to an action led to another action led to, etc.

      It is important to remember the length this whole process takes – somethings can be changed quickly, some things take massive amounts of time.

      What is good about your list – is if it were not for all of those things, many of the people at the retreat would not have been in the room. And people from many in your list were at the retreat

      In a personal context – I may not have taken up the charge to be an activist if it weren’t for things like Join the Impact. Part of all this is theory building – but part is now setting up the ground work to push forward where the Civil Rights Movement left off.

      If you want to join and hash this out face to face – now we’re talking. The more we hammer through our differences the better. If you choose to critique from a distance – do that too. It’s all part of the process in any movement.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 5:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @Alan Bounville: Sorry, Alan. It is 2010 – the Civil Rights Movement took place in a very different time. The world has changed, this isn’t your Grandparents America.

      ALL of the organizations I listed were stuck in the past. None of them had any new ideas. As a movement we have been doing the same things for +50 years and getting the same result: crumbs.

      I don’t care about “who” leads an effort or even what their experience is – I want to know what the NEW ideas are. I want to know HOW and WHEN we can win.

      I know your group didn’t talk about winning in Knoxville because they are not focused on “winning.” They are focused on creating yet another new group with old ideas.

      Save your time, energy and money UNTIL somebody figures out HOW to WIN. Get your friends together and figure out how we can win, instead of just making clever signs to carry around. Signs that NOBODY is interested in looking at.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Brian NYC: I’d love for you to come to one of our meetings and stir the pot. Here is the link to a CD training taking place this Sunday that we are coordinating. Here as well is information about our next Queer Rising meeting – and a larger NYC group is meeting on Feb. 2nd (this Tues.)- send me your email and I’ll send you info on that as well (right now that is a list serve since it’s a second meeting). Email me at queerrising@gmail.com

      Civil Disobedience Training – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=306973337515&index=1

      Next Queer Rising meeting –

      Sunday, January 24, 2010
      Time:
      6:00pm – 8:00pm
      Street:
      300 W. 23rd Apt. 11H (at 8th Ave.)
      City/Town:
      New York, NY
      View Map

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark in Dallas
      Mark in Dallas

      So, let me get this straight: a bunch of young students (like Alan above) got together with a bunch of older men (like Paul above) and this wasn’t a secret NAMBLA meeting?

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @Alan Bounville: I’m not interested in “stirring the pot” Alan. Let me know if your group is willing to let go of the past and seek new ideas. I would be interested in that kind of meeting.

      We need to really focus on “winning” Alan. We need a strategy that leads us – not people. We need ideas to inspire us – not people. We have plenty of people, but we don’t have a way to win.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles Merrill
      Charles Merrill

      @Brian NYC: I don’t know the others but I know Paul. He is a livewire activist and has made a difference. He and his partner sued the DNC and collected damages. I know him from the Dallas Principles a fellow author and gave more valuable input than most of us. I wish him well. He is the real McCoy. I don’t know the motivation of the others.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CityView
      CityView

      @Mark in Dallas: Alan has this on his Blog, so I think you may be correct:

      “And while we do this work we will remember every step of the way to make this experience the biggest fucking ongoing party of our lives! This shit needs to be so damn exciting the clubs turn into strategizing spots. The bathhouses become recruitment stations.”

      - Alan Bounville

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @Charles Merrill: Thanks Schlukitz. I’ve met Paul. I know he has the best intentions (they probably ALL do) but, at the same time they don’t have any new ideas. It’s just more anger. More demanding.

      I actually like your idea – maybe we should ALL stop paying taxes until we have our equality. Fuckem. I just don’t want to go to jail and become someone’s “boy.” I could have done that in Knoxville.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      Sorry Charles. I messed up. (Schlukitz had just made a comment on another article).

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chance
      Chance

      @Alan Bounville: I take real exception to this idea, that “some things take massive amounts of time…”

      Things take as long as we allow them to. And if we want to be equal in the next few years, we can. There is no reason to wait.

      I’m completely with Bryan NYC on this one – the equality movers are severely lacking in new ideas. And if we want to forgo the long struggle and painful fight and massive amounts of time, we have to innovate. We have to start a whole new movement, because the one we have hasn’t gained any traction. And more demonstrations, more trips to the bath house to recruit, and more screaming in our ‘enemies” faces won’t get us anywhere closer to a viable movement. No matter how well-intentioned the enthusiastic actors (and especially those recruiters) are.

      The good news is, movements are pretty easy to fuel these days. As long as you’re starting with a strong, powerful, believable idea to rally around.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Truth4All
      Truth4All

      The chest thumping by those attending the DC March continues…

      To say that without the march we would be a lot further back in terms of equal rights simply proves you’re only paying attention to your reflection in the mirror, not the reality around you. Sure, the march was empowering to a lot of people, and important in terms of motivation, but it was just a march, and it didn’t accomplish anything legislatively. There were other marches before you, many others. And given the tremendous set-backs in LGBT Equality which occurred AFTER the march, it seems a bit delusional to hold it up as some Civil Rights milestone.

      I agree completely with Laura Kanter…the dissemination of information is appalling and embarrassing. How do you people ever hope to succeed at anything if all you can do is crow atop a pedestal? You decry others for talking about problems, then spend the rest of your time whining about how nobody appreciates you.

      I’m all for any group doing what it can, for any individual working in any way they can for equal rights. But while you’re busy pointing out how successful the march and those associated with it have been, why not point out some truth, which is how truly unsuccessful this whole grassroots effort has been. Talk to some people in Maine or anywhere else civil rights are being taken away again. “Sharing your story” is a strategy that needs to be put to bed. It was useful in another time, when LGBT issues were for the most part unseen and unknown, but it serves no real purpose now.

      I’m left uninspired and unimpressed.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles Merrill
      Charles Merrill

      @Brian NYC: I haven’t paid since 2004, been to court it ended up before a panel of tax judges in D.C. and nothing has happened. I thought I would be in prison long ago but I did tell them I would pay the taxes when DOMA and DADT was repealed. That’s why publicity about court cases protesting Prop 8 and Obama mentioning DADT is helpful. We are a hot political potato that they wish would go away.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • OhNoNotCleveJones
      OhNoNotCleveJones

      He wasn’t there, was he?

      Jan 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Brian NYC: Well – bring your ideas so we can hash it all out and create strategy. Ideas help – criticism does also help – but criticism without ideas doesn’t do anything. Bring your criticism to the meeting and your ideas. We’d love to have you there.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Mark in Dallas: Nice – except I’m 33 and I think the women in the room would like to be counted in your recap. :)

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Chance: Good critique – come on board then and add your brain power and time in the room with everyone else! Or tell us where you are doing your planning and we’ll be there to join you.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @Alan Bounville: Look Alan I read your “same-old-shit” Blog entry. You guys are just trying to figure out how to complain louder. Volume isn’t a strategy, it’s actually annoying.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Truth4All: So, what do you think is the solution?

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Chance: I should have clarified – when I said things take massive amounts of time I had the Montgomery Bus Boycott in mind – over a year of dedicated people risking their lives to crack open a massive system of segregation – that’s the kind of work I’m interested in doing. Symbolic actions that my fledgling group Queer Rising has started doing are good to test boundaries and build trust among our members so we can start looking at much bigger picture strategic campaigns that incorporate civil disobedience.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Truth4All: I never said any of it was a success – I said they are all stepping stones to get people involved. The way I see it, we as a society are slowly remembering that direct action is a huge piece of the pie to get our rights. History teaches us that – and not history pre online era – history since then. There were several people at this retreat who use direct action in their daily lives and have made important changes that have helped oppressed people become more free. From a transgender woman who stood in front of a bulldozer to save the lives of homeless people in tents behind her to people with decades of direct action experience- this retreat brought a lot of that experience and thinking together to see what it is going to take to massively crack open the oppressive systems that keep queer and non queer people under the thumb of oppression. It’s built on the popular educational model that revolutionized Brazil and the world over.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Brian NYC: Then bring. it. on. My little direct action group here in NYC meets weekly – join us anytime – criticize us anytime too. We gladly accept both.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @CityView: As an ACT UP veteran put it – ‘ACT UP meetings were like a circuit party’ – you have to build an environment where people meet in a spirit of fun and work – what you extracted form my post is out of context.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville
      Anthony in Nashville

      re: “new” vs “old” strategies

      I can understand where people are coming from when they say it’s not the 1960s anymore and we need new forms of activism.

      But I’m not convinced that everything from the past has to be thrown away because we have new technology.

      In my view, the success of every social movement has been achieved using some combination of civil disobedience (marching, boycotts, protests, willingness to fight and/or be jailed) and political pressure. There are usually a handful of people who by virtue of their charisma, resources, or intelligence guide the movement.

      One challenge for the gay struggle is the lack of an individual who can inspire and bring people together. There are certainly people who have tried to fill that position, but for whatever reason were not been accepted by the LGBT community as a whole.

      And that is another challenge — the fact that the “community” is so diverse and has different needs, we can’t seem to agree on a list of priorities. Just off the top of my head I can think of

      1. marriage equality
      2. adoption and child custody
      3. don’t ask don’t tell
      4. unity across racial/gender/age/class lines in the LGBT world
      5. employment protection
      6. LGBT health
      7. queer youth (shelters, social services, education)
      8. being accepted by organized religion
      9. self-esteem and encouraging people to come out

      and the list goes on and on.

      Some have told me that all these issues can be addressed simultaneously in a national strategy. That’s a lot to ask one organization to do. I think we’d be better served if we (organizations and individuals) could agree on one or two concrete objectives to accomplish.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @Alan Bounville: I already told you I was not going to waste my time with old ideas – like your “direct action” foolishness. It isn’t criticism, it is the reality of our new world Alan. Maybe direct action worked 40 years ago, but NOW it’s just annoying. Grow up.

      If you think it works NOW (even during the last 20 years) please provide an example. The truth is everyone – except the misfits that like the attention of direct action, find it very annoying and counterproductive.

      So, gather up your history books, roll a few few joints and plan some way to showcase your angry demands. The rest of us will be thinking of real solutions. No amount of protest is going to change anyone’s mind. It just makes people look away, or laugh.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @Anthony in Nashville: Great comment Anthony, but I would suggest it isn’t Old Vs. New ideas because we don’t have any new ideas. We just have new people embracing old ideas (remarkably) and thinking they’ll work – even thought they haven’t for 50 years.

      America has changed. We scoff at immature civil disobedience and the obsession with politics. Sooner or later we need to figure out how to win. No activist or Gay Inc. organization has ever said: “Here’s HOW we can win and here’s is WHEN we will win.” Not one. That’s because they are not thinking about winning. They have NO incentive to win. They are just playing with old, tired tactics and trying to convince us they are effective – despite the FACT they have NO EVIDENCE.

      If the 20 million LGBT people (and their friends) thought protesting actually helped WE WOULD ALL BE PROTESTING. Nobody protests anymore and for good reason – it’s stupid.

      The only thing I protest in the myriad of LGBT “non-profits” and activists that keep pretending they are effective WHILE THEY ARE ASKING FOR OUR MONEY. We might be better off by just offering a $50 million reward to the person or group who figures it out. Maybe that would create some big thinking.

      We don’t need leaders – we need ideas, ideas that will make ALL of us leaders.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville
      Anthony in Nashville

      @Brian NYC:

      I’m not so sure that the “obsession with politics” isn’t effective. Our enemies have certainly done very well with that strategy.

      When I think of recent Strategies To Win, I look at the right-wing. They crafted a 20 or 30 year strategy consisting of think tanks, businesses, media and cultural outlets (like churches), and politics (school boards and city council up to Senators and the Supreme Court). They were so slick with their plan that many people had no idea of their vision until they were already empowered to the point where they were implementing their agenda.

      Would you suggest that gays do the same thing?

      Jan 28, 2010 at 8:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • OneLove NY
      OneLove NY

      @Alan Bounville:

      “Symbolic actions that my fledgling group Queer Rising has started doing are good to test boundaries and build trust among our members so we can start looking at much bigger picture strategic campaigns that incorporate civil disobedience.”

      Ugh. Here come the wing-nuts. Years ago we used to bitch about the way the media focused in on the drag queens and leather boys at Pride events. It always overshadowed the real point of getting together. Civil disobedience has the same effect – it makes all of us look like pot-smoking, America-hating morons.

      I would like to suggest something Alan – it’s called thinking and talking. Those two things will do a lot more than your angry uncivil disobedience.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 8:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jordan
      Jordan

      @Brian NYC: Two examples of civil disobedience that have “worked” in the past 20 years:

      * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Revolution
      * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navy-Vieques_protests

      The environmental movement of the last 20 years has also used the elements of direct action and civil disobedience with great success in the last 20 years.

      Didn’t have to go further than Wikipedia to find the examples.

      Your mistake is assuming that Civil Disobedience is some kind of key, or solution this problem. It’s not, and no one engaging in it believes it is. No one expects to hold a sit-in, and have someone cave to their demands. The point is to raise the stakes for everyone involved. If your opponent knows you are putting your life on the line for your cause, they are compelled to action. That, in turn, leads to the “suits” doing the negotiating. CD is a tactic, not a strategy. It’s part of a game-plan, not the end of it.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 8:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jordan
      Jordan

      @OneLove NY: You need to look-up and understand the “Overton Window.”

      You need the whole spectrum. Exactly the reason why we haven’t succeeded is because people like you have been so afraid of anyone seeing us as anything but suit-clad hetero-clones. The right has been amazingly effective at simply pushing the rhetoric so far to the right, that what was once the center is now the left.

      Civil Disobedience, among other things, begins to push that window back in the other direction.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 8:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @Anthony in Nashville: Well, that’s what we are pretending we’re doing. The “Right Wing” is NOT as influential as you seem to think. They have played politics much better than HRC and Gay Inc., but politics is NOT the answer.

      Ultimately, to achieve real, sustainable equality, the people must stand with us and support our equality. Not the politicians, the people. But, we do nothing in that regard – well, like this group and their secret agenda to “unleash angry demands and civil disobedience.”

      We need to get our fellow citizens to understand and support us. That is conversation. Someone needs to figure out how to switch our attention away from the false hope of politics to the very real benefit of gaining the support of our neighbors, co-workers and even strangers.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 8:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      I applaud any organization or group that promotes the civil rights of gays. However I sometimes do wonder about the priorities and strategies employed by them.

      Currently, in 30 states it is legal to fire an employee just because he or she happens to be gay.
      More that 70 percent of Americans feel this should not happen.
      Without employment we cannot sustain ourselves.
      We cannot exercise political power by making contributions to candidates that we support.

      This might not be an issue for wealthier gays, but it is a matter of survival for many others.
      It’s also a matter of integrity.
      If we have to lie to our employers about who we are, it destroys our integrity & self respect.

      Proposition 8 is indeed important, but not the most important issue to the lives of many gay men and women.

      It’s time to end discrimination in the workplace!

      From Wikipedia -
      The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), is a proposed bill in the United States Congress that would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity for civilian nonreligious employers with over 15 employees.
      ENDA has been introduced in every Congress, except the 109th, since 1994, albeit without gender identity protections, but gained its best chance at passing after the Democratic Party broke twelve years of Republican Congressional rule in the 2006 midterm elections. However, some sponsors believed that even with a Democratic majority, ENDA did not have enough votes to pass the House of Representatives with transgender inclusion, and dropped it from the bill, which passed and subsequently died in the Senate. LGBT advocacy organizations were divided over support of the changed bill.
      In 2009, on the heels of the 2008 elections that strengthened the Democratic majority, and after the debacle of the 2007 ENDA divisions, only a transgender-inclusive ENDA has been introduced by House representative Barney Frank. President Barack Obama supports the bill’s passage unlike his Republican predecessor, who threatened to veto the measure.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 8:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @John: Thank-you for cutting-and-pasting from Bilerico. Bilerico is ENDA 24/7 and “Does Socialism mean we all get pot for free, because I support that!”

      Next time think and type John. If we want to only think about ENDA and Trans we’ll go there ourselves. John = Bil.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 8:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • OneLove NY
      OneLove NY

      @Jordan: Please, Jordan, I’m not a simpleton. Save that babble for your “I-really-wanna-be-an-Activist-because-that-sound-really-cool-and-I-might-get-laid” Meetings. I need something tangible.

      If you want to promote civil disobedience, please provide some evidence it works. Something recent, please – this isn’t 1960 or 1970. You seem to be infected with the idea, so please demonstrate how well it works. Come on, be the first to do that.

      If you want to act like a fool – sign up with PETA and save some chickens. But, your efforts are just hurting GLBT Equality. They really are.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 8:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      So many arrogant, condescending, vicious queens.
      Some things never change….

      Jan 28, 2010 at 10:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Francis in SF
      Francis in SF

      The most effective thing is to come out and live our lives openly. When folks know people who are gay they tend to vote in our favor. That said, I’ve been out since high school in 1970, NJ. If the Prop 8 trial was televised that would have been a great way to communicate to people also but the conservative majority of SCOTUS ruled otherwise.

      That said, I’m ready for civil disobedience, sustained over weeks, months if possible, with allies and high profile allies choosing to get arrested with us. The key though is being able to pull off a sustained action at the site of an oppressive institution, like the Dept of Justice re: DOMA or DADT. And we would need lots of straight allies and high profile allies getting arrested.

      Imagine if this was planned out and if celebrities put out Youtube CD training videos for the action. Imagine we got thousands of folks to pledge they would be willing to get arrested in order to have DOMA and/or DADT repealed. This would build over time and hopefully those laws would go down but if not then we would act.

      People would be horrified and many more would be inspired and if we garnered the sympathy of the American people we would win.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @Francis in SF: Any evidence Francis? Before we all start acting like fools – is there any RECENT evidence that civil disobedience will actually help? Please, provide a few examples.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @John: John (employee from the LGBT Rights Industry) said:

      “So many arrogant, condescending, vicious queens.
      Some things never change….”

      Pot. Kettle. Black.

      No, we can’t change you, John, but hopefully we can change the movement. Nobody is trying to take your non-profit job, we’re just trying to WIN. You didn’t add anything. Maybe next time.

      We are not giving any more money to Gay Inc. or any more attention to activists UNTIL we see a plan to WIN. We are over the bull shit. Way over.

      Jan 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Comfort
      David Comfort

      Given that the mainstream LGBT organizations (HRC, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Equality California) have been able to accomplish little despite having millions in dollars in funding, it is high time to formulate new strategies. LGBT rights are not going to be won by playing nice and hosting black tie dinners for our favorite politicians. Power needs to come from the bottom up. And organized power in New York, Washington and Sacramento will not concede anything unwillingly unless it has something to lose. Our so-called allies, the Democrats, will not do anything for us unless we hold their feet to the fire. They have to fear us in order for the LGBT community to become a meaningful political force.

      The power of nonviolence has shown to be very effective, using tactics of noncooperation to oust the most powerful Empire (the British) in the world from India, and using both noncooperation and civil disobedience to force the United States to desegregate public facilities and give African Americans the right to vote. And using public exposure and shame to force the drug companies and the Federal government to deal with the AIDs crisis. Furthermore, PETA and Greenpeace have been very successful using small-scale guerilla nonviolent actions to call attention to the plight of animals and the environment.

      Nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience has not been used to any extent to advance LGBT equality since the 80′s and 90′s.

      So, on the contrary, the onus is on Gay Inc. to prove that they are still relevant and effective. Given the dearth of their accomplishments, why would anyone continue to give them money?

      Nonviolent direct action certainly needs to be one weapon in the arsenal of the LGBT rights movement. However, it needs to be done in conjunction with a sophisticated online campaign, as well as smart messaging. And, it needs to deployed strategically at such times that take advantage of “moments” when these actions can the most impact. The “Kill the Gays” Bill Uganda was a recent example that was not fully exploited. I expect “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to be a “movement moment” which we can exploit.

      So I’m going to be taking to the streets, chaining myself to the Federal Building, but also sitting in front of my computer crafting a good online campaign and crafting press releases for the media. But only when the stars align and the moment arrives… And if someone scrawls “Kills Gays” under a Mormon Church sign a Catholic Church sign, all the better…

      ~David Comfort
      Equality Network

      Jan 29, 2010 at 12:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @David Comfort: David said:

      Nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience has not been used to any extent to advance LGBT equality since the 80′s and 90′s.”

      BECAUSE IT DOESN’T WORK.

      Don’t dump on HRC for their ineffectiveness and then suggest some stupid ideas David – that isn’t fair of very bright.

      Angry demands will NOT create equality. So, drop your plans and start think of what WILL work. We’re waiting.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 12:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @Brian NYC: David said:

      “Furthermore, PETA and Greenpeace have been very successful using small-scale guerilla nonviolent actions to call attention to the plight of animals and the environment.”

      Chicken and Tuna sales are up again this year. Don’t lie David. PETA has a very interesting and worthy cause, as well as GreenPeace, but don’t say they have changed anything – they haven’t.

      PETA and GreenPeace have been successful raising money. That’s it.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 12:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @John: Thanks for sharing those examples. If you have any interest in getting patched into more activists, let me know – and vice versa.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 1:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @Alan Bounville: Alan, are you paying attention John Bare IS an activist. He is part of the now defunct Dallas Principles and ActOnPrinciples.com – it didn’t work. It’s the same old shit.

      For John Bare, David Courage and those who went to Knoxville: GROW UP. It’s 2010 we need new ideas to achieve equality, not ways to raise money. Stop with the “people will change if they know we’re angry crap” because people are tired of it.

      If you can’t let go of the past you do not deserve to call yourselves Activists – maybe copycats from another era, but NOT activists. Wake up, realize we live in a whole new world and think about HOW and WHEN we can fucking WIN.

      The same old shit isn’t good enough. We’re not contributing, we’re not participating, but we are still interested in a SOLUTION. Fucking FIND one or CREATE one, but stop asking us to be blind or stupid – WE are way past that. You’ll have to do much better to get our attention, our money or our time.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 1:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jordan
      Jordan

      @Brian NYC: So far the only thing you’ve said, ad nauseum, is “NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW!!!”. New what? You haven’t provided ONE EXAMPLE, ONE IDEA, OR ONE ORIGINAL THOUGHT so far in this conversation, or the other one.

      You’re a hopeless troll.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 1:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jordan
      Jordan

      @OneLove NY: Try reading. Two examples are right up above:

      http://www.queerty.com/what-did-the-secret-gay-activist-meeting-in-knoxville-accomplish-20100128/comment-page-2/#comment-263904

      I also didn’t mention: Iran? That wasn’t even like two years ago. What a short memory you folks have…

      Jan 29, 2010 at 1:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QueerToday
      QueerToday

      Progressives for equality who think they are radical is laughable. Admit your a queer socialist and get back to me.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 2:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Alan Bounville: Brian – enough – we were not on some crazy fundraising brainstorming retreat – thought strategic campaigns that use direct action can cost lots of money, though some do not. And many of the people I had very deep conversations with at the retreat were in the same or worse financial situation as myself. A former homeless trans woman of color who stopped a bulldozer from killing innocent homeless people – that’s an example of the kind of people who were in the space with me this past week. I have no idea where you are coming from complaining that no one has a solution – get up off your ass and make one yourself! And the rest of us will do the same – or not – but for those who do – don’t get in their way. That is nonsensical.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 2:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jake from Boston
      Jake from Boston

      Hmm, well I see lots of my brothers (sistahs?) bitching and whining.. Makes me sad that 40 years of a gay civil disobedience movement has taught us nothing. People who don’t look at history are condemned to repeat it. As there are no new ideas at all in life, just new implementation and new circumstances; you’re looking at the problem from the wrong angle. As a gay military veteran, I’m happy that the military is finally taking action to end DADT without Gay INC’s influence. The only gay organization I support is Lambda Legal, because they have it right as far as guiding gay and lesbian soldiers,Marines and sailors how to deal with the legal implications of DADT.

      Nobody has mentioned the wonderful positive influence groups like the Gay Choral Movement (GALA) or other similar orgaizations have had on changing hearts and minds to our advantage worldwide. As a member of three gay choruses over the past decade, it has been a joy to educate straight people about who LGBT are as a people. Activism doesn’t have to hit people over the head to be effective. It just has to be memorable.

      Can any one of you gentlemen (and I’ll only reply to the ones who are acting like gentlemen) tell me what ideas you have? I’m more than open to suggestions as to what new things I can do myself to open hearts and change minds regarding gay equality, but as you can see from the above paragraph, I already contribute in a small way to this.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 3:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DramaQueenNYC
      DramaQueenNYC

      @BrianNYC Recent GLBT failures? Success doesn’t happen over night. Those were not failures they were attempts and it made progress how little or big. Any attempt is better than no attempt.
      Since your such an armchair quarterback I am sure you have more to say about this topic. But, honestly what have you done besides bitch in this space with in fighting? That is not helping. What makes you think your blessed with all the answers? This in fighting is immature and does not accomplish a thing. I am sick to death not of people trying to push us forward fail or not but of the endless bitchy queens whining. Get off your damn MAC and hit the streets. No one is better than anyone else. No one is discounting one group over another. Stop the fighting and grow up ALL OF YOU.
      Mocking those that try is senseless and useless. @Alan he was reaching to you I thought in a thoughtful way I was impressed with his reaching out, and you gay bash him back? You are not better than anyone else. I am so sick of this bull shit between all the groups or individuals. I am sure you are frustrated @BrianNYC @OneLove as many are but get a clue, Respectfully.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 4:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nakhone
      nakhone

      @Brian NYC: I totally agree 100% with everything that you’re saying Brian. First of all, they’ve managed to alienated and excluded other hardworking activists of color and pissed off others for their exclusionary handling of the “secret retreat.” Larry Kramer should know better. Richard Socarides and Lewis are rich and privileged gay white males, well, so is Kramer, but for the white gay boys to hold a secret meeting deciding our fate collective as a community and the best they could come up with was an oxymoronic term Radical Inclusivity. Are you fucking kidding me? If anything, this elitist and exclusive club of “whites only” secret meeting should be called RADICAL EXCLUSIVITY. What a waste of time and a crock of shit.

      This is why members of the communities of color–of which I am–stay on the sideline and say fuck them. The white people are still in charge and they want to dictate to me what I should do by being their message mule? No thanks, fuck the white LGBTs.

      Oh, and, the National Equality March was a complete failure. They spent hundreds of thousands of community resource to get upwards of 150,000 people to show up so they can collect their email address through texting? What a stupid concept. Can’t they have done it at home? Also, Cleve Jone’s ego was so huge that a week after the March most if not all of the executive committee members, including Kip Williams and Robin McGehee (who is a cry baby), resigned from Equality Across America. That March turned out to be a whole bunch of unqualified, wannabe activist who want their 15 minutes in the spotlight giving stupid speeches not pertaining to much but a ego-stroking proposition for the organizers whereas qualified and inspiring speakers that support LGBT equality such as Rev. Eric Lee of Southern Christian Leadership Conference (LA Chapter) was snubbed from speaking as well as other more qualified speakers.

      StaceyAnn Chin, famous spoken word artist who was at the retreat wrote that not everybody was there. That white people are still in charge. This is fucked up. These people should publish the list of attendees and what they discussed immediately. From what I just read nothing much has come of it. Same shit. Different clothing but the shame shit.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 6:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nakhone
      nakhone

      @CityView: Oh, that’s just great. Let’s make this the biggest orgies and let’s see if the boys who are high on crystal meth fucking for ten hours will really leave his room for a strategizing session at the bathhouse. What a stupid idea.

      Brian NYC is right. We have enough people but we still yet don’t have a fucking strategy. Boycott the fucking DNC. If you want to do direct actions a la Ghandi or Martin Luther King or even to emulate ACT UP, then figure out what our march to the sea is, figure what our sit-in or our Montgomery bus boycott is, shut some shit down in Time Squares during rush hour. Shut down the NYSE and shut down the Brooklyn bridge. Standing by subways chanting “Dr. Martin Luther Kings believed in equality for all,” is stupid and laughable and a wast of fucking time.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 6:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nakhone
      nakhone

      @Alan Bounville: Sorry honey. No time for diaper training. If you want to implement a strategy we have to figure it out first. Right out we don’t have a strategy and someone said it, “telling your story” has got to be put to rest. Getting the whole community to stop paying taxes is a great strategy. Now, how do we get everyone on board? Well, it starts with a non-exclusive, non-whites only secret meeting so that everyone can have a sense of ownership of the movement and we all march in lock step. I haven’t paid mine since 2007.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 6:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles Merrill
      Charles Merrill

      @nakhone: Civil Disobedience started with a book written by Henry David Thoreau. He didn’t pay taxes in protest over the Mexican American War. Others throughout history followed, Gandhi in India, The womens movement in Britain, and the War Tax Resistance Movement.
      The Civil Rights Movement of the 60′s didn’t follow this strategy because of the poverty of blacks. I wouldn’t make any sense. Our silent strength as a movment is wealthy gays. People like Huffington, Gill, the list goes on and on. Larry Kramer is rich and if he wrote an Op-Ed don’t pay taxes until we get our rights some will follow. Melissa Etheridge tax protest was a flop as she sold out to Rick Warren.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 9:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles Merrill
      Charles Merrill

      @nakhone: Nakhone congratulations on your tax protest since 2007. I am not excluding blacks in my No70 remark. There are plenty of LGBT blacks that make over $50,000.00 a year. Their protest would be a wake up call to the government.
      It take courage but gives self esteem which we all need more of.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 9:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ActOnPrinciples
      ActOnPrinciples

      @Brian NYC: For the record The Dallas Principles and Act On Principles (www.actonprinciples.org) is very much alive and kicking. The Dallas Principles will endure and inspire others in the movement to accept nothing less than full legal and social equality.

      Some accomplishments include continual presentations regarding the concepts of the Dallas Principles at the National Equality March, the Tennessee retreat, and the upcoming Creating Change.

      Act On Principles is also one of the few organizations live tweeting the Prop 8 trial and the State of the Union.

      ActOnPrinciples is currently public whipping 18 pieces of legislation on its site, posting blogs on equality, and posting actions for all to participate in. And will be lauching another tool for grassroots activists to contact their Representatives in Congress. Stay tuned!

      Jan 29, 2010 at 9:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      What a shock, Nakahone, the person who writes the anti-white screeds is here once again.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 11:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      @ActOnPrinciples: Oh, please John. ActOnPrinciples is very dead. You occasionally copy someone else’s blog posting, but that’s about it. Nobody visits the site anymore.

      Same for the innovative “list” of goals at Dallas Principles. Who cares? Neither website is functioning, it’s just left-over.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 11:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ActOnPrinciples
      ActOnPrinciples

      National Equality March
      EqualityAcrossAmerica
      JoinTheImpact
      ActOnPrinciples
      EqualityNow
      The Dallas Principles

      Looks like a movement is forming. Many small streams become a powerful river.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark in Dallas
      Mark in Dallas

      @ActOnPrinciples: ActOnPrinciples has been dead for the last 6 months. No traffic.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ActOnPrinciples
      ActOnPrinciples

      Acton Pr@Mark in Dallas: Act On Principles was launched in October right around the Equality March. Our tools based on transparency and grassroots action provided on the site will continue to grow, and will be a force in achieving LGBT equality.

      The following eight guiding principles underlie our call to action.

      In order to achieve full civil rights now, we avow:

      1.Full civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals must be enacted now. Delay and excuses are no longer acceptable.

      2.We will not leave any part of our community behind.

      3.Separate is never equal.

      4.Religious beliefs are not a basis upon which to affirm or deny civil rights.

      5.The establishment and guardianship of full civil rights is a non-partisan issue.

      6.Individual involvement and grassroots action are paramount to success and must be encouraged.

      7.Success is measured by the civil rights we all achieve, not by words, access or money raised.

      8.Those who seek our support are expected to commit to these principles.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 12:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark in Dallas
      Mark in Dallas

      @ActOnPrinciples: Those are simple GOALS. That’s not an accomplishment, we KNOW the goals. The whole idea of the Dallas Principles was about making a very simplistic list of “goals.” Big deal.

      Just like your ActOnPrinciples, EqualityAcrossAmerica and the retreat in Tennessee, there is nothing new. I think I understand the exception (or point) that Brian NYC is trying to make – there is nothing to get excited about. It’s just more of the same old shit. Instead of getting all defensive, maybe we should be figuring out how to win. This has been going on for +50 years and we are still talking about the same things. Making a list of goals isn’t a breakthrough and it certainly wasn’t difficult to do.

      I agree with this idea of accountability. Nothing is sacred or assumed valuable if there is no evidence to confirm its value.

      Young people are not participating and if Brian is correct, it seems like it is because we have had 50 years of the same tactics and we don’t have a strategy to win. That makes sense to me.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark in Dallas
      Mark in Dallas

      @Brian NYC: Don’t let the old folks get you down. Keep looking for solutions. I think our movement needs young minds and new ideas. We’ve been doing the same things for 50 years and we still aren’t winning. Keep looking for answers. I agree that we need something to inspire our community. Find it.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NYC
      Brian NYC

      I think the headline Queerty chose for this story was a step in the right direction:

      What Did Richard Socarides’ ‘Secret’ Gay Activist Meeting in Knoxville Accomplish?

      It’s about accountability and it is way overdue in our community.

      Nobody cares that the meeting was supposed to be a secret, they care if the meeting was about creating a strategy to win our full equality. Unfortunately, it was not. It was just more of the same. The emerging themes are simply diversity and civil disobedience, nothing new.

      I have pointed out that civil disobedience lost its value decades ago. The public knows about our plight. Demonstrating and protesting that we’re angry doesn’t add to our efforts. In fact, it just paints us as unhappy victims. That’s not valuable and it’s not progress.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John
      John

      Brian NYC – Regarding your comment that began with the following:
      “@John: John (employee from the LGBT Rights Industry) said:”

      Brian NYC – just to set the record ‘straight’, I’m not an employee of the LGBT Right Industry.

      Your misrepresentation undermines & demeans your ego driven manic diatribe.

      Delve a little deeper, with an open mind… you might even come to realize that there are other valid perspectives filtered by those with much different life experiences than your own.

      The only part of my comment that was copied, was the reference to ENDA, for which I gave credit to Wikipedia.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 1:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nakhone
      nakhone

      @Cam: Yes I iz, CUM. LOL.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 7:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nakhone
      nakhone

      @ActOnPrinciples:

      Acton Pr@Mark in Dallas: Act On Principles was launched in October right around the Equality March. Our tools based on transparency and grassroots action provided on the site will continue to grow, and will be a force in achieving LGBT equality.

      The following eight guiding principles underlie our call to action.

      In order to achieve full civil rights now, we avow:

      1.Full civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals must be enacted now. Delay and excuses are no longer acceptable.

      2.We will not leave any part of our community behind. (I’m puking! That’s nice that you won’t leave us minorities behind, but just exclude us and don’t invite to your planning meeting because the white folks know better and they’ll decide our fate for us. Your ideal is admiral but your actions and handling of the secret “whites only” retreat in TN stinks.)

      3.Separate is never equal.

      4.Religious beliefs are not a basis upon which to affirm or deny civil rights.

      5.The establishment and guardianship of full civil rights is a non-partisan issue.

      6.Individual involvement and grassroots action are paramount to success and must be encouraged. (Really? So, according to your best assessment, don’t you think you just shot yourself in the foot by excluding minorities from your brainstorming session? How are we to own our movement from the beginning if we’re not invited to these brainstorming session? Actually, don’t bother cause I ain’t coming.)

      7.Success is measured by the civil rights we all achieve, not by words, access or money raised.

      8.Those who seek our support are expected to commit to these principles.

      Read more: http://www.queerty.com/what-did-the-secret-gay-activist-meeting-in-knoxville-accomplish-20100128/comment-page-2/#comment-264388#ixzz0e3GfInt2

      Jan 29, 2010 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason
      Jason

      @ActOnPrinciples: Highlighted text and all the Dallas Principles was an exercise that most of us have already done. Goals – wow.

      I went to ActOnPrinciples and it is equally unexciting. They just link to other Blogs. We can do that ourselves.

      Sorry John. ActOnPrinciples has gone the way of Equality Across America and the silly National March for Equality. Nothing there to really get excited about. Really. Nothing.

      Jan 29, 2010 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Jake from Boston: I’d be interested in your take on my processing of the retreat as far as overall approach to this work…

      http://www.minimizethemargins.blogspot.com

      Jan 30, 2010 at 3:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @nakhone: AS has already been stated in previous posts, the retreat was very diverse – and really opened several doors that seemed to help many of the attendees understand some of the intersecting oppressions in our community, the intergenerational oppressive structure of our country, etc.

      Jan 30, 2010 at 3:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason
      Jason

      @Alan Bounville: Oh, poor us – we’re so oppressed and the terrible “intergenerational oppressive structure of our country”

      This group sounds like the leftover queer socialists. There are more gays in the US than people who support socialism – but these nuts want to take over the LGBT movement.

      If you are socialist and LGBT your site is Bilerico.com

      Jan 30, 2010 at 11:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jake from Boston
      Jake from Boston [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Alan Bounville: I looked at your comments about the meeting in Knoxville and your queer-socialist movement. You guys damage our chances of obtaining equality. It’s about equality, not replacing our government.

      So, please – don’t screw up our efforts with your queer politics.

      Jan 30, 2010 at 11:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Jake from Boston: I don’t see anything wrong with democratic socialism – or refining our capitalism so it is more fair to all people. Maybe you have experienced hardships from this recent decline – or from the past – I know this recent decline has hit me very hard – and I did the right thing – bought a home, took care of it – decided to move to start my Master’s, rent the house out for less than I pay in it, have the property of the house be thousands less than what I bought it for – and I bought it before the boom. I don’t see myself as a socialist – and I only speak for myself in my blog post or any on here.

      Jan 31, 2010 at 12:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jake from Boston
      Jake from Boston [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Alan Bounville: Your weekend in Knoxville and your Blog are about “queer politics.” A bunch of unhappy hippies bitching and moaning about capitalism and democracy. ALL of that is fine, but please – don’t let it fuck up the pursuit of full equality for LGBT persons.

      I don’t care if you want to get high with your friends and bitch about America. But, our equality is more important. So, the next time you have a secret meeting – make it about your wild ideas about socialism and NOT about a “new LGBT movement.” Be honest.

      Jan 31, 2010 at 1:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Jake from Boston: In my worldview everything we do is a political act – it all has political implications – and neither of us know the political inclinations of the attendees of the ‘not’ secret retreat. What’s funny is – when Dr. King went to Highlander billboards were posted all over the place that showed pictures of him there calling him a communist. And Highlander was shut down in 1961 because it was thought to be a communist training camp – doesn’t sound much different that people’s assumptions that it is today a socialist training camp.

      I’m glad to have given you the impression that the attendees were at Highlander to discuss upsetting the status quo. That part is true and makes me very happy. Where you take it from there – whether you think it was a bunch of socialists or communists is your journey.

      The humor to me is that – white supremacists were contorting Highlander in the 50′s and 60′s – our own people are contorting Highlander today.

      Or maybe it is not so much funny as scary and sad.

      Jan 31, 2010 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jake from Boston
      Jake from Boston [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Alan Bounville: Comparing your self to MLK? Priceless.

      I didn’t suggest you and your socialist friends were upsetting the status quo – I said you are hurting our movement. You have no evidence that any of your direct irritation is effective.

      We don’t have to review the entire thread, but many people have made the same point: we don’t need another LGBT non-profit and we do not want to be embarrassed and harmed by your silly direct irritation and silly disobedience.

      The LGBT movement is looking for accountability. We want results. I agree with Brian NY (not on everything) and I find it very interesting that members of the LGBT non-profit community are the ones attacking him. All he has suggested is that we figure out how to win before we waste any more money. The results of your little meeting are not a step in that direction.

      Jan 31, 2010 at 11:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Jake from Boston: I’d be interested to learn more about the work you do for the LGBT movement. Same with Brian. Seriously – I would like to know.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 12:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jake from Boston
      Jake from Boston [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Alan Bounville: I don’t do any work with the LGBT Movement – it’s too messed up. Your crowd is one of the reasons. Most of us cringe when we hear about your public expressions of anger. The problem is you either think people don’t know about our struggle or that crying in the public square will produce results. People do know (welcome to 2010) and crybabies don’t accomplish anything. They just irritate.

      When somebody figures out how to lead a real movement, with an effective strategy, a lot of us will come back – millions of us. In the meantime, donate to art/entertainment project that include LGBT.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 11:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dontblamemeivotedforhillary
      dontblamemeivotedforhillary

      The Gay Family exists? What will the Gay Mafia say?

      Feb 2, 2010 at 12:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alan Bounville
      Alan Bounville

      @Jake from Boston: Well – since nobody has ideas that work for you – I’d like you to take the reins and come up with the ideas for us to follow. Then maybe we can criticize you for doing – something – and tell you your ideas are worthless or counter productive. Seriously- getting eaten alive by our oppressors – that I get – getting eaten alive by passive LGBT people makes no sense. You take the wheel and I’ll take a back seat and enjoy where you will drive me. :)

      Feb 3, 2010 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • stinky
      stinky

      @Alan Bounville: Your little direct action group doesn’t do shit because all you do is symbolic actions. Symbolism is useless. Holding people accountable changes things. The bus boycott hurt the bus business. It wasn’t symbolic. It was concrete. Your video of you screaming about MLK with a bunch of white people looks like nothing more than a bunch of whiny white people. I’m thrilled you’re willing to spend your time and energy fighting for equality, but you really aren’t that smart when it comes to strategy. There’s more to direct action than just acting. There’s a strategy and a purpose or there’s nothing to be gained.

      Feb 6, 2010 at 3:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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