activists

Dan Choi, The Interrupter

I am destabilizing. And it freaks the shit out of people when I tell young activists and soon-to-be activists that they have the power, and they owe nothing [to Gay Inc. groups].

—Dan Choi — whose college speaking gigs, which can pay five-figures, include a rider requiring sponsoring student groups to “invite the most homophobic [student] group, four times, in writing” — taking a certain amount of pride in splintering away from groups like the Human Rights Campaign [via; photo via C.S. Muncy/Village Voice]

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20 Comments

  • Cam

    Cue the HRC bots to come in here and tell us that anybody who won’t sit back and wait for the president to give us our rights is evil, stupid, immature etc…

  • Pitou

    Good for him! I don’t at all mind him being able to capitolize off of doing speaches for LGBT causes. I love that he is all about actually doing shit, regardless of the outcome and whether or not it accomplishes anything. He’s at least out doing something other then hosting cocktail parties, or sitting at home waaa-waaa-waaa-ing.
    He sure as shit does a fuck of a lot more then Gay, Inc. Dan deserves Joe Solomnese’s $304k a year salary more then Joey-baby does.
    I anxiously await someones counter claim that Joe S. actually deserves a dime of that $304k… He’s no better then Maggie Gallagher.. they’re both publicity whores for the right amount of cash.. only exceptions is one is paid by the Mormons, and the other is paid by the Gays.

  • Michael

    He is a former professional activist and a current professional attention whore.

  • Ryanthehulk

    Not only is Dan Choi easy on the eyes, he is also highly intelligent and an American hero. That plus his rabble rousing ways endears him greatly in my book. Can he be our new national spokesman? He says all the things I think, like how Obama is a pussy.

  • Cam

    @Michael: said..

    “He is a former professional activist and a current professional attention whore.”
    ____________________________

    Really Michael? (HRC Bot) Because I see one of the few people out there who actually had something to lose. He put his career on the line for honesty. What have the people at HRC ever done? They turned on the gay community and attacked US for daring to question the administration’s lack of action on gay issues.

    ONLY when people started calling for Joe Solomnase’s resignation a few days ago did HRC even come out and say something MILDLY agressive towards the administration. Everything they have done has been for self interest. As soon as the DADT decision came out Choi attempted to reenlist in the military, if he gets in, he is giving up getting paid much higher salaries for those speeches. What have HRC staff ever done?

  • Michael

    I’m not an HRC bot. I’m not at all affiliated with them, never volunteered, never donated. Not really familiar with peoples’ issues with them except that they’re seen as too pragmatic.

  • Justin C

    Does his speaking engagement contract include “meals?” I hope so. This would keep him from another silly hunger strike.

    I wish Choi well, but he isn’t a compelling speaker and his idea of “confrontation” is just a way to get more attention. Starving for attention is not admirable. Creating some results is. I don’t see any.

    Cam is accurate that gay In.c hasn’t accomplished anything, but that doesn’t by default mean Choi’s attention-stunts do. I actually cringe whenever I hear about his latest attempt to get noticed. Why doesn’t he use Craigslist like the rest of us?

  • Justin C

    Does his speaking engagement contract include “meals?” I hope so. This would keep him from another silly hunger strike.

    I wish Choi well, but he isn’t a compelling speaker and his idea of “confrontation” is just a way to get more attention. Starving for attention is not admirable. Creating some results is. I don’t see any.

    Cam is accurate that gay Inc. hasn’t accomplished anything, but that doesn’t by default mean Choi’s attention-stunts do. I actually cringe whenever I hear about his latest attempt to get noticed. Why doesn’t he use Craigslist like the rest of us?

  • Cam

    @Michael: said..

    “I’m not an HRC bot. I’m not at all affiliated with them, never volunteered, never donated. Not really familiar with peoples’ issues with them except that they’re seen as too pragmatic.”
    _________________________________

    ROFL!!!!! Oh yeah, you are not affiliated with them, but think that the fault people find with them is that they are “Pragmatic”.

    Yeah, Pragmatic. Well if Pragmatic means taking 50 million dollars a year to turn around tell the gay community to shut up and not bother the govt. by asking for our rights, well then yeah…I guess they would be pragmatic.

  • edgyguy1426

    Since the government is responsible for taking his career away, I think he should cash in at their expense. Is Get EQUAL gaining in support to the detriment of donations to HRC? Hope so.

  • Michael

    @Cam: I don’t really know how I can prove to you that I’m not a member of/affiliated with HRC.

    What I know about HRC is that they are a gay advocacy group, their DC headquarters are in Dupont Circle (because I live in DC and pass it almost every day), that people think they move too slowly on issues, that the head of the org gets paid too much, and that they’re seen as too moderate my many people.

    I’m not actually plugged in to any gay political institution. Whatever HRC’s more activist competitors are. And we can say HRC is less activisty or less active or moving to slow. I just thought pragmatic was the most appropriate word.

    I came to my views about Dan Choi on my own. He seems to cause a lot of trouble through very dramatic gestures like handcuffing himself to the White House gates. I don’t see at all how that is an effective means to ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. It’s like those anti-abortion people who walk around with pictures of dead fetuses on posters. They’re not changing anyone’s mind and they just look stupid. It’s protest for the sake of protest. And the fact that he charges thousands of dollars in speakers fees means he’s no longer a protester, but a professional activist like Sarah Palin or Anne Coulter.

  • Herbert Wassinger

    @Michael

    You don’t see the point of civil disobedience acts like White House fence chaining, etc.

    Have you actually heard and seen, or at least learned through reading books, the words and not so gentle physical acts of Ghandi, M.L.King, Lyndon Johnson, Stokley Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, Dick Gregory, CORE (as very different from NAACP), women’s suffregettes, etc., etc.

    You can sit and wait for Godot if you like. I say mobilize!
    First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin!

  • Ryan

    Dan Choi signed up (very publically, take that to mean what you will) to re enter the United States Army.

    Say what you want about him grabbing attention, but he put his money where his mouth was, and demonstrated that he actually believes in his convictions.

    I would be willing to take criticism of him as nothing but a fame whore more seriously, if he was actually you know just fame whoring.

    And as for the idea that civil disobedience is fame mongering. I think you should look at history as Herbert suggested. Even within the gay community, you would not have the life saving HIV antivirals were it not for the civil disobedience of groups like ACT UP, and no one would even be able to be openly gate in america, were it not for the civil disobedience of the stonewall riots.

    Consider your history before you spout off.

  • WillBFair

    Choi’s last stunt was to tell us not to vote on Tuesday and to let the republicans take over. This is too selfish and ignorant for words.
    I’m sorry. But I have no time for someone like that.

  • Michael

    @Herbert Wassinger: Dan Choi does not equal MLK. He equals Malcolm X.

  • Jeffree

    @JustinC:
    Choi doesn’t use Craig’s List, he uses Grindr! Really….

    For details on Choi, please see the Village Voice profile on him–available online— quoted extensively over on PHB; it’s a pretty long piece)
    I was suprised not to see a comment from you, AndrewW or WillBFair there !

    Say hi to AndrewW for me!

  • Cam

    @WillBFair:

    No, what he said was that OBama has lost his vote.

  • the crustybastard

    Dan Choi wouldn’t need to make activism his second career if the government hadn’t unjustly ruined the career of his choice.

    Dr. Frankenstein, meet your monster.

  • VforVendetta

    Dan Choi is neither MLK or Malcolm X….he is an outright jackass! Which is why I now shy away from doing anything regarding LGBT activism anymore. Too many self absorbed, self serving people who are doing our cause more harm than good with their immature antics.

    At least the marijuana legalization activists are doing something right in winning hearts and minds of the people nationwide. They don’t give a rip if you smoke weed or not (I do and I’m gay, but that’s beside the point). The legal pot activists are a hell of a lot more appreciative of their non smoking/non using allies (see Judge Jim Gray as an example) than a lot of people in our community who tend to shut out straight allies and refuse to help our straight allies out with their causes. There were a good number of straights who helped us defeat Prop 8 that support marijuana legalization and I was more than happy to help them pass Prop 19.

    Mark my words, marijuana prohibition will be repealed before gay equality is achieved nationwide. With the way our activist community acts on both sides, we will be stuck in this quandry for a long time. And that is the definition of insanity…doing the same thing over and over and getting a different result

  • VforVendetta

    Let me correct myself…Try to defeat Prop 8

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