Friday, May 18, 2007

town? hall? meeting?

Well, if you think of townhall meetings there are usually a bunch of riled-up people in attendance who are ready to have their voice heard. I was thinking Harper Valley PTA.

Alas, what I attended the other night was not a townhall meeting. It was an information session, complete with opportunities to pick up information at the front table, opportunities to join stonewall and/or new era democrat organizations and, of course, opportunities to give money in support.

I think money should be given to those things we believe in. I think people who have money don't give enough and those who don't have a lot tend to give more than they should, especially since these organizations don't go out of their way to recognize those who are working class, queer (not lgbt or some other alphabet representation) and/or aren't american citizens.

The audience was given the opportunity to ask questions at the end of 1 1/2 hours of tedious discussion about what each organization does and who they represent (well, everyone, of course!). Thank God, they sometimes remembered why we had all gathered and actually gave some information about the bills.

Also cute was that Paul Scott, Executive Director of Equality Texas, in seeing children at the event and in pulling a sympathy card (1 stone => 2 birds), talked about the changes in child protective services that were set to happen LAST year.

Oh, but back to the questions - we were allowed to ask 3 questions total and I, of course, submitted one that was glossed over, something along the lines of "why is it that, within media directed to and for queers, organizations like yours look for "normalized" versions of queers, i.e. partnered, middle class, American citizens. What is your organization doing to address the needs of those outside of this realm, who will be most affected by the upcoming laws?

And Paul Scott talked about how "we haven't done enough in communities of color" same as Randall Ellis used to say "we need to do more work with people of color" except Randall was attractive to men of color (just ask Vandi!) and seemed to get it, even if he didn't know how to get into poc communities. Then Paul Scott decided to talk about transwomen inclusion, sidestepping his apologetic and well-intentioned sentence about poc. Yes, the trans group in Austin was right in protesting LGRL's standards at the time but one minority as an example for another isn't an easy alternative. Both have their own unique issues.

The guy from HRC didn't say much beyond Paul Scott, except to say that his organization is viewed as white, upper middle class men who like to go out - and then he didn't quite refute it. Well, I suppose, since he was Latino, he refuted part of it.

I won't even comment on the whole Democrat representation because not one but two democratic organizations were present, assuming we will all sheepishly vote that way. I suppose I shouldn't get angry anymore - I don't have the typical mindset and there is no way that someone with my kind of lip will ever make it to that kind of stage.

Onto better things... It's Friday!

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