Sunday, December 07, 2008

Asleep at the Wheel - Time to Drive Again, But Maybe We Need a Smart(er) Car

By now it's generally understood that the gay community was asleep during the recent Proposition 8 debacle. However, we've woken up somewhat, enough to swerve and miss plowing into a tree and totally wrecking everything. Just take a look at some of the media that's been created lately.

There's Proposition 8: The Musical, which is the most talked-about thing online right now. I admit I only watched half of it - I think it speaks more to the already converted, while those who still believe homosexuality is morally repugnant will find in it further justification for their [_____________] (insert euphemism for bigotry.)

I prefer this piece, which asks everyone to sign a petition protecting marriage. It's sneaky, it's smart, it's somewhat argument proof:

There's a feeling here in D.C. that HRC wasn't doing its job in letting the California vote go the way it did. That's probably true, but I believe it's because they're a large organization, and large organizations are almost always more concerned with keeping themselves going, consequently making decisions that try to appease many instead of creating real change.

The real stuff that's going on now isn't the result of one advocacy organization. Even the recent nationwide demonstrations were grassroots affairs, linked under the online banner of Join the Impact, an organization that looks to have risen in the days after the election. They say they're a nonprofit, but they're a .com and not a .org, and probably haven't had time to apply for 501(c)(3) status. If I'm wrong, then somebody tell me...

Join the Impact's next steps include Day Without a Gay, a national food drive that will target faith-based emergency food providers as the recipients of goodwill, and Light Up the Night for Equality.

Finally, we need a radically redesigned communications strategy. We need to stop debating in forums where we can't win. In today's NY Times op-ed "Showdown in the Big Tent," Caitlin Flanagan and Benjamin Schwarz write "Although it has come as a shocking realization to many in this community, a host of sociological studies confirm that many blacks feel a significant aversion to homosexuality itself, finding it morally and sexually repugnant." It's time to bring in some big gun "new marketing" gurus to massively reframe the dialogue, take over the debates and focus exclusively on civil rights. But not before somebody does some research on why so many people find homosexuality morally and sexually repugnant, so we can target the cause of hatred and not the symptoms.

In the meantime, how about a national "Day With A Gay?"
OK, this post is entirely too long now...but I had to find a place for the following video I found on YouTube. Where to start? The background music is wonderful...

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