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My response to Pam Spaulding's Huff Po piece!

My response to Pam Spaulding's Tech Powered Gay-Rights Movement was too long for the Huffington Post, so I decided to move it here. and then link to the rest of it on HuffPo for anyone who cares to read:

I'm so with you Pam!

New Media is opening doors for the LGBT liberation movement that have not been opened before. However, we can't forget that these are free, online services--the Far Right has just as much access to these things as we do. We need to stay ahead of the curve, we need to empower individuals--deputize everyone to be a voice for the movement, and give them the power of knowledge and history so that they can speak with authority.

As far as grassroots vs traditional organizations in the future of the movement: I'm a member of many of those organizations, and I still see their value. However, our newly empowered grassroots efforts should be informing the 'big organizations' and not the other way around. We are desperately in need of a national infrastructure that is NOT another bureaucratic institution, but a lightweight decentralized network facilitating fast communication, synchronization and cooperation between smaller, nimbler locally-headed groups, facilitated by a highly effective, connected and informed network of citizen journalists who keep the gears turning.

How this could possibly be assembled from the mish-mash of systems and egos we currently have to deal with is beyond me, however, I think it can be done. Our community is a collection of some of the most intelligent, highly creative and highly motivated people in America. We may not have as much money as the Far Right and as Religious conservatives, but we have human assets unmatched in our rivals' ranks.

I am proposing now that Equality Across America (EAA) not establish itself as yet another 'National Org' that takes its place next to the others. Nor do I propose it replace any or try to wrestle The Task Force, GLAAD or HRC from their spots. I want to see EAA be something different. EAA can create a new system for decentralized, democratic bottom-up communication and cooperation between small, grassroots efforts within the community to help bring attention and resources to every little issue our local LBGT communities are facing. EAA can raise the profile of LGBT people from small town and southern states, and raise their voices up to finally be part of the national conversation.

EAA can help us standardize some of the resources we use, and help our local activists effectively use resources like listservs, blogs and fundraising mechanisms like ActBlue to their full advantage. EAA can help us connect communities on all sorts of levels--gay bar owners who want to pitch in can connect with other gay bar owners around the US, drag queens that want to make a difference can connect with other drag queens around the US. EAA can also help us hear the stories of others who don't get heard, or help us tell our stories if we have been silenced in the past.

If not the EAA then something must come and take this mantle. It can't be an existing organization, because this effort will eventually just get lost among their other projects. It can't be one of our well-meaning, but profit-driven gay media companies. Its got to be born anew from the spirit of now. I'm looking forward to see if its born in DC this October!

I'll see you there!

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