"'People who took the time to show up at an ACT-UP actions were presumed to be on the right side of the issue and therefore not in need of indoctrination. If someone wanted to listen to speeches—or make them—he or she was welcome to come to long, weekly process meetings, where positions were hashed out and actions were proposed and discussed, shot down or endorsed. But when it came to the actions themselves people felt it was important not to waste the time of the people who showed up. Because if you did, if you alienated people by wasting their time (and lots folks were at ACT-UP actions were dying and so didn't have any time to waste), they were unlikely to turn up at the future actions.' - Dan Savage, on the number and subject matters of the speeches at yesterday's Seattle LGBT rights march and rally, a satellite event to the National Equality March."
Once again, Dan doesn't get it. Its not about him (though, you'll NEVER be able to convince him that). We all appreciate greatly what ACT UP did before us. I was too young for ACT UP in the 80s and 90s--I didn't know I was gay til the 90s, and then I had to wait for my driver's license. However, folks who took part in these actions constantly seem to fault me for not having been born earlier. I got involved in activism pretty young, and yet I get the message sometimes I should've tried harder to have my mom pop me out sooner if I wanted to be taken seriously. It makes me less interested in working with them, and more interested in making my own way.
When older activists see younger activists appear on the scene and show some power, they have one of two reactions:
1. They appreciate them joining in on the fight, and they encourage them and mentor them.
2. They fear for their relevance, they mourn their importance and then wax nostalgic.
Clearly, Dan takes the second road here.
Nothing done Sunday would have meant anything unless ACT UP had done what they did in the 80s and early 90s. ACT UP was one of THE greatest radical action groups ever, and I think we should model strategy on them. They are the only component of the gay rights community that ever got a bill passed in DC (Ryan White AIDS Care Act).
What Dan doesn't understand is that noone is even trying to say he doesn't matter anymore. The only person that's going to make Dan Savage obsolete is Dan Savage; by refusing to recognize the power of the youth of the movement today, just as the activists from the 50s and 60s refused to recognize the power of the youth of the 70s, and likewise the Stonewall generation often refused to recognize the power of Dan's.
They all relegated themselves obsolete. Just as Mr. Savage has been of late.