If I’ve learned anything in the years that I’ve been involved in community building and activism, it’s that for our efforts to succeed we need to have strong partnerships.
The partners may not share the exact same interests, or believe in using the same approaches to accomplish the goal, but if we agree that we are stronger together we’ll stand a better change of being stronger together.
What I’ve also learned is that we sacrifice the big goal when we focus our anger and energy on each other rather than on the real culprits.
We spend so much time in our victimization and self-interest that we can’t remain focused on the interests we share.
This would be okay if the other team were faced with the same challenges.
But the reality is that they-the ubiquitous ‘they’-are way more organized and way more committed to attacking us than they are to destroying each other. Example being the growing fundamentalist Christian movement in the US that seeks to roll back so many of the social advances achieved in human and civil rights both in the US and in Canada.
What is it about queer and social activists that makes us so susceptible to eating our own with so little provocation?
Are we so sensitive and so fragile that we can’t find ways to resolve differences and move forward?
Or are we forever doomed to be such a motley crew of disorganized victims that we scare away our allies and perpetuate the hurt and betrayal within, instead of directing our passion at creating the change that we want so badly to see?
There may be no simple or clear solution to this ongoing problem, but dissolving partnerships and becoming disillusioned seems like the wrong way to go.
Currently, we have an opportunity in the community to do things differently.
There has been a lot of discussion lately about the right way and the wrong way to address crystal meth in the gay community. Good people are attacking good people because of different perspectives and different approaches to the issue.
Good people-people committed to finding ways to stop what seems to be an ever-increasing problem from destroying lives, relationships, and communities-are beginning to focus their anger and energy on each other.
When this happens, the folks who could be doing more-who should be doing more but aren’t-get off the hook.
The folks who have the cash and the resources that should be used to address this issue just look on as we devour each other.
So c’mon guys. Let’s just try to get along. It’ll make a big difference.