Monday, November 24, 2008

Harvey Milk and "Milk"

There have been many heroes and, sadly, far too many martyrs in this cultural war. Harvey Milk was one of them.

This Thursday (also known as "Thanksgiving") will mark the 30th anniversary of his murder as the first openly Gay politician in the country. In honor of Harvey's life and work, you can have a huge personal and political impact on our struggle for equal rights by taking one simple act:

come out.

Some of us as (as a friend of Lady Liberty likes to say) "gay from space" and some of us are a little less obvious. For those of us who are less obvious, we need to take that extra effort to tear down assumptions.

Many LGBTIQQA folks might be out to our immediate family, but are we out to our extended family? Do our 2nd cousins all know?

Thanksgiving is a time where some of us get a rare opportunity to see aunt Gertrude. This year, talk to her about the anti-gay propositions that passed in the last election and how they impacted you personally.

Let's reach out to every corner of this country and make it impossible for anyone to say "there's no gay in my family!"

If you need a little encouragement to have that talk with Gertrude, I strongly recommend "Milk." It opens in limited release on Wednesday. Why, you might even take Gertrude with you! If you're not in a city where it opens this week, rent "The Times of Harvey Milk" (the academy award-winning documentary about Harvey Milk) for some inspiration.

Remember, "an army of lovers can never be defeated."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

QVS - Queer Voluntary Service

Many of us already make substantial contributions in our communities, but now is the time to step up our voluntary efforts and make clear to our fellow citizens that there is no "us" and "them" only people helping each other.

In war-time UK, civilian women were asked to don "WVS" uniforms (Women's Voluntary Service) and contribute where needed.

In modern cultural war-time United States, we ask you to affix the "QVS" letters to your person when you engage in volunteer work. Let your service be counted and let the "QVS" label start conversations with both fellow volunteers and the people we serve.

This movement is DIY. Please create your own logo with the letters "QVS." Knit it into a sweater, scribble it on a "hello my name is" sticker, embroider it onto a head scarf, print your own buttons, etc... We are a beautiful and diverse community. Let's work together and show our diversity.

Excellent. Keep up the good work. Create your "QVS" insignia and wear it!

Pledge to contribute to your community in a way that uses your talents and gives you joy. Try to give 5 hours a week. Beyond helping the cultural war effort, you'll find that giving your time is a great way to feel good about yourself. Find a volunteer gig, create your "QVS" insignia and wear it!

General clearinghouses for volunteer opportunities nation-wide:

A couple of Lady Liberty's favorites: (feed the homeless, learn vegan cooking and promote peace - a multitaskers delight!) (find your local free clinic and work to support their important work caring for the uninsured and underinsured)

About the cultural war effort...

Inspired by the contributions of civilians in WWII-era Brittain, I have designed this blog to inspire my LGBTIQQA fellow "soldiers on the home front" (and our allies) to do our part to help win the cultural war for our full and equal civil rights. This cultural war effort will be waged on many fronts and we ask that each and every one of us do our part towards the erradication of our oppression at home and abroad.