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“Humm some protest song”

March 8, 2007

There have been goings on recently that have got me thinking a lot about queer activism (and, so, activism in general). This started a few weeks ago with rather normal meetings and events; now the whole community has been galvanized by certain events.

The group i am most involved in is, age-wise, primarily 40-50-somethings – and me and Jake – (i’ve been trying to drag my friends (who are all 30-somethings to it, but to no avail). I’ve been kinda involved with the college kids and the only-just-not-college kids, and a bit more so recently.

For the record, i’m 23, so really an only-just-not-college kid myself, but i moved here when i graduated, so these college kids are not my college kids.

That setup is to say that i think the differences between the groups are stark, remarkable, and unfortunately divisive. Very basically, what it comes down to is that the older group has people who have been playing politics for a while now, and who are very smart and know things about how things work that i would never know by myself, but we have the ever-present problem of recruitment and retention, and that all of the members have jobs that already take the majority of their time and effort (note that it is these same jobs that often have given them the knowledge and perspective that they have). On the other hand is the younger group who are mostly in school, which – i don’t care what they say it’s supposed to be – is not a full-time job. So, they have time, along with energy, some fresh perspectives, a propensity to want to go in a different direction from anyone else, and the idea that starting a revolution is the only way to make progress.

As you may have noticed, i lean towards the former. I am a pragmatist (well, when it’s not personal, anyhow), and i am vehemently not a radical – though some people might say differently.

That basically covers the differences, so let us get to the unfortunate part. I think it is pretty straight-forward: both groups could clearly benifit from the other if the one cared and had the initiative to start the conversation, and the other could get their fragile egos out of the way. The worst part is that it isn’t even divisive, that was the wrong word. It is that the worlds are so separate that it hasn’t even occured to anyone.

I am sure that that isn’t the whole story, because there are always people to account for in interactions, and though i’ve been here about two years, i’m kind of new to the politics of it.

I feel i am mis-representing things, and that this isn’t written as i wish it were, but i can’t quite figure out how to correct it, so here it is.

Lady Brett
“Confessions of a Futon Revolutionist” – The Weakerthans

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