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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Blog post #2 - Oscar

Hi everyone!

     I agree with you all that this weeks readings were very interesting. One thing in particular that stood out for me were the conflicts within community. These "internecine contentions," as the book calls them amongst the sexes and race really took a toll on how the movement progressed, and how it may have even backtracked its own ascension. In the book, the authors mention that Mina Meyer, an administrator at the Gay Community Services Center, had to fight an uphill battle to get women's health services on the table. This conflict between groups makes some sense though in my opinion. For so long this community had been divided and relegated to the sidelines and now all of a sudden they are a voice and being heard. It's not hard to think that what was going through the minds of these activists was that those who talked the loudest was going to be heard first. When one person barks louder then other voices are suppressed and dialogue ceases to exist. That seems to be the case when people who felt unfairly treated suppressed their own voices for fear of sustaining a harsh stereotype of the gay community.
     These conflicts between the groups really exacerbate the biases that many activists and liberation leaders carried. For example, the fact that a women could not hold an executive position only until after the AIDS epidemic wiped out many prominent gay male leaders. And the fact that the board for the Gay Community Services Center consisted of primarily white gay males at this time is another point of contention. Would this board divert money for causes that directly benefited them? Most likely, as was the case with the National Institute for Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse grant. These points of contention make me question the movement and the motives of some activists. There were those who wanted equality for all their brothers and sisters, but there were those who only had themselves in mind. What's striking is how this self-interest in motivations still persists within the LGBT community today. Lack of support for trans rights or right-wing LGBT group Log Cabin Republicans who push for a white gay male-centric queer stance make it difficult for everyone to stand as one. In the new Trump-era, I feel like standing as one is the most effective thing we can do to resits policies that would backtrack this progress, and if we cannot do that then it will hurt us.

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