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13 August 2008

UPDATE: FW PRIDE! And just to prove how open I am to all of your comments...

Apparently what I said would happen at Fort Wayne PRIDE during my reviewing and rating poorly the annual event a month before it was to take place, did happen to some degree several times. As reports trickle back through the grapevine and people leave random comments somewhere I receive a notice about them through other people who contribute silently to the information on this forum.

There were a string of comments on a local Yahoo! Group as a few of their younger members expressed similar sentiments such as, "I was just wondering if some of you thought the same as I did. Was last years pride much better? I mean not bashing anyone or anything. It just seems as if it was very well decorated last year, the stage was better for the shows, and it felt like the vendors were not cramped into so little of a space."

Also, I finally received permission to post this analysis letter
as an update in reference to the PRIDE scandal "I caused". I received this from a good friend and trusted advisor he wrote me back within the last week or so and said that I could share it. Bear with me folks the drama is hardly over with yet.

"we will only become real people,
when we deal with the real issues."
written by Mark W. Stevens | artwork by Joe Phillips

I understand that your style is 'sarcastic' or caustic and that it is a style and not aimed at anyone in particular.

I also understand that Nikki is overprotective of her position and her 'baby'.

I also understand that the gay sheep of Fort Wayne are fucking incompetent when it comes to working together in public or in private.

That said:

You need to stop trying to pretend that you are unbiased when you write about things that you are passionate about. You aren't. You never will be. You are an opinionated person who doesn't want to feel that your bad feelings will shape the way that people feel about you. This is your 'blinder' in your writing and you need to learn to quit hiding from your own biases and simply own them without asking for permission or forgiveness for saying what you think. It just makes you look weak.

I understand that you do not want to alienate people or make them feel hostile or upset with you or with your writing, but at the same time you must see that the topics about which you write are controversial and inflammatory and arouse great passion in others. That is, in my opinion, your intention. It is the nature of the subjects you touch on. You come off as wishy washy or bland when you censor yourself so offhandedly, and it shows that you do not really trust your audience to intelligently read what you write and to be as forthcoming as you wish them to be. You concede to them that these are only your opinions as if you want them to believe that either your opinion is not important or that it carries no weight. Yet I know that you know better. This seems rather hypocritical and turns people against you before they have the opportunity to really hear you out. Quit asking if it makes sense as if you believe that it does not. Instead ask 'Do you agree' and 'How would you say that', either of which implies that you have owned your opinion and wish to have a dialogue and to learn the listeners opinion as well. Trust your own writing to be as powerful as your opinion. Don't undersell or oversell it, just put it out there where it can be seen and evaluated for what it is... an opinion.

As to Nikki's and her co-board person's replies:

I do not agree with most of what was written about the purposes of the Fort Wayne PRIDE events. I believe that the event is aimed at only one audience at this time and that is the young white gay person who wants to believe that they are doing something vital in the community without taking any real risks or making any real effort. It is a product of the me generation and as such it has as much substance as a glam rock love ballad... sickly sweet and sentimental, and as forgettable as yesterdays obituaries. Until a need for real and positive action, and a true desire for affirmative action meets the awareness of the real heart of the gay community in Fort Wayne, there will be no true unity and there will be no real community. This was proven by the shallow and unreal expectations and pomp of the UTSCC, and is still supported by all of those who broke and ran before the shit hit the fan there.

Unfortunately I must include myself in the cut and run crowd who did not have the balls to stand up to the board and to Mary when she could have been stopped. I must also say that I am not willing to put the effort into trying to make the PRIDE committee see the error of its ways at this time. Maybe I never will be. I know that at one time I had an opportunity placed before me that might have given me a voice in the community that could have made a difference, and I choked. Afterward nothing I could have done would have had any more affect than to make others believe that I was bitter and angry... which was true enough without being aired as dirty laundry. I am beginning to realize that I am beyond redemption because I did not make a stand when I was attacked and my voice has been taken from me.

Back to the issue at hand.

The Fort Wayne PRIDE Committee is trying very hard to do something important and I applaud their effort. But they have been just as infected as the rest of us with the idea that we must work very hard to be as low-key as possible and not offend anyone that they consider to be their people. Unfortunately they still believe that the celebration of who we are will convince people that we count for something. That is very idealistic, even for me. They want to believe that we can change people by just offering to temper our community with 'normality' and ignoring the negativity from the homophobic and bigoted crowds who control our laws and our lives. When they begin to see that there is more to this fight than feeling good about ourselves, there will be progress. I am counting on that.

What it all comes down to is this: We must own our opinions and our biases. We must move forward diligently and without fear of the reprisals that WILL come. We must be able to defend our opinions to ourselves and to those willing to hear us out, but not be upset when those who will not hear or who fall into their self-righteousness refuse to acknowledge that there can be a meeting of minds even among those who disagree. We must learn where our voice is and where it can be heard in a progressive environment. We must, and I stress this above all else that I say, WE MUST believe that someday we will make the difference in the mind of that one person who can change their world... ourselves.



Anonymous said...

"Young white gay person"...you are 1000% perfectly correct on that one... and generally male
anyone else is not and was not welcome in MY opinion...

Does the word MEAT MARKET come into play??????????????

Malakki said...

I think that the 'meat market' and many other parts of our culture as GLBT folk has a place. I just don't see that as the 'centerpiece' of who we are as a cultural community. We tend to try to act as if our community is made up of many small cliques that are only loosely connected. We need to see that the 'global worldview' applies as well to the microcosm as it does to the macrocosm. There must be a place for everyone or there is no place for anyone.

Unity in the community really can be made to mean something...

give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?

give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?
thanks to the sacrifice of many the scourge of Dont Ask Dont Tell in the land of the free and home of the brave will be gone by the end of June!!!!