Thursday, January 22, 2015

Activism versus Advocacy?

Recently, I have written seemingly tons of posts here in Cyrsti's Condo concerning the Leelah Alcorn tragedy and it's aftermath.  And- I have received tons of response too.  The difference for me now is, I am receiving input not only through the blog but also through places such as Facebook,  Google+ and through personal interaction.  Even my personal interaction is different because of all the different groups I'm interacting with. For the most part, no one I have run into has ever encountered another transgender person.

On Google+, Jenny sent me a great comment questioning (among other things) the true reasons certain individuals or groups of peeps are now jumping on the transgender "band wagon." Specifically she used my example of the mayor of Dayton, Ohio speaking at the recent Leelah Alcorn vigil. Why and were there hidden political reasons? I believe she did feel terrible about the tragedy but yes it is true - Dayton has an ever growing strong LGBT presence. I'm sure an "advisor" was speaking to her political need to be there.

Certainly, I can't speak to the longevity of any political support-except to say- both mayoral candidates in Dayton supported LGBT groups.  To the most jaded of you all (included me) I say-follow the money!  While so many of the well heeled bible thumpers have concentrated on building castles, LGB groups have been building communities. All of the sudden, we "T"s are becoming visible.  Tragically, Leelah never realized how close she was.

Also, around central and southwestern Ohio at least, all any city of any size only has to look at the example of the very diverse LGBT society in Columbus, Ohio as a model of economic success.  A subject for another post!

So, I think when considering the longevity of any transgender acceptance movement, you have to "follow the money." In my geographic area (which is considered far less than liberal except for Columbus) the more trans women and transgender men who are able to establish themselves in jobs, the more advocates we will have and the fewer activists we will need.

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A Life in Gender Flux