Thursday, December 21, 2006


Let’s see… Here it is:

ac·tiv·ist [ak-tuh-vist] –noun 1. an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause, esp. a political cause.

I do certainly have my causes, political and otherwise. But am I “especially” active? Gosh, I suppose I am.

You see, some people (one of their names starts with an L, for a hint), have called me an activist, and a couple times. Now, I absolutely know it’s meant as a compliment, and clearly it’s used accurately, but something is wrong with me with regards to this word. Each time I’m called an activist, I’m partially hit with something like “Hey, I’m not an activist! How could you insult me with such an epithet?”

Have I heard the word uttered too many times by Rush Limbaugh, in that certain way, that it’s become a subconscious insult to me? Do I associate it with the gay activists with whom I once butted heads in my early gay life? Maybe it’s the idea of a particular sort of activist, so myopically focused on their one issue that they’ll trample over the rights of others? I hope I have and I hope to keep from being such an “activist”, but they are out there on both sides. Could that be it?

Actually, I think a bit of all of those are the problem.

I certainly wasn’t an activist by any definition 6 years ago. Heck, while we lived in California I barely realized we were gay :-). If and when I was any bit “involved” it was in online venues, or in giving advice to the gay kids of family and acquaintances. Then we came here, and the hostile legislation started popping up. Our kids came to be, and they certainly changed me. I became a defender of my home in a way rooted deep in my psychology, and consequently I started to feel that need to do something more.

It was actually my father who brought that first something to light and encouraged us into it. We did one thing, and it was to be a quiet thing, and yet it wasn’t so quiet and it snowballed. Now, yeah, we go to many events, even rallies; we are inarguably in “the community”. We speak up, we lobby, and not only online as I used to :-). I guess I am an activist, and [gulp] I’m okay with that…

I just wish I could get over the nasty aftertaste I find in the word.


Chris said...

I've always thought that themost effective activists are those catalyzed to action because injustice touches them in a very direct way.

I know the word can be loaded, but I think you should be proud of your activism.

Loyalist (with defects) said...

I'm not stunned your an activist...I belong to that category as well. I am stunned that you listen to Rush.

Even typing his name makes my blood boil! >:-|

But I say the same thing when it comes to Al Frankin. He's a funny comedian I just don't like his barbed and hasty political assumptions.

Dialog, people, Dialog!

That's why I like talking with you. even if my idea is dumb you listen then politly point out areas I should look at more. That's growing, learning and healthy.

*ahem, if you excuse me I must be off to the next rally. :-)

-L- said...

I'll second Loyalist that you are a much more effective, umm, advocate for good because of your diplomatic manner. I know you've influenced me much more than you would have otherwise (not that I'm your prime influence target, but you know what I mean!).

And whoever those people are who keep calling you an activist, I'm sure they do mean to compliment you (one of them, at the very least).

Scot said...

Thank you all. It’s nice to be complimented, but far more so by folks you could so easily compliment :-).

I am stunned that you listen to Rush.

I must admit that’s not the worst of it. I’ve become a habitual listener to far right radio, ever since the local hosts went off on us. I blame it on Sun Tzu ;-).

Dialogue is right. That’s why, when I count my blessing, I count non-opponent “opponents” like L among them.

Maybe we should all conduct a coup d'état of our respective activist groups and get something done. Or at least get rid of the poster board signs you’re pressured to tout at rallies, how tacky ;-).