5 questions with Blake Wilkinson
Blake Wilkinson is the founder of Queer Liberaction, a direct action group fighting for LGBT rights. Originally from Dallas, Wikinson left in 2001 to study anthropology at DePaul University. After living in Spain for three years, he returned to Dallas six months ago.
What is Queer Liberaction?
We are a direct action group dedicated to building the queer civil rights movement in order to secure our equality and end our oppression. We don’t ask for equality; we demand it!
How did you become involved in Queer Liberaction?
I was looking for a direct action GLBT organization in Dallas when Prop. 8 passed in California. Representatives from Stonewall Democrats and Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, amongst others, felt as though we should have a quiet protest with boys in suites and girls in dresses without discussing why Proposition 8 had passed. Those that founded Queer Liberaction felt differently. In short, I founded Queer Liberaction because I saw a political void that needed to be filled and no one was stepping up to do it.
Can you tell me about the Queer Kiss-in?
The Queer Kiss-in set for February 7 at noon takes place by the Dallas Museum of Art at Ross and Harwood. A week before Valentine’s Day, our queer love fest is to include women kissing women, men kissing men, free queer hugs, signs, placards, queer kiss-in games and even a queer kissing booth. There will be something for everyone. By holding a queer kiss-in we are asserting our right in a very celebratory and fun way to unabashedly love someone of the same gender.
How is QL celebrating National Freedom to Marry Day?
On Thursday, Feb. 12 at 11:30 a.m. we will stage a demonstration at the Records Building located at 509 Main St. in downtown Dallas. The protest will begin with a rally in the Historical Plaza where mini same-sex wedding ceremonies will take place. Then we will proceed to the marriage license office where couples will request marriage licenses.
How has living abroad influenced you?
I believe that Europeans in general have a much better human rights record and social service system because they are more politically active in their communities and society. As a rule when Europeans are upset with the direction a government is taking, the citizens take to the streets and demand change. I think that if Americans took some hints from our European friends, we might see some rights and protections come our way.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 6, 2009.