DGLA ready for action, unity

RE: "Queer Liberaction calls for unity" (Letters, Dallas Voice, Jan. 2).

In their letter to the editor in the Jan. 2 issue of Dallas Voice, Blake Wilkinson and Gabe Coppinger outlined their upcoming plans for Queer Liberaction and expressed a desire to talk with organizations like the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas and the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance "who take a different approach to winning our equality."

Indeed, DGLA would welcome such a dialogue, and we will be contacting QL in the near future to discuss how we can work together.

What has been unfolding in our community since the November election is, I believe, simply a difference in approach and, at times, the need to agree to disagree.

While there are basically two broad schools of thought on actions that will be effective and productive, we share a common goal: full equality for LGBT persons, couples, and our families.

These two schools of thought regularly diverge on many levels and, though each has its place, they can and do, at times, converge.

While we cannot speak for the Stonewall Democrats, DGLA has been at the forefront of the struggle for equality locally for 32 years, and we continue to adapt as the landscape of the struggle changes.

In our past and continuing today, our approach includes ad hoc protest actions and rallies when appropriate and effective as well as the slower, persistent, long-term slog of building relationships within communities and with lawmakers and officials who are empowered to advance our cause for equality.

There are times when some protest actions seem counterproductive and we decline to endorse such tactics, and there are other times when protest actions are exactly the right thing to do.

In the long view, we see doing the ongoing work of education and advocacy as the most effective path to our common goal, building support within and outside the LGBT community.

Regardless of one’s adopted school of thought, we should all be willing and able to recognize the value and effectiveness of both approaches — and that in any given moment, one may prove more effective than the other.

As an organization, DGLA may not support or endorse every Queer Liberaction event or tactic, or vice-versa, but that does not mean that we can’t work together.

Certainly DGLA, QL, and all North Texas LGBT organizations dedicated to winning our equality can and should, for example, come together to be out and visible in support of the upcoming Equality Texas Lobby Day at our state Capitol in Austin on Monday, March 2, meeting face-to-face with state lawmakers.

And both approaches share common obstacles as well, primarily in rousing LGBT people from an odd complacency that baffles those of us who are in this struggle to win, but also in recognizing our differences in approach as creative tools in our community’s tool belt rather than simply as sources of frustration.

Our movement needs passionate doers.

It needs Queer Liberaction; it needs DGLA. Being part of the solution means creating change that advances our equality, even when we don’t agree on exactly what kind of "change" is needed.

We look forward to meeting with Queer Liberaction.

Patti Fink, president
Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 9, 2009.

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