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Queer Action 2014: Let's Stop Depending on Politicians and the HRC

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A New Year is here, and with it comes 365 days worth of potential for political screw-ups and and ridiculously silly Fox News moments. As excited as I am for all of that Internet rant fodder, however, I am more concerned about the other kind of potential this year has. The potential for action.

Where I live, I am constantly surrounded by a kind of sad complacency -- an acceptance of what is and a genuine belief that it cannot be changed -- and I must say, I am sick of it. Of course things can change. It literally happens all of the time. I have found, however, that the biggest reason that people don't get fed up and work for the changes they want to see is because they seem to think that politicians will do it for them. Well, that's just silly.

Blue and Red Pills
Blue and Red Pills
(Image by Philip Taylor PT)
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Politicians are good for some things, sure. On a local level, your vote might even count, but real tangible change is not about to happen because you picked the blue pill over the red. Or maybe you voted Green. And maybe, just maybe, your particular politician might just follow through with the promises s/he makes. Maybe. But there are limits to what politicians can do and even more limits on what they will do. It would be foolish to believe otherwise.

Sometimes we have to take matters into our own hands. Sometimes we have to make changes happen at home, whether or not our politicians think it is "practical," or "the right time" for such changes. As a Queer activist, I am tired of seeing my sister-brothers and brother-sisters being assaulted by misogynistic homo/transphobes who think it is their right to brutalize our bodies. 

I am tired of hearing about trans women like Cece Mcdonald being incarcerated for defending themselves against such attacks. Harassment, abuse, sexual violence, open discrimination in the workplace, for housing and for services are daily occurrences for LGBTQ individuals across this country. It makes me sick and it makes me tired.

We cannot depend upon politicians to put an end to these injustices and the other indignities we, as Queer individuals suffer. Sure, we can get LGBT-inclusive laws passed and we can cast our scrutiny toward the justice system that has, time and time again, failed us. But we must do more. We need to fight. We cannot depend upon organizations like the HRC who would leave trans* folks and Queer people of color behind and we cannot depend upon politicians who will always care more for the ways in which they can profit than the ways in which their actions can help us. Legislation will not make the world a safer place to be Queer, action will. It is 2014 now, and I think it is time for the world to see what a bunch of Queers can do.  Put an end to apathy and let's challenge the status quo.

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A recent graduate from Flagler College, Jesse Ruth has been working as a freelance writer since April, 2013. Jesse is a GLBTQ activist who identifies as genderqueer or agender and prefers (more...)

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