I’m a huge supporter of LGBT groups out in the Big Blue Room. I volunteer with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence year round and work at the majority of the large events in San Francisco every year. I donate to several other groups every year and participate where I can. I decided last year to extend my volunteer hours and efforts into Second Life and the Second Pride organization.
What that my day job takes me away quite a lot, I haven’t run for any of the Board seats nor do I have any intention of doing so. I just try to help where I can with little things and of course using my big mouth to spread the word on events and things the organization requires. The extent of my work right now within Second Life for Second Pride is simply being on the Election Board for this year’s Second Pride Board. All that entails is receiving the list of those who voted and ensuring that the avatars meet the requirements set forth by the by-laws so that their votes may be legally counted. I believe there are three of us that will be doing this.
As a member of Second Pride, I have been closely following the candidate’s section of the website. Each candidate for all of the board positions have posted their Candidate Statement and have made themselves available for questions from the membership of Second Pride. This simple action gives the public an avenue to directly question the Candidates in a public forum and have intelligent discourse about important issues.
After the first few days of on-topic, intelligent discourse, the entire thing has de-evolved into a mudslinging fest the likes of which haven’t been seen since the great Judy or Joan Debates.
Every community has its difficulties. The LBGT community is no exception. Indeed, I would advance that we have a little more than our minimum allotment of issues with which to contend. Like any minority group, we splinter even further within our own ranks to lock arms with those who are the most similar. Instead of banding together as one great community with so much potential, we splinter deeply into bears and dykes, bootblacks and femmes, trans and bisexual, cubs and otters, drag kings and queens… and at a time when we should be holding ourselves together with embraced arms, we push each other away and hope the duct tape and chewing gum will do the trick.
Splintered and fractured, we’re going into this Second Pride board election faced with personal agendas, behind the scenes drama, and issues built on half-truths and outright lies from people’s personal pasts rearing their heads like dragons on fire bent to burn down the city. Candidates are being drug through the mud and some are even slinging some of their own at the other candidates. Its ugly, messy and to be frank, its embarrassing.
People have decided to remove themselves from the election process entirely either as candidates, potential voters or active members. The entire process is casting a black cloud over what should be a celebration of cooperation and unity. What should have brought us all together to launch the new year with flying colors is turning into a launchpad of dirty laundry and will deny the new board any hope for a sturdy platform with which to start the year.
So what the hell am I rambling about exactly?
Being in a community is a responsibility. It is not just the responsibility of those who are leaders- or those who are running for leadership positions of a particular group. It is the responsibility of all members of a community. If you want to wave a flag, you have to bear the weight of the pole from which it flies. Suddenly showing up at the 11th hour, hiding behind an alt, to throw mud just makes us all look bad. I agree 100% with the need for transparency and if we as a community are entrusting someone to lead we should be able to hear about relevant issues of the past which speaks to their personality, trustworthiness, and overall ability. That transparency needs to go both ways and hiding behind alts- anonymous blog posts- and any other means of behind the scenes dirty pool does no one any good.
The entire community is now too embroiled in who said what to whom, who fucked who, and whether or not they know who the anonymous people are that are slinging the mud. The issues most important to the LGBT community at large have been completely lost. Instead of finding out what the candidates stand for and how they plan to lead the community in the coming year, we are watching them be pelted with mud, sling mud, defend themselves and others, and get sucked into the ground. We are displaying the absolute worst in ourselves.
Step above. Act like adults. If you’ve got something to say, say it with your own name. If you’ve got something to say, check your facts and stop gossiping like a bunch of little brats.
None of this behavior does anyone any good.
Be excellent to each other.