If you're in the SF area:
Subject: Advisory: Independence from HRC
We Declare Independence from the Human Rights Campaign!
Next Saturday, July 12 @ noon, the San Francisco LGBT community will celebrate its Independence from the Human Rights Campaign by re-introducing the rainbow flag, created right here in San Francisco thirty years ago, as a symbol of LGBT liberation. Rainbow flag stickers will be provided to any and all who want them -- particularly former HRC members looking to cover up HRC bumper stickers.
The Independence day event is in response to HRC's ongoing refusal to support federal legislation that actually protects all LGBT people from employment discrimination.
According to Wikipedia, "The LGBT rainbow flag or Gay pride flag is a symbol of LGBT pride and LGBT social movements in use since the 1970s. The colors reflect the diversity of the LGBT community, and the flag is often used as a symbol of gay pride in LGBT rights marches. It originated in the United States, but is now used worldwide... After the November 27, 1978, assassination of openly gay San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk, demand for the rainbow flag greatly increased..."
By contrast, sometime during the early 1990s, HRC introduced its own, purely-domestic, impostor flag, two gold bars -- symbolizing wealth? We're not sure.
In any event, that unhistoric and unremarkable flag has fallen into disrepute, coming to represent homosexuals living in the middle of the country -- rather than the actual full diversity of our beautiful, global LGBT community.
Who: Our DIVERSE San Francisco LGBT Community, especially Pride at Work, And Castro for All, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, and others
What: FREE Rainbow Flag Giveaway!
When & Where: Saturday, July 12 @ 12PM, @ the SF Human Rights Campaign store (19th & Castro Street)
Not really surprised that there are people doing this. HRC's had this long time comin', and they've chosen to circle the wagons and cut off ties with the community instead of respond to criticism or change their ways.
The HRC gets their power from the money donors give them as well as the rhetorical power of saying that they represent a good 5 to 10 percent of America. They can't stop all their donors from giving money to HRC, hell some of them probably gave more expressly because of the whole ENDA debacle, so the least they can do is show pols that the HRC doesn't represent the whole of the LGBT community.
Yes, this is a symbolic act. But with politicians actually refusing to meet with HRC now, some are getting that message.
It's seriously hard for me to feel any sympathy for HRC, considering how many opportunities they've been given to change their image. I don't know how many times I was emailing their communications director last fall to get them to post here defending their stance on ENDA, Joe Solmonese had already agreed to participate on TBP as a contributor posting once a month. They stopped responding to my emails and stopped posting on the site. That's one way to make friends in the blogging community: promise to post, then don't, then stop answering emails.
A few months later they actually responded to Bil and complained TBP was too anti-HRC for them. I guess they ignored all the pro-HRC contributors on here, ignored the majority who just didn't care about HRC, ignored those who liked HRC but disagreed with them on ENDA, and focused on the small group who were justifiably angry with HRC's decisions during the ENDA debacle. And then they decided that the best thing to do about an anti-HRC site was to not use their front-page posting privilege and then not respond to the editors' emails requesting content. You know, the sort of content that would help their image.
Yeah, their logic made no sense, but it's part of the way they've operated for years. Circle the wagons instead of engage and just hope that all those mean faggots, dykes, and trannies out there would just shut up. I mean, it's not like they're our equals or anything. It's not like they could actually try and convince us. They're above that.
They're the big men and women on the block; they're the kewl connected kids. That's the message they continuously deliver to the community, so when a group like the one above in SF are pretty much saying they aren't represented by HRC, then, um, yeah, they have a point. And if HRC actually cared what LGBT people thought about them, they could have engaged and defended themselves in a million and a half ways by now.
But they haven't. They don't need us and they know they don't need us. Please don't leave comments about how I'm hurting the work they do since they know as well as I do that I'm nothing to them and so is the majority of the LGBT community.
It's all cool, as long as we all know what's up. But, yeah, that's a big reason why people are mad at them. It's not that they had a different-but-equally-viable strategy than most of the LGBT activist community, it's the way they presented it, the fact that they lied about it before hand, the fact that they refused to defend it, that they refuse to see anything wrong in what they did, and the fact that they refuse to do anything to make up for it.
They made their bed, now they can sleep in it.
Update: Just got an email saying that the crossed out sentence above has been removed from the press release. So there we go.