This is an ongoing series that began at Bears Left. This is part one and was originally published on April 15th. Part 2, published there on May 11th will follow tomorrow, with Part 3 on Thursday.
The only way that the LGBT movement will be successful is by being professional, creative and honest. Our state-wide organization here in Ohio, as of late, is none of those things.
One can start with a tour of the Equality Ohio homepage.
The front page references a story that supposedly happened last week, yet it happened in the middle of March.
It also talks about registering for the C.A.U.S.E. Conference - it ended ten days ago. No, registration didn't end 10 days ago, the conference did.
Click on the news blog link to find out breaking news - from December.
Or the Newsletter link for the recap of recent activities - in November.
If you want to attend a fun event, you'll need to borrow a time machine - and head to October.
But their latest email is by far the most egregious. Again, being professional, creative and honest will move our community forward. This email, and idea, is none of them:
Click here to see the full message and have active links.
Let's start with professional. It's as fast as the first sentence of text when "greenspace or an evening" I'm guessing should read "greenspace for an evening." Sure, it is petty, but come on. Not to mention the two !! that would have kicked the message out of most spam filters. It's an event invitation, yet I have no idea about the details until I get to the very last line.
Let us next look to creativity. The event itself is a grand idea. It's a great way to bring together the community and the neighborhood and the student. Kudos to the local organizations and student groups who thought of it. The non-creative part comes when we start to talk about the money. By the way, no other website I can find talking about this event talks about money, but we'll get to that. Equality Ohio's alert includes an ask for $5. This looks remarkably like an event they did in did in Sept 2007. However, there's no explanation of the money piece with this "new" event, what it will do or who it will benefit.
This event is in 6 days. Equality Ohio is clearly late (Queer Cincinnati.com from MARCH 4) to the game and attempting to jump onto the bandwagon in Hamilton County, an area they have no Board or Leadership presence. But the question is why? This is where the honesty question comes in.
Did Xavier groups ask Equality Ohio to help spread the word about the event and they obliged? Alternately, did Equality Ohio chase-down the bandwagon to squeeze themselves onto it to raise money on the backs of the students' work. If you click on the link to donate - either of them - it will take you to the main donation page of Equality Ohio. It doesn't take you to a unique donation page where Equality Ohio can track the donations that are supposedly to HELP SUPPORT PROGRESSIVE STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS ON XAVIER'S CAMPUS!! How will they know how much money was raised via this campaign vs. the other campaigns or even the "Donate" button on the web page? Why do both links go to the same place? Nowhere in this alert does it say the money will go to anyone but Equality Ohio. Will it? The alert says that Equality Ohio is "leading a national fundraiser." How can you lead more than a month after the event was starting to be publicized? How is it a national fundraiser when you send it to an Ohio list?
One of two things is going on here. One, Equality Ohio is collecting money for themselves based on the work of college kids. Two, Equality Ohio is in fact raising money for Xavier groups, as another recycled program, and just lacks the ability to communicate their plans or intentions clearly.
We in Ohio deserve more. We deserve a state organization that is top notch. If you take upon you the mantle to speak on my behalf then you have a responsibility to uphold the highest of professionalism, utilize the cutting edge of creativity and uphold the highest standards of honesty. If you want to be the leaders toward LGBT equality then you can not engage in activities that hurt that effort.
UPDATE: Looks like the Equality Ohio Front Page was updated Thursday.
Got the newsletters up to:
Why can it happen in 24 hours after a blogger points it out, but can't happen in a timely way on its own?
Checking in on the Equality Ohio Homepage on April 20th shows you can:
1. Register for Lobby Day, even though registration closed on the 30th of April and the event is over.
2. Make calls to your State Representative and ask them to co-sponsor EHEA, even though it is no longer possible to add a co-sponsor.
3. Attend a rally in Cleveland, even though the rally was on May 7th.