First apologies for not showing my face here for a while. Let's say the year is ending with a rollercoaster ride and a bit of a bang, both personally and professionally.
Since many of you know me I will not offer up the wisdom, stories and joy my wife and daughter bring me. Friend me on Facebook, you'll see. Oops, gave away a big 2009 highlight - Cathy finally joins Facebook.
But it is this quiet time of year (translation: holiday week, after the dogs get me up at 5:30 and before the girls get up) that I have been thinking about the high points of this year and taking the leap to make some predictions about 2010. I hope you will read this and add predictions and contributions of your own about what 2010 would hold for the LGBTQA community.
In no particular order and certainly not complete in scope, Renna Communications (now with the wonderful addition of Laura McGinnis) had the opportunity to work on amazing issues and projects, and the honor of having a bird's eye view of the movement's progress - and lack thereof - during a year of tectonic shift in climate and culture both in and outside our diverse communities.
Here's a short and incomplete list of what passed through our office in 2009. Hint: I posted about a lot of these: Lisa Larges fighting for ordination; the Easter Egg Roll; working with Harvey Milk's nephew Stuart, a fellow Long Islander; authors like Loren Olsen, Jennifer Storm, Bill Konigsberg, Joanne Herma and Linda Goldman; films like Training Rules and Two Spirits.
The premiere of Two Spirits in Denver in November was a high point of the year for me, as Fred's Mom saw this amazing film let out into the universe. Look for more screenings and if you are at Creating Change come to our special screening!
We had the honor to work with the LI LGBT Center, Ali Forney Center, Williams Institute, Family Equality Council, CBST, Reel Affirmations, Capital Pride in DC, Lambda Legal and others. And we cannot forget SAGE, which continues to grow and impact the lives of LGBT older adults in extraordinary ways. Their affiliate meeting was one of the most fun and fulfilling weekends my staff and I spent all year. But being with Jerry Hoose to the White House for the Stonewall reception (he is a true Stonewall Veteran) was just amazing.
But is was the latter part of the year where I realized we were sitting in the middle of some great change. the post-Prop 8 protests awoke a sleeping giant, I believe, and we are now seeing a change in tone, intensity and commitment in many areas of our work.
Working with Faith In America, we took head on (again) the mythology of the Gay vs. God dichotomy in the media and in our culture whether it was Newsweek's publication of Brent Vholder's moving story of personal change to understand the real harm the anti-LGBT teachings he believed impacted real people, to working with Projector Rev. Irene Monroe to debate the dangerous Bishop Harry Jackson. We were thrilled to be brought on to help in the battle for marriage equality in DC in late 2009. And I was super proud to see my wife and daughter walk into the mayoral bill signing ceremony.
But as we go into 2010 I also see tremendous challenges. Our community is facing some truly core differences in strategy and tactics, language and tone in how we achieve our liberation. I am looking forward to the 2010 Task Force Creating Change conference in Dallas and hope to have conversations that shape the way we can do things.
Shameless plug: I have 2 academy sessions and some workshops that address these very issues: are we a market or a movement? A set of diverse communities or Gay Inc? We will also be doing some terrific media trainings.
My prediction for 2010: we will see major changes in how organizations do their work, the growing role of the blogosphere in making things happen, improvements in how we work together and (personal interest) how we can better both hold the media accountable and use it to educate the public.
The lesson Prop 8 and other losses taught us is that we have time on our side, we just need more of it. But there is a lot we can be doing in the meantime, wisely and well and talking into account the core obstacles we face and the need for a new, bolder strategy to move forward. There are plenty of the obvious "big ticket" items like ENDA, DADT, all of the local work happening to end discrimination at all levels, the need for more visibility of our diverse community, more complex conversation aboou who we are, etc etc etc.
Those are the things you can bet I will be writing about in 2010 - no prediction needed.