Conclave and Council and Union, Oh my!

So you said you want a revolution?

Well, ya know, we all want to change the world…

But more important than wanting to do it is how you are going to do it.

And the best efforts — the ones that have had the most lasting change, have always been about people from multiple walks of life getting together and arguing about it.

Yeah, seriously.

It might be a creature with a thousand stomachs and no brain, but it’s the still the best way we have right now.

And let’s face it — the way we are going about it right now just isn’t working.

So here’s part of a suggestion in simple terms, and we’ll see what ya’ll think of it…

I come from a rather peculiar faith. It’s affected my outlook on things a lot.

One of the aspects of it that is that governance is apportioned by household. Each apartment, each condo, each house — that sort of thing.  A makeshift lean to under an overpass even counts — the idea is simplythat each place that people live is where it starts.

Home is where your story begins, where you heart lies, the place you can never go to again, and so forth.  I hope you get the idea.

Each household is basicallya unit unto itself.  It doesn’t matter if it’s roommates, a family, a collection of people who can barely stnd the sight of each other (which, come to think of it, descrines some families and some rooming situations). They have their own space their own stuff, their own small little piece of the world, and it’s theirs.

Household as raw unit.

Each household more or less elects someone within it to represent that household.  Traditionally, there’s a sort of unspoken idea that it’s the man of the house and all that — but in truth, it doesn’t matter.

That person attends a local meeting once a month.  At that meeting, the various members of the local area elect a representative that they send tot he next stage up the chain.

And so on.  House to neighborhood to town to city.

Each city, however, elects 5 members to go to the next level up.  And from that point, each region elects five people, so that the end result is a massive body that pretty effectively represents the various parts of the whole.

And so I’m going to suggest that we, as a movement, start to do the same thing.  That we gather our small groups of friends or whatever, and we send representatives to larger groups to carry our goals forward.  It’s a bit of reinventing the weheel, I realize, but sometimes, that’s what you have to do.

And in this case, it gets better.

In this case, ultimately, each neighborhood should send one member of each of the groups representing the LGBT to a city wide group, and from them one each of the LGBT should be sent to a county group.  From the county group, two each should be sent to a state group. From the state group, three each should be sent to a Regional conference. Say West Coast, Southwest, Mountain, Plains, Midwest, Southern, East Coast, Northeast, etc.

And then the regional places send three each to a national group — a congress of LGBT people.

And in this congress, this conclave, they should go with the knowledge that they are there to represent all the people of their region, and they need to draft — or accept something already drafted — an omnibus bill and a platform and actually create a hard core Agenda for the movement.

Or at least the part of the movement that those willing to do so would represent.

If that sounds like it’s impossible, or silly, or stupid, well, then, you haven’t been part of the political process in this country.  No, seriously — that’s how candidates get involved in their parties, and that’s how the parties do it (except they skip the regional step).

That’s pretty much how the government does it.  That’s how this nation was founded.

So the idea itself isn’t stupid. It’s a proven system that works.  Hell, even the churches widely criticized for opposing and condemning us are basically built on a similar system.

The idea isn’t stupid, isn’t impractical, isn’t silly.  It’s a proven methodology, a workable system, something that doesn’t involve much more than a willingness to participate.

The idea of getting a bunch of LGBT into a room and having them pick a gay man and lesbian and bisexual and trans person to represent them somewhere else might seem unreasonable — but if that’s the problem, then *why* is it so unreasonable, and what’s to say that the four groups can’t do the same thing on their own?

Why can’t Trans folk say screw it and do their own convention and come up with their own Agenda?  Why can’t Bisexuals do it — and I’ll bet you that you see a lot of trans people in the Bisexual group.

Some might say “there’s not enough of us” — and to that I say bullshit. Some might say Transsexuals will be too prominent.  To which I say that’s why it needs to be Trans people, and why everyone needs to be a part of it.

This isn’t rocket science. There’s nothing to say that someone can’t establish a conference, a system of organization to allow this to happen, and then end up with crossdressers representing the trans segment of those willing to involve themselves in this process.

Might not make some transsexuals happy, but to that idea I say then why didn’t you get involved?

We hear all the time about how the leaders of our orgs weren’t elected.  ”I didn’t vote for them to speak for me.” people say.

Well, if that’s part of the problem, then why not change that?

Granted, we can’t change the orgs as they are now.  But this thing I’m talking about here, this Union, this gathering, is open.  It is not going to happen in secret, not going to be part of a select group of people getting together and deciding on their own.  It’s not a top down system, it’s a bottom up method.

And yes, there are popularity contests and such that are gong to be involved, and yes people will get their feelings hurt if they aren’t chosen, and yeah, it means people have to actually get up and do something.

And create an agenda.  By consensus, by compromise, by willingness to listen, and by making sure that everyone’s voice counts just as much as everyone else’s.

That’s why it’s important that each area send one to three of each of the four groups.  And if folks decide it needs to be more, well then, let there be more. If non binary folks want to send one, then grin and nod and say yeah — let’s send one to three from each.  If crossdressers and leathermen and butch and femmes want to have their voices heard then *absolutely* we should do that.

Seriously.  Not joking.

Seem unreasonable to you?  Seem like a problem to you?  If so, then why, people.

Does it seem like a pipe dream to you? Why?  Because faggots hate tranny’s and tranny’s hate CD’s and everybody craps on bi’s who take it out on everyone else?

Or because you’ve lost faith in the people of the movement?

Or is it that you, personally, wouldn’t do such a thing?

And one might say “well, that’ll still mean there’s no people of color there.” and to that I will say “Oh, really?”  What about the base level — the neighborhood and the locale.  Barrio or ghetto doesn’t matter — they still get to send people.

Money a factor in transporting folks?  Part of the job of the city groups is to get people to the state one.  The state group needs to get people to the regional. Regional to the federal.

Hell, we don’t have to stop there, we can make it a worldwide organization.

And it happens.  The Human Rights Watch just had an International Transgender Congress. Had I the ability to attend, I would have.  And I regret not having had that ability, but I follow the stuff and yes, I do speak up on occasion, though not nearly as often as some people may think.

Is it overcoming the internal divisions that separate us what some see as the problem?  Our own inherent racism and classism and sexism?  Well, that’s kinda why things like this are important — they help us to see those things in greater clarity.

All it takes is willingness to sacrifice.

And they gathered together from all over, and they created a document, and that document might not make everyone happy, but it will represent the best that people could do, and we can call that our Agenda.

And then we can stick it in the faces of those who accuse us of having such and say yes, we do, and here it is.  What problems do you have with it?

Which shifts the conversation and destroys them.

We can take the omnibus bill and show that we can not only organize, but the fact that we do it will draw attention.  It will show that we are able to do this sort of thing, and that we can work together, and that all by itself, will make it much harder to play the ends against the middle, which is what is done in the media and in politics as a whole.

Right now.

What, you don’t think saying that the reason ENDA hasn’t passed is that there hasn’t been enough education of the people in power on trans issues *isn’t* playing the middle against the ends?

If that’s the case, wake the fuck up, please.

We can do this.  We have the ability and the tools and the activists out there today are all the sort of people who can do this.  We need to stop letting the movement and the Agenda be defined by those at the top and start having it defined by those at the bottom.

And this is a way to do that.

There is another benefit to doing this.  It creates the foundation for a true political change.  An organization like this cannot be ignored, and the wayit works means that people will gain the skills needed for political campaigns on a much wider scale.  Think of it as the proving grounds for the next generation of LGBT candidates, which we desperately need ever more of.

THe state’s are the farm team, and that’s where most of our players are right now.  We need to build a force around them that let’s them be called up to the big leagues.

(Wow, baseball metaphors, a wizard of oz oblique reference, the Beatles — damn, I’m in a weird mood tonight, lol)

We need to step up and stand out and come together and show the rest of the country that we do have an agenda, and that agenda, I’m willing to bet, will be one that people will like.

That people will love.  That people will support and we will change mor ehearts ad more minds because they will see that we did this by consensus, and that this isn’t just some small group of paid lobbyists doing the job they’d do for the other side with as much ease if they got paid for it.

I truly am certain of that.  That a real Agenda, formed from the bottom up, would truly appeal to more than just the LGBT community, but to the wider nation as a whole.

We want equality.

And next up, I’m gong to talk about part of the reason we don’t have it.  The part that is our fault.

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