That's what we need. Have you seen SiCKO yet? I'm not saying it's the gospel truth, but it does point to a lack of activism in America. And to co-opt a lovely bumper sticker (that reads: Feminism is the Radical Belief That Women Are People)...
ACTIVISM IS THE RADICAL BELIEF THAT WE ARE WORTH IT.
I want to do something. I want to be a part of a groundswell.
On Tuesday I drove an inordinately long time on the inner loop of the beltway to make to Towsen College where Leslie Feinberg was speaking. Leslie Feinberg is not only a transgender warrior (like me!), not only a hardcore activist, ze's also a pretty good person from what I can gather. I found myself feeling sorely inadequate as I listened to all the Leslie Feinberg does; I mean what do I do?!
Okay, so I write plays that are about socially relevant things, like transpeople and immigrants and those plays have an effect. I hope. But I want to do more. And briefly, the thought that I could go up to Leslie and say, "What do you do? can I do that, too? Can I work on that with you? Can you tell me what to do to be a good activist like you?"
I said it crossed my mind briefly. But I quickly realized that that is a recipe for failure. I need to find my way to be a contributing activist, otherwise I am living someone else's life, not my own. It might seem elementary, but I argue that it's easy to get pulled into the romance of another's success (or in this case, effectiveness).
So this is my new plan. Yes, we all hate to get more email, especially impersonal group email, but maybe I can highlight a worthwhile activist link in my blog, talk about it, let everyone know how it can be used to take 10 minutes and make a difference today. And then maybe I send it out to everyone in my address book, or maybe I link to it at the bottom of my emails. Something.
I want to make a difference. Do you? I'm not alone in this, am I? And it can be daunting, even when you have time (unemployed me), to find the time. I know this. But I think the feeling that we are doing nothing, that we can't make a difference is much worse, much more insidious, much more damaging. No matter what the result it, if we are doing things to make a difference, that impacts our souls, our very beings. That sends a message into the world, into the universe that says: WE MATTER. THE WORLD MATTERS. I CARE. WE'RE GOING TO CHANGE THIS.
Who's with me? Don't answer that, it doesn't matter. I'm doing it for me. You have to do it for you.