For lesbian activists and grassroots organizers fighting the Christian Right.
What's Wrong With This Picture? A Critique of the Mainstream Campaign Model.
Here are some actual ways that mainstream campaigns have chosen to use this campaign model -- ways that show why they have created so much controversy:
You may think such experiences are rare, but these are only a few examples of the many experiences people have had. They may sound drastic and it may seem like the lesbian and gay folks in your town would never allow it, but it has happened and needs to be understood in context. People panic during a campaign. Lesbians and gay men who, in January before the vote, advocated everyone coming out and talking to their townspeople about their lives, will suddenly switch midstream (usually around July or August) and start advocating what we call the "closet approach". We think this community panic ordinarily coincides with the hiring of a campaign manager and a full-time staff who push for a tightly controlled single message, centralized campaign as the only hope.
But, even if we didn't have such harrowing experiences to describe, we would still think that the mainstream campaign strategy is problematic because it enforces the closet, treats lesbian and gay activists as volunteer followers while professionals are paid leaders, and it eliminates many communities from the campaign debate.
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