Cardboard Castles and Other Amenities...

I am really interested in using different forms of cultural action to help build better communities. Communities are a vital social model, allowing us to tackle problems beyond the ability of individuals with the focus of a defined (usually relatively small) group of people. How do the arts and cultural work in general help communities grow more sustainable futures? If you have a cool website or project or your own ideas on these subjects please let me know.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Some Thoughts on This the National Day of Silence

This is a letter I wrote to co-workers which I thought I would share with you all:

Dear co-workers, friends, and allies,

Yesterday a friend sent me a Facebook link about an 11-year old boy, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, who hung himself on April 9th, after enduring bullying at school, including daily taunts of being gay. Needless to say this really hit me. As someone who has suffered LGBT-based violence and harassment, it pains me to hear our children continue to be threatened by this hatred and bigotry. Since today is the National Day of Silence, which tries to raise awareness about LGBT-bullying and harassment, I thought I would send out this invitation for further dialogue.
As K pointed out in our staff meeting, our lives continue to be affected by wide spread injustice and oppression. I have had a similar struggles to celebrate with a good friend who is engaging in growing the love between her and her male partner through marriage, while being barred from expressing my love through that same institution. There is amazing courage to be found in publicly committing one’s love to another person as there is in admitting to oneself and one’s loved one’s that in this society some of us don’t have that opportunity (at least not in the same way.)
This is an invitation to dialogue, so what do you think? What is your history of violence and oppression? How do you think we continue to struggle against this and all other forms of bigotry? How do we redouble and refine our efforts to help our young people find new ways, ways of love and compassion, understanding and opportunity for all people? These are a couple of the questions on mind this day of a heavy heart; and questions the Hegada teaches us are good things. I invite anyone to share with me any questions or ideas you might be having about LGBT issues (or anything else for that matter.)

If love, compassion, and hard work are the answers it is heartening to be daily in such inspiring company.

Thank you,

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