Life As It Is

22 September 2010
My life is as it is. It is interesting to see it fall into similar patterns of life no matter where I am. I have now lived in Maryland for nearly three months. I can't believe it. It sometimes frightens me how fast it has gone, but that's not the point of this post. My life has fallen into the same pattern as it has everywhere I've lived. For example, I have never had many friends. I have many "acquaintances" who are my friends at work, school, etc., but not people who I hang out with or party on weekends with. When it comes to actual friends, I have few and far between. In the three months that I have been here, I have four friends. I would only consider one of them pretty close and I only met him a little while ago. Two of my friends are old friends from BYU and we do things every now and then, one is my second cousin (we have a lot in common and it's fun to be around him), and the last is someone I met through my second cousin. They all live in DC, so my weekdays are pretty lonely in good ole Fredneck, but I have fun on the weekends with my friends or by myself. I go to parties, clubs, bars, church, and hang outs to meet people to become my friends, but they never become my friends. They are place in the "acquaintances" category. This frustrates me.

I want and need more friends, but it seems like I cannot make any. I want someone to call me to do something. I want someone to show up at my apartment randomly. I want to stop organizing get togethers. I don't know if this will ever happen though. I recently stopped going to church because nobody in my ward talks to me. I have only had four people talk to me at church and none of them remember me the next week. The bishop and second counselor haven't even remembered me. It's kind of frustrating because I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb in church with the people of Fredneck. I've tried striking up conversations with a few people, but it's awkward to say, "Hi, I'm new to the ward. My name is Sean." You think that they would already notice you are new talk to you. It seems like the people in my ward are more concerned about the visitors. Why? I don't know. What I do know is that the people in my ward talk to the visitors more than they talk to me. It's disheartening.

Another example happened last night. I went to a gay Mormon party to watch the season premiere of Glee (PS I thought it was a little lack luster). There were a lot of people there and they basically all knew each other fairly well. They asked me a little about myself and what I was doing. After I told them, it seemed to stop. Nobody really talked to me anymore. I felt like I was the odd man out. That I was different from the rest. That they didn't want me there. Don't get me wrong. They were all very welcoming, but I personally didn't feel welcome. Maybe it will come with time. I don't think I'll go again though. I need to find a place to meet young professionals, like myself. That way I will have things in common with them, and hopefully I can make friends because acquaintances only go so far.

Gay Rights Movement? What Gay Rights Movement?

13 September 2010
If there is a gay movement going across the nation right now, will someone please educate me? I don't see a movement pushing forward and changing the nation and society's beliefs.

This is my opinion of the whole "Gay Rights Movement." There isn't one. I know that people will say, "What about HRC or No Hate?" I say those aren't movements at all. They are very localized with no thrust behind them. In my opinion, these groups are not large or unified enough AND their supporters are a bunch of floozies that do not participate in their planned activities. In order for a gay civil rights movement to occur, the leaders of the groups must unite and learn from the examples of the original Civil Rights Movement and Feminist Movement. The leaders and members of these movement knew how to change the nation and the world. We must draw upon their examples (I'm not going to go in-depth on what they did, but I'll talk about the generalized basics).

In my Sociology of Gender course, I learned that in order to have a successful social movement the following three aspects are needed: leaders must draw upon frustration and discontent, the leaders must build upon existing social networks and organizations with social power, and favorable political opportunities. Then in order to form a social movement the following three conditions must be present: a precipitating event that creates a new consciousness among a group of people, that core of people organize and attempt to mobilize others, and that the people in the group have the same consciousness and desires. If we look at this criteria, we have already started a social movement. A lot of the movement started with Harvey Milk. First, he created a new consciousness among many LGBT people by showing them that they are equal members of society. Second, he ran for office, brought others together, and mobilized them. Finally, the people under his leadership had the same goals, equality. He started the movement, but with his death, it disappeared quickly.

Where does that put us now? We have part of what we need to start a movement, the collective consciousness. After Milk's death, the collective consciousness that he started has stuck around throughout the decades; however, the organization and the mobilization of others is severely lacking. This stems from the various organizations trying to get the movement going. Are the leaders drawing upon frustrations? Yes, but they are not using the frustrations of the people to progress the movement. I think they are using it as a publicity stunt to become social lights and nothing more. Are the leaders building upon existing social networks? Yes, but these networks have no power. These leaders have no social capital or power. Is the political environment favorable? Yes and no, because there are still some problems all over the nation with politics.

What are the problems with the movement? The gay rights organizations are not using their social power (well, the little power they have) effectively. Also, they are not mobilizing the people and the people will not mobilize themselves. After Prop. 8 was overturned, the west went crazy, but the east didn't even care or hear about it. There was relatively nothing in the news back here. I'll attribute that to the lack of power or the lack of using power from the gay rights organizations. In addition, I heard of no protests or strikes that went on the east coast after the overturning of it. Again, that is the fault of gay rights organizations.

Would you agree with me that the movement is not unified and mobilizing? Answer the four following questions and see if you agree with me.

Do you know where your local gay rights movement organization headquarters is?

How many of you would be willing to get up away from the computer and the comforts of your home to go on strike at your state capital or nation capital for weeks, months or years?

How many of you participate in publicized boycotts?

How many of you are willing to be completely open honest about your orientation (i.e. holding hands in public, kissing in public, having people at work know about your orientation, not acting differently around people who don't know about your sexuality, etc.)?

These are four simple questions I would like you to consider. I bet very few of you would do one or two of these, let alone any. I will admit that I would not participate in strikes and boycotts. That is me and my personality, but I know where my local office is and am open and honest about my orientation. I do not hide anything. If people ask me if I am gay, I will tell them. I act the same no matter where I am at in society. I am always myself.

Some of you are probably wondering why I am writing a semi-political blog then if I'm not willing to get involved in politics. The reason is because I am sick and tired of hearing people proclaiming equality and freedom when something like Prop. 8 was overturned. That does not make you equal. You must change society's perception in order to become equal, otherwise we'll be like the African-Americans after the Civil War and until after the Civil Rights Movement. Also, I do not participate in politics because I have yet to see a good organization develop with the necessary tools to cause social change. When one eventually rises from the dust, I may get involved (and maybe you feel like me so the movement will never go anywhere, but I am fine with my situation and my life the way it is).

Anyways, these are my musings. Take them for what they are worth to you or demolish me and my thought processes. I don't care, but this is the way I see the Gay Rights Movement, and I see it going nowhere.

Madonna - Little Star

01 September 2010

-"Little Star" by Madonna

This song always makes me happy and soothes my soul. :)