My second (and first original) article for Doug (The Rainbow Reporter) Pollard’s new website, The Stirrer, tackles the problem of apathy in the gay rights/equal marriage movement. They’re not alone of course – apathy is a universal problem and certainly not confined to the LGBTIQ community!
The article is a response to a dear friend who’s suffering from activism burn-out.
I woke up this morning with sentences rattling around in my head and just had to write it.
Here’s how it begins:
“A dear friend emailed me last night. A gay man, he’s a passionate advocate for LGBTIQ health, equal rights and same-sex marriage. When there’s a letter to be written, a submission to be made, a politician to be educated, a hearing to attend, a seminar to be planned, a rally to be organised or a meeting to be convened, my friend is there – ‘pink jackboots’ and all – putting in 200 per cent to make a difference. He’s a firecracker.
But last night, his mood was low as he wrote that he was stepping back – for a while at least – for the sake of his ‘mental health and well-being’. I knew he was burning out – I’ve been worried about him for a while now. But, the final straw came this week when, leading yet another gallant charge for equality, he paused to look behind him – and found there was no-one there. His rainbow army had somehow fizzled away – too busy, too tired, too distracted, too apathetic to help him fight for their rights. He is hurt, bewildered and, frankly, bereft.”