Meeting a legend: Activist and community organizer Cleve Jones

January 24, 2009 in Personalities & Profiles | Comments (0)


Historically I’m not what you’d call an “engaged” lesbian. I’ve never been much for the flag waving, rainbow sticker sporting sort of rah rah that always seemed required of participation in the community. In fact there were many times, when attending some event or another made me feel … well … straight.
No doubt it has something to do with my having come out rather late in the game (I was 28). More likely, though, is the fact that as a rule I’ve not generally engaged deeply with “the community.” After all, what if Groucho Marx was right? If I was comfortable in my own skin and okay with who I was, what did I need all that marching, sign waving, banner hanging and such?
Of course for anyone who reads this blog even occasionally you’re aware that my gay neutrality shattered this past May after the California Supreme Court’s landmark decision. Even after that, however, while I attended more events, signed more petitions, made more calls and certainly participated, I was still – as so many – rather late to the game in getting really involved. I’m not talking about writing checks and going to fundraisers, I’m talking about hands-on help. I just didn’t. To be blunt – I was complacent.
Tonight I attended a kick-off event for tomorrow’s Camp Courage here in LA. Cleve Jones, whose central role as a community organizer is chronicled to letter-perfect detail in Gus Van Sant’s Oscar nominated Milk, spoke to the crowd.
No, scratch that, he electrified the crowd.
Screw complacency. It’s time for action. Now.
Not sure how I’m going to get to bed, but will endeavor to do so. Tomorrow is going to be a big day.


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