A local group has been having a bit of upheaval lately. If you’re part of it, you know what I’m on about. If you’re not, then this is irrelevant junk, and you should skip the rest. Here, I’ll break the post and make it easy for you to skip.
I have a fondness for debate and critical thinking. This issue has been muddied quite a lot, and I found myself working to separate the emotions from the thinking points, and having difficulty discerning the line between the person-to-person and the political.
Whenever I get in this confuzzled space, I find it useful to ask myself a crapload of questions. And of course, once I did that. I bethought myself of sharing the questions with all of you. Sorry it’s so… ugh… wordy.
The following are NOT meant to be online-answered. They’re just kind of… personal pondering anchors. If they’re helpful to you, good. If not, please just ignore. Feel free to copy ‘em however and wherever you wish.
- Elaine Miller
queer event (dis)organizer
Is this about queer voices being silenced?
Is this about personality conflict?
If it seems to YOU that the issue is about a group of volunteer event organizers deciding that they wish to suppress all queers, queer thought, queerness in their events, and so forth, what actions/words/proof could the group offer to change your opinion? Encouraging queer folk to run for board? Seeking input from other queer organizations? Including queer content?
Is retaining one particular queer board member the ONLY thing the rest of the board could do to show queer inclusiveness? If so, why?
Do you count bisexual (as in “GLBT”) as queer?
If you id as queer, are you willing to run for the board?
If your answer to the first question (what actions/words/proof could the group offer) is “absolutely none”, can you explain how you’ve come to this place of… er… firm resolve?
When considering the ethics of resolving personality issues within a board of directors, does it matter what type of organization it is? Is there a difference between a hypothetical group that lobbies for underprivileged children’s rights, and recieves gov’t funding, and one that holds recreational events and subsists on whatever income they can generate for themselves?
If it’s about personality conflict such as “We just can’t work together”, should the wishes of eight supercede the wishes of one? If so, is this fair? Is it about “fair” like a union employment issue, or is the entire situation a really about a personal breakup?
If the “public will” in terms of votes cast disallows this “board divorce”, what effect do you suppose this will have on the “board marriage” in months to come? Might the nine-way tension undermine the efforts of each of the volunteer board members to create events? Or might everyone come to some “now we HAVE to get along” agreement and proceed smoothly from here on?
Conversely, if the “board divorce” is allowed, what do you imagine happening? Will the group continue to hold events? Will the next elections be held as usual?
As with children on the playground, does the question “who started it” carry any additional meaning? Is the situation entirely changed, in your mind, by mistakes made during the process of conflict resolution, or is it simply muddied?
What are some of the possible reasons that someone would wish to stay in a group where all other members have asked them to leave? List as many as you can, both positive and negative.
If a large, emotional, and public mess has been made of an issue, it is ever again possible to evaluate the situation logically and decide the best (or most ethical, or most pragmatic, or simplest) course of action?
Do you think that public trashing and name-calling (on and offline) is good for the leather community at large?
and… some further reading for those who enjoy debate