I have been reading about the nature of writing history. I don’t mean writing a book but in creating what the future generation will know about what people before them did. In that knowing, they build their footprint. I don’t want to get too fancy here but what Miss Catt and Miss Paul set on the river of time for us to know creates who we are today. Only visionaries and ice cutters imagine beyond the givens but even they breathe within certain boundaries.
A lot is being written criticizing elitist books in the TLGBQ world – Boise and Becker for starters. And many flip out over black-tie, $500 plate award dinners celebrating people who never held a sign or walked on pavement. I agree and now I see that future generations will only have these points of view represented. In twenty years, when students read about how gender equality happened, it will appear that politicians, legislators, wealthy organizations and shiny famous people did it all.
Here is the deal. You can change that. You can write this history. You can write a history that actually expresses the equality that is being born right now. If every organization, every community TLGBQ Center, every College and University Center had their own awards, their own dinners, bestow honors which DEMONSTRATE what you want to be history.
If you want greater diversity to be your pen-stroke, then honor a diverse group of people. You are not limited by needing a bestselling published book about grassroots activism. It can be done in other ways. Think about what you want people to believe about this time and make that the banner, the footprint, the celebration. Who made all this happen and who do you want the class of 2050 to know as the activists of the turn of the century.