Gay and Lesbian Rights Organizing : Community-Based Strategies book cover
1st Edition

Gay and Lesbian Rights Organizing
Community-Based Strategies

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ISBN 9781560232759
Published March 17, 2004 by Routledge
262 Pages

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Book Description

Examine successful strategies designed to end discrimination and achieve social justice for sexual minorities!

Gay and Lesbian Rights Organizing: Community-Based Strategies is the first compilation of case studies of local-level gay rights organizing efforts. It is an inspiring testimonial to grassroots work going on across the country, from a community located in the heart of the anti-gay operation in the US, the home of Focus on the Family, in Colorado, to a moving vision of a different world told first-hand by four transgender youth in the Northeast, to a successful campaign in a community in Kentucky where a decade earlier television crews agreed to film only the feet of gay rights marchers in order to protect them in view of fierce opposition and even death threats against them. As Urvashi Vaid states in the foreword, “local and state activism remains the vibrant center of the movement.”

The first section of Gay and Lesbian Rights Organizing, entitled “Building Coalitions and Changing Communities” examines:

  • a multilevel process of organizing for GLBT rights, and how a grassroots campaign lobbied successfully for a local ordinance protecting GLBT rights in Louisville, Kentucky
  • the campaign and strategies utilized by the Fairness Alliance in Lexington-Fayette county, Kentucky, to facilitate the passage of that county's Fairness Ordinance, including effective lobbying and coalition building between the GLBT community and business, civic, political, community, and religious leaders
  • the development of gay rights organizations and their participation in several important local and statewide political coalitions in Connecticut
  • how GLBT activists organized to amend anti-discrimination laws in Maryland
The next section, “Visions of Community for GLBT Youth,” presents:
  • candid interviews with four male-to-female transgender students of color at an alternative school in the Northeast
  • an examination of the development of Supporting Our Youth, an innovative grassroots program that builds community for GLBT youth in Toronto, Canada, through a broad range of arts, cultural, recreational, and employment training activities and a popular housing/mentoring program
  • a framework for creating community-based gay/straight and youth/adult alliances in rural settings—and a look at PRISM, a community-based alliance open to youth from several schools in a college town and nearby rural communities
  • the challenges and successes of a small grassroots effort to change the learning environment for GLBT youth in a public school district in a small, conservative Colorado city
The final section, “Innovative Strategies for a New Era,” examines:
  • GLBT think tanks—how they identify the concerns of GLBT people through research and policy analysis to provide the basis for more effective and proactive organizing
  • what we can learn from Norway's example when it comes to protecting GLBT rights and providing services for GLBT people
  • the use of the Internet in the development and growth of the transgender movement—how it facilitates organizing, helps activists and organizations to be more productive and effective, and provides new tactics and arenas for activism
  • GLAAD's “AM/FM Activism,” an online resource that provides local activists with the tools necessary for responding to defamation in their communities
  • the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas, the world's largest gay church—and how in seeking social justice on behalf of other marginalized people they have gained acceptance and support from the local community
  • the birth of the Lesbians and Lesbian Feminists organization on Mexico City, with a focus on the actualization of two of the movement's ideas—a lesbian kiss-in and legal recognition of same-sex relationships—and their eventual transformation into a major med

Table of Contents

  • About the Contributors
  • Foreword
  • Organizing for Change: One City’s Journey Toward Justice
  • One Community’s Path to Greater Social Justice: Building on Earlier Successes
  • Coalition Building and Electoral Organizing in the Passage of Anti-Discrimination Laws: The Case of Connecticut
  • Organizing to Amend Antidiscrimination Statutes in Maryland
  • Resisting Fragmentation, Living Whole: Four Female Transgender Students of Color Speak About School
  • Building Community for Toronto’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, and Transgendered Youth
  • Building Community-Based Alliances Between GLBTQQA Youth and Adults in Rural Settings
  • Grassroots Meet Homophobia: A Rocky Mountain Success Story
  • The Importance of GLBT Think Tanks to Our Agenda of Equality and Liberation
  • Assessing Health and Social Service Needs in the GLB Population: The Norwegian Experience
  • ’Trans’cending Barriers: Transgender Organizing on the Internet
  • “AM/FM Activism”: Taking National Media Tools to a Local Level
  • A Gay and Lesbian Congregation Seeks Social Justice for Other Marginalized Communities
  • From Movement Demands to Legislation: Organizing in the LGBT Community in Mexico
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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