Friday, April 29, 2016

What Makes An Activist?

There is an article in ESPN W with Jennifer Boylan and Kate Bornstein and one answer that resonated with me was,
AG: When did you both decide that you would become public figures and advocates?
JB: I don't think I ever decided. I wrote my memoir, "She's Not There," in a summerhouse in the middle of winter in complete isolation. I had no idea that it would ever see the light of day or that anyone would ever read it. The publisher didn't particularly think a semi-comic story of changing genders was an automatic best-seller. The book's success took me by surprise, took the publisher by surprise, and kind of catapulted me into a role for which I was not particularly prepared.
“I don't think I ever decided.” was what resonated with me, I never decided to be an activist, all I did was ask what can I do to help and did it.

So what makes an activist?

Someone who hears means and intervenes is an activist.

Someone who calls their legislators is an activist.

Someone who testifies before a hearing is an activist.

Someone who stands up for their rights is an activist.

Someone who overcomes their fear and goes out in public is an activist.

It doesn’t take much to be an activist; all it takes is to act.

Here is another activist...
Fight for transgender rights growing
Activists are pushing for more protections after the landmark same-sex marriage ruling last year.
The Portland Press Herald
By Sandhya Somashkhar The Washington Post
April 29, 2016

After decades of fighting her family, her community and herself over her gender identity, Kendall Balentine finally made peace with it. She became content to live out her retirement quietly, for the first time in her life as a woman, with her wife and dogs in the relative isolation of Deadwood, South Dakota.

That is, until last month. The South Dakota legislature advanced a bill requiring transgender students to use the bathroom matching the sex on their birth certificates. When an organizer with a national gay rights group called to see if she would come forward to call for the governor to veto the bill, requiring her to push herself into the limelight in a way she never imagined, she didn’t hesitate.

“All my life, I put myself in harm’s way because I couldn’t be who I was,” said Balentine, 49, a retired Marine and deputy sheriff who fully transitioned from living as a man to a woman last year. “I decided now I was willing to die for who I am and fight for those who didn’t have a voice.”
She is one type of activist; she is willing to be in the spotlight, while other activist just come out to their family.

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