Sean Bugg’s interview with Dan Choi

Metro Weekly’s Sean Bugg did a long interview with Dan Choi. He’s got a great story and it’s a good read, but I found this particularly interesting:

MW: Have you gotten any shit from friends in the Army or anyone else about being known as an ”activist”?

CHOI: Yeah. [Laughs.] Actually, I’ve gotten it from other activists. I know a lot about initiations and traditions that people have to sort of pay your dues — in the military, there are procedures and protocols. You gain rank. Here, you don’t have that as much, but there are different traditional ways, that we have paid dues within the community, at least from what I’m understanding, and so a lot of people have pointed out that. I wouldn’t go to the point of saying that I don’t deserve to be in this role, but they say, ”You sort of came out of nowhere.”

Uh, thank god he “came out of nowhere.” Here’s a message for anyone who has sent that message to Dan or any new activists: Get over yourselves.

The idea that only long-term activists or existing organizations can help us achieve full equality is absurd. The track record isn’t exactly stellar. If we’re not finding new spokespeople and new leaders, we’re never going to succeed.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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