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.