David Mixner on 50 Years of Activism
I've mentioned several times that longtime activist David Mixner is going to be honored this Monday in New York with the Point Foundation's 'Legend' award for his 50 years of activism.
In a new interview with The Advocate, Mixner talks about those 50 years. Here's a bit of it, on effective activism:
"...one of the things we have to get over as a community is wanting to be liked. Or proving to others that we’re just like them. These ads where we have, 'This is my straight daughter, this is my lesbian daughter. We’re just like you, and they’re just like each other.' First of all, nobody’s gonna buy it, not in a million years. We can try to sell them the Brooklyn Bridge before we tell them a homosexual is just like them. But second of all, we’re not. In some ways we bring remarkable gifts to this table of society. How can I be like them when I’ve lost 300 friends to AIDS? When my best friend, Freddie Davis, killed himself at 16? When I know people who had forced lobotomies in the ’50s? When people were rounded up in parks and had their names printed in newspapers and their careers destroyed? When police raided the bars and lined people up outside? How can we be like them? Our experience is so different from them. But what we did in all of that, we triumphed because we had a different, unique journey. When our friends got sick with AIDS we created new health care systems; we created dental clinics for everybody. And we can show society we know how to do this. If they will embrace us and our gifts and talents because we’re not like them. They need us."
Check the rest out here.