Announcing a Community Relations Co-Director

Karl and Joshie standing in the pride fountain after installation ceremony - resolving that there should be ground here.

Karl and Joshie standing in the pride fountain after installation ceremony – resolving that there should be ground here.

Community Relations is at the heart of what LGTB Pride – and Second Pride –  is all about. Pride is a celebration – but it is also a conscious effort to build community from our many different individual  LGTB cultures. Life is improving for LGTB people in many parts of the world because Lesbian and Gay elders stood together and refused to be marginalized for who we are or who we love. Our alliances strengthened us. And we live in a better world because of it.

During  and following this past second pride election, our sense of community has taken a beating.  Instead of banding together,  lines of division have hardened. Attention has focused on the things that make us different from one another:  Gay v. Lesbian. Bear v. twink. Human avatar v. non-human avatar.  Club goers v non-club goers. Young v. old.  I think a lot of us have been saddened and even depressed by this. All we have to do is look in today’s headlines – whether in Russia or anywhere in the world – to see why we need to continue to build a strong LGTB alliances. Like any oppressed minority – we need to stop fighting each other and learn to stand up together.

During the elections, I decided that, if I won, I would reach out to some other part of the community and offer to share my seat. I had a lot of reasons: First, the job of community building is huge. There is obvious work that needs to be done to repair the damage and hurt feelings following the election. There is even more work that needs to be done to broaden and diversify Second Pride. And finally, no one person has the connections and life experiences and perspectives to pull a community together. Community building is almost by definition a team effort.

During the election and following it, I considered several people to ask about Co-Chairing with me. But Joshie made a hard choice easy. He ran a great campaign and through his efforts, he got a lot of people to reconsider and rejoin the Second Pride festival group.  And honestly, if he HAD won the election, I know that he would have done a great job.  The way he ran his campaign should prove to everyone that his motivations were never about himself and were entirely about doing what is best for the community. I would be crazy not to take advantage of his energy and enthusiasm to make a positive change. And so, to the extent permitted by the bylaws, I have asked Joshie to be a co-diretctor of  Community Relations with me. We will work together. He will lead specific projects. And sometimes he will vote in my place as authorized under section 5 of the bylaws.

One thing Joshie and I have discussed already is that there is room for everyone that wants to, to make a difference.  We are not only willing – but eager – to empower other LGTB partners to help us build the community we seek. Do you have an idea about how second pride can be better? Are you a member of a group that feels left out? Do you feel like Second Pride doesn’t listen to what you want? Do you want Second Pride to come FROM YOUR community? Then – we ask you to please give us a chance. Bring us your idea and your willingness to participate. If you want to initiate something that helps build and connect the SL LGTB Community, we will do everything we can make it happen.  We are here to work for YOU.

Thank you, Joshie, for being willing to go on this journey together.


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6 Responses to Announcing a Community Relations Co-Director

  1. Before the SecondPride Election, Karl and I had never met or had any opportunities to talk with each other. Now, that seems like such a long time ago and a complete surprise to me because we have many of the same friends and share all of the same ideals about community, equality, and inclusion.

    Right from the start, I knew this election would be a tough, up-hill battle. I consider myself to be a lot of different things but I would say that primarly people think of me as a Twink (and sometimes
    a Furry!) who hangs out mostly with other Twinks and Furries. (with a dash of Lesbians and Bears into the mix, yay!) Unfortunately, Twinks and Furries are not the vast majority of the voting
    SP Membershp and I knew this going into the election. I was upset that Females, Twinks, and Furries had such little to no voice inside SP and looked to change that by getting involved. Karl welcomed me with open arms! He and I had many oppportunities to talk during the campaign, became good friends, and I found myself on more than a few occasions wearing a “Vote for Karl” Button, even though I was running against him in the same election. *snickers*

    I am happy to accept Karl’s offer to be his Co-Chair/Co-Director in Community Relations. He and I compliment each other very well because we have different strenghts and are tied to different communities. Karl is considered a “Bear” and me a “Twink” – yet here we are, great friends who respect each other and want to work together to actually build the bridges and communities ties that all of the candidates talked about during the campaign.

    SecondPride was never meant to be an all “Gay Male Club” that throws a big Pride event once a year. Through our partnership, right out of the gate from the election, we hope to send a message to the LGBT Community that we welcome everyone. Now, I am happy to throw all of my support behind Karl and work with him as a team to make SecondPride much more inclusive and even more successful than ever before.

    Sincerely Yours,

  2. redtorbjorn says:

    How incredibly lucky we are as a community to have two of the three candidates working together, and less than a week after the elections. *THIS* is how it’s done. Kudos to you both, I wish you much luck.

  3. Doc Spad says:

    Wow!! This is what true leadership is. Building and bringing people together. So refreshing after what we have all gone though. Thanks for setting an example of what we should all be willing to follow.
    Well done guys….

  4. This was a great initiative and made me very happy. I commend you both for reaching out to each other for the good of the LGBT community in SecondLife and for Second Pride.

    I wish you both the best of luck and success in your future ventures in uniting our community!

  5. This is great news. Congrats Joshie. I will continue to support you and Karl in any way possible. 🙂

  6. Eddi Haskell says:

    This is great news. I hope that some outreach can be done to every candidate who ran for Second Pride Office, most notably Dextrum Boucher who has contributed a huge amount to Pride this year and who came very close to winning the Chairmanship to allow Pride to achieve even great success in the future.

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