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Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’

On May 14th, 1980, Angie Motzko secured her 8-minute-seniority over her brother, Eric.  But they would experience all major landmarks together, falling in-sync on a level exclusive to twins.  Despite their parents’ best efforts to deliberately separate them in school and extracurricular activities, Angie and Eric were capable of channeling the best and the worst in each other.  They thrived off of shared experiences – learning to ride a bike around their cul-de-sac (modified as a scooter with peddle block, for Eric’s shorter legs), getting their driver’s licenses and sharing in the hype of getting ready for high school dances.  Their senior year, Eric was crowned homecoming king and Angie recalls it with a paralleled sense of honor and pride.    

When it came time for college, they split like a mini kit-kat bar, brining goofy grins to those they invited into their lives.  Outside of the package, their relationship continued to grow, but in a way that neither of them had anticipated.  Eric identified as a gay male.  This new reality set them on a uniquely comparable “coming out” journey – Eric as the gay male and Angie as the straight ally.

Self-discovery

Eric was not always attuned to his attraction for men.  He had bought into the status quo by dating a couple girls in high school, never paying serious thought to his incompatibility with this role.  Long before Sex Ed class defined the social laws of love, he was, admittedly, very involved with other people’s lives and “making their lives authentic.” (more…)

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When you hear a call for “human rights,” who do you recognize under this umbrella term?  Do you think of the poor, child soldiers, domestic abuse victims, refugees or sweatshop employees?  These thoughts drum up images and reports from foreign correspondents, celebrity activists, and specialized non-profit organizations that invite us to export our compassion and support.

With our altruistic sights set on foreign countries, it is easy to overlook issues at home.  Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, in particular, are still largely at odds against governmental policies and mainstream social acceptance.  As recorded by advocacy groups like the Human Rights Campaign, LGBT equality is fragmented both across and within state borders.

So where does this disconnect between LGBT equality issues and “human rights” issues that Americans are so fond of purporting stem from?

This is something I have been stuck on lately.  To date, my blog posts have been concerned with people and events outside of the U.S.  However, before I recast my net from American shores, I’d like to catch a few of the stories I feel nibbling at my toes.  (That’s right, I just drew an analogy between LGBT rights issues and minnows.)

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Nicholas D. Kristof, a columnist for the New York Times, is well known for his commentary on human rights issues across the globe.  He keeps a blog titled On the Ground, and is currently working on a PBS special that is based upon his book, Half the Sky.  Kristof is a journalist and he is an advocate. But is he an activist?

In the media world, there seems to be newfound contention over the concepts of advocacy journalism and activist journalism, the latter being the imposter.  While all journalism is advocating on the behalf of something/someone, objectivity is still identified as the essential characteristic that separates professional journalists from those who report with an agenda. (more…)

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