So Called "Radical" Actiivst’s Secret Meeting In Tennesse About As Radical As A Prom Committe Meeting

There have been rumors and whispering for the past few days about a “secret meeting” of LGBT Activists going on at a retreat in Tennessee. Well Kip Williams who worked on National Equality has posted some information on the happening on his facebook page.
Amazingly in his post Kip says they “had no secrets” but if that’s true then why hasn’t any of the netroot bloggers like Pam’s House Blend, Joe, My, God., or Towlleroad heard anything about this before hand.  Also he says they wish they could have invited thousands, but they didn’t and someone did have to sit down and pick and choose who to invite and decide who was more important then whom. That IS NOT radical activism.

Over the last 4 days we gathered at the historic Highlander Center in Tennessee with 45 activists from across the country that are sick of delays, compromises and excuses. Some who joined us have been activists for many years; some are new to the movement—all brought a vast depth of knowledge and a readiness to fight for a more just and equal world for all. Some have worked on national LGBTQ issues, such as ACT-UP, Equality Across America and Join the Impact; some were connected to organizations outside of LGBTQ rights, such as PETA,, Unite Here,, Greenpeace, etc. In our outreach we purposefully looked for those who were supporting and advocating for LGBTQ working people, communities of color, and trans rights.

We had one thing on our agenda: Discuss ways to build a national network of activists to demand full equality now. We believe that it is time to escalate our demands through coordinated nationwide nonviolent direct action, and we hope to build a broad base of organizers to work with all who struggle for justice and dignity in their lives.

We know that many people across the country feel the same way, and that many have been actively working within their own communities for a long time. The Highlander Center can comfortably accommodate about 35 people, and we broke those limits because we wanted more people to participate in the conversation. We had no secrets, only limited space and resources, and a very short time to organize this retreat. We wish we could have invited thousands.

Now there’s nothing wrong with “radical activist”. Actually I embrace them and Iwish to God that we actually had some REAL ONES right now. But a group of LGBT and LGBT supportive leaders meeting in secret and only inviting who they want to make plans for everyone which will probably get bogged down in various committees and boards and will have to be approved by everyone internally before they can even be done is NOT radical activism, it’s a fucking Prom Committe meeting where only the kewl kids are invited to attend

If they REALLY wanted to do something radical the 45 of them would have met in DC, called news outlets and walked to White House and handcuffed themselves to the fence and demanded Equal Rights.


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact:

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3 thoughts on “So Called "Radical" Actiivst’s Secret Meeting In Tennesse About As Radical As A Prom Committe Meeting”

  1. I think the problem is they all want to be leaders instead of "doers"

    In the 70's and 80's actions occured without alot of preperations and planning and NOT just in DC. Actions were almosy spontaneous and fueled by anger and passion We banded together and DID instead of having people and organizations appoint themselves the chosen few and make 5 year plans and massive protests that were nothinbg more than Gay Convention Circut parties. Once that happened we started failing.

  2. Yep. But what's distressing is that many of the people who were invited to Tennessee were very much what you described, back in their day.

    They should know better to avoid being a cafeteria activist.

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