Wednesday, January 6, 2016

An Open Letter to the Houston SGL/LGBT Community


Here is the thing that I have been marinating on for quite some time: There are those in the SGL/LGBT community of all races who have felt from the very beginning that my ideas and lens of inclusion did not fit into their respectable negro templates or that I am a direct threat to their White privilege. Because of this they have tried to block me, look over me and etc, But here is the thing.... My activism reaches far beyond Houston and Texas and I could leave and be ok...THE DIFFERENCE IS that I care about Houston!

I continued to do what I have always done! Which is work with the people they ignore and helped to elevate voices that Gay inc, the HIV industrial complex and other machines have and continue to deem unimportant. Of course, this epitomizes marginalization and the need to be in power for the sake of power. Tonight I was nominated to run for seat on the board of the LGBT Political Caucus and with hesitation said yes. Truth be told, I have a healthy distrust for folks who don't uplifts the needs of all in the SGL/LGBT community and Black community of Houston at large. It really seems to be a race to shorten one's name in hopes to be part of the organizational revolving door and/or run for a seat in various races just to be elected and ineffectual at best.

One thing that I have learned supporting Sylvester Turner as a volunteer and on staff is that from the very beginning White folks felt they had proxy in determining who the next Minority leading Houston would be. This came into being without consideration that people of different races can pick who they want to lead from elected positions just fine. Big gay inc did not support Candidate, now Mayor Turner because they knew he would serve the needs of all Houstonians. He did not and does not serve the interests of the few who have slandered him with lies of corruption and even questioned his support of the LGBT community at large, ALL while he supported the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and as a state rep blocked the anti LGBT establishment.

Should I win a seat on the board of the Caucus, I will not sacrifice my integrity to get along and go along. I will try my best to push issues that reflect the diversity of All SGL/LGBT Houstonians through Caucus actions, including but not limited to re - evaluating screening forms for candidates who wish to seek the endorsement of the Caucus. In general, I feel that the reigns need new hands to take them in the organizational structure of politics in Houston. In a way that does not discard our elders, but also respects that the time has come to pass the torches to well qualified millennials. I don't mean just anyone, I mean people who will do the work that needs to get done. Not people who purport to know the needs of the communities that they come from but only show up to said communities for a photo op while hiding behind dresses, suits and respectability politics to oust people from organizations only to continue a legacy of laziness and ineffective works they claim their predecessors were guilty of.

I specifically encourage Black SGL/LGBT identifying folks to become part of a process that can improve the lives of ALL Houstonians, and especially Black Houstonians. Be independent thinkers, don't let religion and organizations guide your thoughts. True leaders go against the grain and can still work with others who may not agree with them, they don't go along to get along, and they damn sure don't live to appease those with privilege

XOXO

Ashton P. Woods