Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Lgbt activist Michelangelo Signorile on 'victory blindness' and why the fight for lgbt equality isn't over

Michelangelo Signorile
"Victory blindness is something we all succumb to at times. It's a term I use to describe the phenomenon in which we focus on the wins, so starved for validation, that we allow them to blind us to the continued bigotry we face. We become enthralled, intoxicated -- spellbound by even a little bit. The effect is that it obscures our reality -- literally our vision -- and it makes us lose our gumption, not wanting to rock the boat, fearful that we'll lose what we've gained and not get what little bit we think we need, when in fact we need a lot and we should be strong and confident knowing our allies will stay with us. In that chapter I use a vivid example, in a section titled "A Story of Victory Blindness," in which too many activists, claiming that we'd gotten a lot and had a banner couple of years, asked us to accept a situation that validated bigotry and urged us to be "magnanimous," fearful that the right would portray us as going too far -- but in fact this only allowed the backlash to grow because we seemed disjointed and that made us seem weak. We were and are still hated and despised by many -- despite having so many allies now -- and we have no rights in most states nor federal protections. So this is victory blindness, and it can have the terrible effect of actually allowing the backlash to grow because it telegraphs that we will back down." - LGBT activist Michelangelo Signorile on why the lgbt community must not rest on our laurels if the Supreme Court rules in our favor on marriage equality later this year.

 Signorile is promoting his excellently versed new book, , It's Not Over: Getting Beyond Tolerance, Defeating Homophobia, and Winning True Equality, which is officially out today.

1 comment:

Roger Owen Green said...

After watching Signorile use the term "victory blindness" on the Daily Show last night, I Googled it. Yours is the 1st post to show up. Congrats. Great term.