The Tender Activist: The Commodification and Bastardization of Pride

By : Scottie Campbell
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As I write this, I’m midway through “Rainbow Warrior: My Life in Color,” the autobiography of Gilbert Baker which was published posthumously. Gilbert, you may or may not know, is the creator of the now ubiquitous rainbow flag.

In addition to giving the fascinating details of the birth of our community’s flag, the book is an invaluable look into queer history from San Francisco’s point of view, from just prior to Harvey Milk becoming a city supervisor on.

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The Tender Activist: Building the Next President

By : Scottie Campbell
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I appear to be experiencing a bout of ennui. As we begin wading into the muck and mire of the presidential election cycle, I have wrapped myself in yellow plastic caution ribbon. Cautioning myself from falling into the pit that passes for discussion these days, and serving as a barrier to protect people from my own ire.

I prefer to term it ennui. It makes me seem like a troubled romantic, instead of how I feel below the surface: chicken shit.

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The Tender Activist: How gay is The Great American Read?

By : Scottie Campbell
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I recently bought someone a book as a present. I remembered them reading the genre of book, detective mystery, in the past. I had stumbled upon the book and found myself enjoying a genre I normally wouldn’t gravitate toward. I thought by gifting the book we would share something.

To my surprise, the recipient thanked me for the book then said they hadn’t read a book in a long time. There was tired weight given to the word long. What to me is a common habit was being expressed as nearly alien to them. Caught on the judgment barometer somewhere between a mindful well-that’s-okay and an arrogant what-the-fuck, I told them they didn’t need to feel obligated to read it. They said they would give it a try.

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The Tender Activist: The problem with inclusive language

By : Scottie Campbell
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If we’ve only recently met, it isn’t likely I will call you by name. It isn’t that I don’t want to extend that courtesy, it’s that I don’t want to get it wrong.

I might not ask about your significant other, unless I’m absolutely certain you’re still together. It’s not that I don’t care; I’m afraid I’ll put you in an awkward position if something has changed. When I say I’m afraid of these things, I mean that sincerely. The potential embarrassment is debilitating for me.

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The Tender Activist: You’re Not Responsible Enough to Have a Gun

By : Scottie Campbell
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In the aftermath of the June 12, 2016, shooting here in Orlando, my dad and I had a discussion about guns.

Like all of our discussions on that topic, nobody was swayed. I certainly didn’t help things when I had a knee-jerk reaction to a “the gun doesn’t kill people” bon mot he lobbed at me. Fresh off hearing Rick Scott regurgitate an impotent cliché for the national media about the Second Amendment itself not killing everyone, I snapped.

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The Tender Activist: We’re not getting any younger

By : Scottie Campbell
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scottie campbellWarren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong movie for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars. If you didn’t watch the broadcast, you probably watched the video of the moment, gone viral and only recently unseated by a couple of precocious kiddies strolling in their dad’s office during a BBC broadcast. At the very least you may have heard about the award ceremony snafu around the watercooler, and goodness knows we no longer need to have witnessed something to have an opinion about it.

The immediate assumption heard ‘round the world: Bonnie and Clyde screwed up because they’re old. Beatty turns 80 this month and Dunaway is 76. Hate gets an express pass in the day and age of social media and the assumption was given Herme’s speed. “HOLY SHIT!” tweeted a Hollywood writer friend of mine. “This is what you get when you let two ancient vampires awakened before their time present an award.”

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The Tender Activist: Making a stand by sitting

By : Scottie Campbell
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scottie campbellI grew up in a military household. My biological father – more aptly referred to as ex-father – and my stepfather – more rightly referred to as Dad – were both in the Air Force, so I spent the first 21 years of my life on military bases. Though the teen-angster in me often bemoaned the lifestyle of having my ID checked by a soldier with an M16 just to go to school, today I consider myself lucky for the opportunities afforded to me as an Air Force brat.

Our National Anthem played a large role in our lives. When we went to the movies on base, we stood for the national anthem before it began. Everything would stop for the National Anthem each day when it was broadcast on loudspeakers; we all would stand still where we were, cars would stop and the same thing would repeat for a broadcast of “Taps” at night.

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