Editors' note: Antonia "Toni" D'orsay is an advocate and sociologist based out of Phoenix Arizona working for several organizations in an advisory capacity, where she works on issues of empowerment, education, and language within and without the LGBT community under the pen name of Dyssonance.
It is time for a convention, a convocation, a conference, a congregating the purpose of which is to create a contract, a collusive and collective covenant to which one can refer and relate and know that one's ideals and goals and efforts have purpose an meaning above and beyond the normative means and ways that one would expect.
We need a charter, a format, something which stands on its own outside the independence of the various organizations and groups, beyond the narrowish confines of the movement as something that is gay or bi or trans - a constitution, if you will, that outlines the ideals and objectives and that includes involvement above and beyond a statement of principles or missions.
We need to hold meetings, open meetings, without closed doors, without restrictions, and in those meetings we need to appoint teams from each town and dale, each city and space, and then they need to come together and represent their portions in a multiple day gathering that includes representatives from the major organizations at the national and state levels as well as the citizen groups.
A pipe dream, doubtless - the HRC still has not joined United ENDA, for example.
But that's what we need to do, for donation without representation is no better a means of advocacy.
Some call now for this to be seen not as a Civil Rights effort, but as a Human Rights effort, and the basis of their point is that this is not about one group getting equality in the law.
It is about all groups getting equality in the law. Not merely the gay and the lesbian and the bisexual and the trans.
And it is, in the end, about changing something few really want to admit, which is the nature of our social fabric.
We want people to have the freedom to be themselves. And that means fighting a power that underlies the very essence of a social structure, and that is commonality.
There was another time, of course, where such a thing was done, When people sought to change a cultural ideal that kings should reign, and nobles should govern, and they would leave us alone and do the right thing because, after all, they were Kings and Nobles, granted status and authority by divine writ if not will.
Three hundred years earlier, the world to most people was filled with creatures terrible and frightful - dark woods were sinister and violent, and to question the word of the Church, for there was only one, was to invite death and oblivion.
And in that time, men gathered. They were men chosen to represent those whom they shared many ideals with, and they came together, at their own expense, and they changed the way the world thought.
There were many who inspired them to do so, of course, but in the end, those men, sent as envoy's of independent powers aligned out of common struggle some dozen years earlier, came together and forged a new way of dealing with the challenges they sought.
So it's not quite as pie in the sky as it may sound. It just needs people willing to do so.
We have new tools now, new methods, and we have more than merely men of means to look to.
And we need to draft a document that serves to govern and order the process of representing not merely our desires, but the desires of everyone - for it is a lie that someone who is not something cannot know what it is to be such.
But it is not easy, and it is not common.
We need to come together and send teams that represent our various groups and those outside our own - gay men, straight men, lesbians, straight women, cisfolk, transfolk, bifolk, white, black, brown, yellow, blue, green, orange, rich, poor, schooled and unschooled. All with equal say, equal standing. And they should then come together, in some place organized within their state, each group from each town and city and place and group, and they should meet and choose from among them gay, lesbian, straight, cis, trans, bi, and so on.
And then those delegates, those representatives, should come together and craft a grand Agenda, with strategy and priority and tactics and methods, and a means to govern this great movement, this great effort.
And then let it be voted on by the public at large.
We have the internet, the greatest single tool for communication in the history of mankind, still in its very infancy, and we have with it the ability to do such things as the founders of this nation - as the founders of the parties which govern it, have never seen before.
It is time to use it in a way never seen before.
Let there be an Agenda. Something we can point at and say "yes, there is indeed one, and here it is!"
And, in so doing, we will do something not only to heal the rifts we are seeing in our internal discourse, but we will dispel much of the power of those arrayed against us, and we will see, in full, our power, our dedication, our movement, in a way that is amazing and incredible.
Call it whatever you will, but let us do this - let us gather in our communities and make this happen, let us become the very change we seek, and send those in whom we have faith to speak on our behalf, en masse, from all the many different viewpoints, from all the many different ways, and free ourselves.
Free ourselves from the ignominy of lies by creating a truth.
Free ourselves from the chains of inequity.
Free ourselves from the prison of narrowness.
Free ourselves from organizations we mistrust by letting them create it anew.
Free ourselves from parties which do not hold us of value.
Free ourselves that we might, at last, and finally, be our selves.