How To Protect Yourself From Years Of LGBT Activism Taking Their Toll

LGBT Activism – Town Hall Talks

All across the country, and internationally too, there is so much room and need for all the skills and expertise we gathered and nurtured. In January for example GCN and Outhouse started a series of Town Hall Talks exploring
our community and its future.

Maybe you could start similar talks where you are in the country? Katherine Zappone TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has just appointed Una Mullally as Chair of the first national LGBT strategy for young people, no doubt she could use our support by feeding into those strategies.

What we’ve learned is that positive social change needs a show of solidarity from as far and as wide as possible. But as 2017 rolls in and the call for our collective activism rings out again, I ask are you ready? It goes without saying that there is so much more to achieve, but before you sign up ask yourself have your battle wounds healed yet and how much of yourself can you actually realistically give, and at what cost?


LGBT Activism – Burnout

Personally I didn’t take enough time out after the referendum. Like many of us, I wanted to harness the positivity of the LGBT successes into the General and Seanad Elections.

I also saw the benefits of joining the Burning Issues 2 report workforce so that there would be a substantial record of the island’s LGBT thoughts, conclusions, hopes, ideas, strategies, outstanding concerns and existing fears.

And while I am very proud of the report, all the contributors and the work we put into it, in hindsight my health needed me to do less extra activist work and accept that my full-time job, choir membership and family life is full enough. Slowly but surely, after years of successive, high functioning activist campaigns, I’ve had to re-learn how to take better care of myself, how to step out of urgent action mode and put my ‘caring’ into perspective.

Full-on and full-time activism is not everyone’s calling in life, and even for those of us who move from cause to cause, frontline to frontline and action station to action station, eventually the burnout catches up.


LGBT Activism – Passing On The Baton

I’m not suggesting that activism or an activist life isn’t full of reward; it absolutely can be. But it’s imperative that we take care of ourselves, recognise our limits, give ourselves the opportunity to re-group, nurture our skills, lick any wounds and most importantly take the time to absorb our successes.

Winning doesn’t always mean you have to keep playing the game; it is okay to walk away head held high. And just because you might be an excellent team player and/or leader doesn’t mean you have to keep carrying the baton.

2015 will always be remembered as the year we changed the world as we knew it, and the inextinguishable fires of hope and change we lit still shine brightly regardless of who the torch carriers prove to be into the future.

(Featured Image: Shanon Wise, CC2.0)

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