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Most users ever online was 16 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:17 am

An Open Letter to the LGBT Community

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An Open Letter to the LGBT Community




Over the course of the year, it's important to remember what we're about: Providing a festival to the LGBT Community.

This has been the common idea and purpose of Second Pride along with raising funds for chairty (Amnesty USA) for many years. And we've almost mastered this. And we've become very good at it, and very comfortable doing it.

And that's why it's time to start doing something else.

Starting this year, Second Pride will be making a move towards a pro-active community based organization, self sufficient by the donations of its membership, with the eventual end goal of maintaning a 4-sim portal for the LGBT Community. In the current condition of the organization this is impossible. As the issues of the last two weeks clearly show, we are not unified. The problem is complex, and before we move forward to do anything we need to unify. The past needs to be remembered as a lesson learned, and we need to now look towards the future and ask, how can we give back to a community that has already given so much on our behalf?

That is why in part, we as a committee are beginning to "renovate" Second Pride.

Our first step is to provide clarity and consise wording to the charter. The document is flawed in that it requires the origional drafters to provide explaination of clarity. This is not acceptable. The 2010 Committee seeks to complete the job that was not origionally done so that events that transpired over the last two weeks will never have to occur again. We seek to include at all levels, from the general membership, ambassadors, and committee in this process. We do not wish to set a time frame of a day, a week, or a month. This process will take as long as it takes. As I'm fond of telling my team, everything is open to debate except that we must come to consensus.

Once this is done, the next step is to move towards building a team of community volunteers trained as peer counsellors to work within the frame of the LGBT Healthserv Initiative. Working with existing Healthserv ogranizations in SL, we aim to look at different approaches to forming these kinds of teams, and maintaning a working office. Such an office would provide education and information to relevant LGBT Issues in a wholistic atmosphere. Currently, Millay Freschi @ Four Bridges has agreed to assist in the occupancy needs required of such an office, and there has been indication that the committee would be willing to convert part or all of it's offices for this particular purpose, with meeting space and availability of the committee still provided to the membership at said office.

Planning and ongoing fundraising will continue throughout the year, and we will honour our obligations to Amnesty USA. To date, we've had one very successful event and raised almost $250,000L. We have organized teams of incredibly talented and dedicated people who selflessly have and continue to share their passion and their drive. However, it is my intention that Second Pride should begin to take care of it's own needs as it expands its scope in the community.

At this stage, I need to clarify and amplify the following: These changes are not about isolating power to or from a set of individuals. They are about accentuating the existing tools so that we can grow into a greater position to be able to give back to the community. And that means leaving our egos behind so that we can move forward selflessly and in humility to work towards a common good.

Like it or not, it's a fact that the Lab takes groups more seriously who own a sim/sims. To that end, the eventual goal towards portalship and the responsibilities of a portal will be the purchase and maintenance of four sims. Currently, Linden Labs has no policy regarding granting in-world charity status to groups that do not have charity status outside of SL. The 2010 committee is working with the Lab to find ways around this so we can purchase and pay tier at discounted rates. Not only will we be able to have a permanent venue space at our disposal, we will be able to reach every single resident that chooses to identify with the Second Pride banner when they first sign up.

I told the committee when we started that I was sure I would not be a popular chair when the year was over. And I believe that there are still individuals who will not agree with the stance I'm taking, or the vision I'm sharing. But it's not about me. It's about the committee, and successive committees setting a standard for every community group in SL. It's about the group taking charge and taking care of our needs in SL. It's about making a difference to people in world, and in the real world. The momentum is here. The general membership, I believe, is behind this initiative. It will perhaps take years to mend the fences that previous committees and individuals have broken. But we need to start now, and we need to start by aknowledging that we have made these mistakes and have excluded individuals and community-groups based on personal issues.

So, on behalf the 2010 Committee, I would like to reach out to those who have felt ostrosized, neglected, shunned, or treated with an aggressive or hositle tone by past and perhaps present committee members. I would like to assure you that we wish to work in colaboration with you. Although we respect your individuality, and your autonomy, we also welcome the idea of colaboration.

The poet/musician, Henry Rollins, once described personal growth as being "terrifying and wonderful". It is my sincerest hope that we will all embrace the terrifying and the wonderful, and become what I know this organizaion can and should be.

Respectfully,

Rimpoche Kiama
SP2010

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If you believe you can or cannot do something, you are right!
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Rimpoche Kiama
SP10 Presiding Chair


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An Open Letter to the LGBT Community :: Comments

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Post on Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:17 pm  Guest

Thank you for this letter.

It is all great news for the group, and I'm happy to see the projects of making SP better starting as we all hoped they would soon, even last year already when we set things in place for your team to take over.

Let's all do as you say and walk towards this goal together.

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Post on Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:05 pm  Gast

Thank you for your information about the direction Second Pride is moving in the future.

Although I wish to advocate prudence when it comes to changes that will inevitably cause more issues. And I wish the committee all the wisdom to find out if this is actually what the LGBT community wishes the Second Pride organization to become.

Although I am very critical about the way you will take the next steps and do not approve of the negative issues raised in your letter, I do feel that changing the organization into something wider available for the community is a good thing.

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Post on Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:50 pm  Eric Quimby

I applaud your work to date, you have shown yourselves to be a cohesive, productive and creative group. Your letter shows you have an excellent grasp of the issues to be considered, and the stakeholders affected.

Much kudos to you and the committee, you have my thanks, and my support.

Eric

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Post on Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:05 am  Doc Spad

I'm not in a position in RL to be active in LGBT issues. Living in a "don't ask don't tell" world limits my ability to speak out and take an active roll in trying to better our unjust world as it pertains to LGBT issues.
Second Pride and Second Life have given my otherwise silent voice' a degree of volume. I CAN speak out hear. I CAN openly live a lifestyle that in RL I can't. I CAN exist as the Bisexual man that I am. And I can participate in the community that, in RL' I am part of.
Second Pride means so much to me and should for all of us. I trust that we can all put behind us any petty differences and create an organization that is strong in it's resolve to tackle some of the issues that our current forward thinking and progressive leadership have outlined. It's important that we allow for a smooth transition from board to board and that mechanisms for succession are foolproof so that Second Pride continues to move forward seamlessly from year to year. The charter needs clarity. The charter needs to be forward looking. The document that guides us needs to address all possibilities and create stability.
I have come to realize that many of our current board members possess suburb organizational and technical skills that we should all welcome. As a community I trust that we can all support our current leadership and take advantage of their energy, foresight, and vision. I look forward to being part of an active, effective, and strong organization that we ALL can be proud of.

Semper Fi
Doc Spad

Last edited by Doc Spad on Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:11 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post on Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:36 am  Rimpoche Kiama

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! Your support means the WORLD to us!!!

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Post on Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:55 pm  Doc Spad

Rim,
Thank you for the clarification and your call for unity. Considering the events of the last few weeks....(which most of us have no clue)... might be a good practice to have a few more open meetings where at least the membership can at least listen (see) the discussions. OPEN and visible meetings are the benchmark of any democratic organization. Truth is, if some of the unpleasantness over that past few weeks was "out in the open" in view of the entire membership....I suspect that much of the crap that has occurred wouldn't have.
With regards to the bigger issue.... We ARE a community with a common goal and I for one believe that Rim and many of the other members of the Standing Committee were elected on the basis of change and growing Second Pride in a new and exciting direction. After all, these candidates told us what their visions were and we elected them on that basis. They deserve our support. I for one look forward to a growing, expanded role for Second Pride this year. To this end I think we can all be proud of a unified community...effective in it's ability to voice OUR viewpoint, and bring more people and treasure into our group to further those goals.
As far as the ambassadors are concerned...they are the bedrock that got us where we are today....their experience, steadying hand, and yes, being the devils' advocate, could and should be part of their role.
I'm enthusiastic about our new leadership and am deeply appreciative of the Ambassadors for their past work and efforts......if we all keep our eye down the road at where we can be and become... and HONESTLY move towards that purpose... I think we will have a wonderful year.
Semper Fi

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Post on Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:06 am  Keokipele Ansar

Doc Spad wrote:
As far as the ambassadors are concerned...they are the bedrock that got us where we are today....their experience, steadying hand, and yes, being the devils' advocate, could and should be part of their role.
I'm enthusiastic about our new leadership and am deeply appreciative of the Ambassadors for their past work and efforts......if we all keep our eye down the road at where we can be and become... and HONESTLY move towards that purpose... I think we will have a wonderful year.
Semper Fi

QFT (quoted for truth)

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Post on Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:32 am  Rimpoche Kiama

what he said.

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Post on Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:40 pm  Lemonodo Oh

When the Normans defeated the Celts, aspects of our cultural heritage were irretrievably lost. Likewise, we can conquer the weak old ways with the strong new dream, but we put at risk the original vision of taking it to the streets!

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