LGBT activist and author Michelangelo Signorile has written a powerful new book, It’s Not Over.
A long-time personal hero of mine, Signorile chronicles the gay rights movement in regard to not only where we’ve been, but where we go from here. The book serves cautionary notice that the fight is far from over, noting in Chapter One – “Victory Blindness,” that folks can suffer from what he calls “Victory Blindness.”
Speaking to the Huffington Post, Signorile shares this:
“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.
Other chapters include “We Don’t Serve Fags Here,” “Hiding In Plain Sight,” “Not Up For Debate” and an epilogue “Charting A Path Forward.”
The entire book is required reading in my opinion. Eye-opening, compelling, and powerful, Signorile is exhilarating in his honesty, and illuminating with his insight.
A definite “must-read.” Period.
Available online and in major book stores today.