This all started back in February of 2012 when the organization I work for, Forward Equality, decided that they would hold an Equal Opportunity Rally in support of Ben Gray’s Equal Employment ordinance that would ban discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in the Omaha City limits. I shared our facebook event for the event on the Equal Omaha facebook page, operated by Delinea Design, and got a nasty response from Equal Omaha in the comments on the event. Equal Omaha decided to publicly attack Forward Equality, accusing us of divisive behavior and splitting hairs by holding a rally and that holding a rally would do nothing for our cause and that Equal Omaha does not support our actions but instead they support education and outreach. What did they think holding a rally is? They then removed the post from their page.
Later on about a couple weeks later, Equal Omaha decides to hold their own rally for the ordinance doing the exact same thing as did Forward Equality. Hypocritical? This would not be the end.
In between that time, Ken Riter and I were invited to an Equal Omaha meeting by a member of the Equal Omaha circle. After attending about three meetings another Equal Omaha member invited us to go to a sign making party at Delinea Design. Exactly 12 hours later that same person on that same day called up Ken and UNINVITED us to that same event because of the first issue that the Equal Omaha people from Delinea Design had with us and our rally. We were told that we are not allowed on Delinea Design’s property because of that same issue with us deciding we would hold a rally before the Equal Omaha circle could hold their rally. Plus they never indicated to us that they had planned to do a rally.
Ok so now I bet you all are wondering what in the world is the Equal Omaha circle. Basically it is a group of all white males that happen to act very uppity and elitist. They actually are part of some of Omaha’s most progressive circles, ironically. Ken’s biggest complaint about the Equal Omaha circle jerk is that they are not as inclusive as they expect others to be. “The LGBT movement nationwide is considered whitewashed and bisexuals and transgendered people are excluded, too. Equal Omaha actively excluded me and Mika who have been active with activism within Omaha, Mika who is genderqueer and me who is a racial minority within the LGBT Community. I also know that straight allies in the group were aware of this happening and they did nothing to stop it. It abhors me that this has come to Omaha. If you are an organization or a group of people demanding to be treated equally, you damn well better display some fair treatment to people in your own community, period,” says Ken Riter.
I completely agree with Ken on this! I am so sick of listening to the Equal Omaha circle jerk telling everyone that they need to be polite and respecting while they ask for their civil rights but at the same time these little Stuck Up Elitist White Queers go around disrespecting other LGBTQ activists who may or may not have the same access to resources as they do.
Although, I do not agree with asking for my civil rights, I do agree that being polite to city officials when you are lobbying them to vote a certain way is good. But I believe that no one should ever ask for civil rights. You should demand to be treated equally. I believe that is the major issue that the Equal Omaha circle jerk has with me. I do not ask for my civil rights, I demand them. So do members of Forward Equality. But nevertheless, while we are demanding our rights we are inclusive and we respect those in our own community which is very much unlike those Stuck Up Elitist Queers in the Equal Omaha circle. We also don’t go around condemning other organizations for choosing to use different tactics than we use. We only condemn them for being exclusive and unfair.