As promise, albeit a bit late, here is the feature on Rob from the November issue of Instinct Magazine:
The Emphatic Educator
Rob T(I'm not using his last name without permission) may not have done anything as showy as winning Project Runway
, but he's done something even more important: He's given everyday GLBT folks logical and fact-based ways of combating disinformation propagated by the conservative Christian movement over marriage equality.
Anyone who has been watching the right-wing religious groups become more and more vocal and extreme over the last few years--demanding that GLBT people are in no way equal to their straight counterparts in terms of marriage, adoption, child rearing and, indeed, living--has seen their tactics at work. They distort statistics, hijack language ("Christophobia" being a prime example), paint themselves as an oppressed group and tell outrageous lies to promote their anti-gay agenda. After Prop. 8 passed in California as a result of these deceptive practices, Rob, normally polite, respectful and downright humble, got mad. "I had a visceral, emotional reaction to Prop. 8," he says. "The lies drove me nuts." However, Rob turned that anger into action. Polite and respectful (and, indeed, humble) action.
Rob began his activism by volunteering to help iwth a clocal "Be the Light in the Night" rally last December. He unexpectedly found himself leader of a team of 20-some volunteers, and though he wasn't certain what they were to do, their work coalesced itno a peaceful, silent and well-attended rally and holiday food drive. However, that wasn't enough for him. Armed with a background in adult education theory and extensive online training videos, Rob got out his camera and created a series of videos that doconstructed the lies that have muddied our struggle for civil equality. His first, which popped Rick Warren's lies about never having compared gay marriage to incest or polygamy, got about 4800 hits on You-Tube (youtube.com/robtish
). His next took on the Christian conservative standby that they are the ones being bashed, and, as Rob says, "made a simple direct comparison (Christian bashing and gay bashing) to show how ludicrous they are." It now stands at over 33,000 voes. But Rob had more to say, because our opposition certainly hadn't been quiet.
With Prop. 8 already enshrined in teh California Constitution and right-wing religious groups swarming to Washington, Iowam and Maine to overturn their marriage equality laws, ROb knew it was not time to be tongue-tied in the face of opposition, which led to his third video, "Talking Equality." In it, Rob enumerates anti-equality groups' favorite talking points and explains how they are, at best, fallacious and, at worst, propaganda of the lowest order. He also gives counterarguments for viewers to use whenever they encounter a person who has been taken in by conservative lies. "I see my videos and blog (wakingupnow.com
) as intellectual ammunition, facts and ideas for people to use in their own struggles for civil equality," Rob says. ALways the educator, he advocates for speaking the truth and letting the listeners decide for themselves how to use the information.
by Sean McGrath for Instinct Magazine