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A word about Queerbomb Austin in TX:
-An editorial by disowned Queerbomb organizers.
In 2017, the organizers of Queerbomb in Austin TX failed in their mission to uphold the Queerbomb Manifesto and provide a space to celebrate each and every member of our community.
A Sham – Queerbomb Austin 2017 was poorly-attended compared to previous years. Poorly promoted, ineptly managed. This event, which was intended to celebrate Pride, was shamefully poisoned by pride of another kind – by a small group who selfishly placed their appetite for attention and fame over democracy, diversity and individuality! Shamelessly cloaked in phony positivity, it was an insult to the LGBTQIA communities they claimed to serve.
In the Fall of 2016, Queerbomb formally adopted leadership titles and roles which were to be filled by democratic election. Then, in January of 2017, the last of the original organizers met publicly to cut ties, say farewell, and leave control to whomever remained.
The Clique – A small clique of sophomore members assumed all duties and honors, refusing to hold the elections, and making all decisions among themselves in private. Ads for the public meetings promised; “you won’t have to do any work”. Indeed, all that the public was wanted for was their adoring entourage, and to rubber-stamp decisions prepared by the clique for voting. Each meeting had numerous new attendees who never returned.
Hypocrisy – The explanation for refusing to hold elections, was that the organizers at that Fall 2016 Queerbomb meeting were no longer involved, so their formal decisions didn’t matter! We only found out about needing these elections from clues on the Basecamp collaboration site! They weren’t going to ever tell us!
The Dynasty – Other organizers who did research and made proposals were blocked by the clique on the pretense that this-and-that would run counter to the vision of various past organizers. The explanation given was that there were actually no “ex-members”, even if they didn’t come to meetings any more. The clique spoke for these non-attending “members” at will, and insisted they be respected by placing their alleged wishes above any directions which new members might want to take the organization. It was like the clique cast votes for as many imaginary people as they needed to control the outcome.
Vital roles like co-ordinating event volunteers, searching for speakers & entertainment and confirming tables for nonprofit orgs were left unfilled, despite new members volunteering. Again, the clique dictated that those tasks were reserved for old members, ones who weren’t coming to meetings, who would return at the last moment to accomplish them just prior to the event.
With the clique blocking any actions and ideas which did not come from themselves, they denied new members the right to pour themselves into Queerbomb and make it a true reflection of it’s current diverse membership.
Petty Power Struggles – New member’s proposals actually weren’t controversial. Clearly, the irrational excuses which the clique provided hid unstated reasons for opposing them.
- “It would be best if we investigate more than just the *one* potential venue you’re moving forward with” (vetoed because one clique member feared sunburn).
- “Radio stations will give us free PSAs and perhaps even interview us if we reach out to them” (vetoed because one clique member alleged that 97.5 Pride Austin is homophobic).
- “We have hundreds of contact names and emails from previous year’s donors, volunteers, tablers and dignitaries. We should reach out to them again” (vetoed because “they’re certainly all out of date, and contacting them might offend them”).
- “Former organizers should hand custody of established email accounts to the website admin” (vetoed because those Queerbomb Gmail accounts contained evidence that a former organizer was diverting Indegogo donations from Queerbomb to other project fundraisers. The Gmail contained transfer receipts to non-Queerbomb Indegogo accounts and Basecamp showed organizers debating giving the beloved offender a pass for it).
Let me repeat that: with the tacit support of his friends inside, a former Queerbomb organizer was stealing 2016’s donations to fund his own projects!
When the clique learned that new members were friends of former organizers who had been thrust out under duress the previous year, they considered these members guilty by association.
The Purge – The day before The Ides of March, the clique installed an authoritarian “Code of Conduct”, applied it retroactively, and expelled organizers who had ruffled their domineering leadership. Click the picture to see it. And as they had done the previous year, they also purged the collaborative Basecamp website of any audacious posts, and traces of the people who made them.
Fraud – Queerbomb fell far short in fundraising, even after lowering their Generosity fundraising goals substantially from $15K to $10K [citation]. After paying insurance and what few permits hadn’t been waived, they were still unable to pay their deposit, let alone the deeply discounted venue rental fee. They discussed this on Basecamp, and made the conscious decision to defraud Fair Market by promising to settle their debt afterward, knowing they had no ability to do so! At the last moment, The North Door agreed to pay the rest of the deposit and fees, and provide the PA equipment, in order to rescue their own financial stake to serve alcohol at the after-party [citation].
It’s time to stand together and reclaim Queerbomb Austin from the charlatans who have seized it! Who have placed rules on what you can and can’t do – or think! It’s time to hand it back to our diverse and expressive community. No apologies. No excuses.
QUEERBOMB is a free, alternative Pride Rally, March and Festival for those who are unhappy with costly, mainstream, corporatized LGBTQIA events.
Queerbomb galvanized in 2011 as a direct response to dis-satisfaction with Austin Pride, which to this day still charges hundreds of dollars to community organizations wishing to march in the parade, to have outreach tables at the annual Pride Festival, charges the public $20-25 to enter the Fest, and sells tickets for the privilege of attending associated performances. Furthermore, in a misguided shot at appearing “family friendly” Austin Pride imposes a dress code which alienates a significant portion of our diverse and sex-healthy LGBTQIA communities.
Queerbomb is free for all, free from corporate sponsorship, and is a glittering expression of our true selves!
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