Lessons Learned: Teaching LGBTQ Studies Through Political Advocacy Narratives Zack Ford and Jacob Wilson Creating

Change 2012 http://zackfordblogs.com/cc12

Tips For Developing Your Personal/Political Narrative
1. Self-Care: Trying to educate and advocate can be exhausting and overwhelming at times. Make sure to take care of yourself and find balance so you don t burn out. 2. Only Share What s Comfortable: Your story is YOUR story. Only share the part(s) that you feel safe disclosing and only with whom you trust. This could mean having a shortened, less personal story for media than for a friend or a class. 3. Know Your Audience: It s important to remember who you re speaking to when you craft your message (e.g., some people embrace the term queer while others take offense). 4. Realistic Goals: We all want to wake up to a socially just world, but in reality we can only do so much. Set realistic, achievable goals so that you can measure your progress over time. Motivate your audience by offering tangible actions they can take. 5. Build Coalitions: You cannot realistically expect to create ideal change on your own. Seek out people and organizations with common goals. This can include faith leaders, other marginalized populations, and allies. IMPORTANT: This also means that LGBTQ people need to be allies for others (e.g., women, people of color, immigrants, etc.). 6. Know the Facts: We combat tons of misinformation and lies daily. Use facts as the foundation of your advocacy and keep abreast of current news and events surrounding your issue. 7. Be Mindful of Windows: Be ready with your message so you can take advantage of policy windows and the opportunities created by current events. 8. Find Your Voice: Some of us are gifted public speakers, social media aficionados, and/or talented artists and some of us are not. Find the medium that balances your comfort and ability levels with effective distribution of your message. 9. Blur The Lines: Our stories must be both educational and political to succeed. The most effective story helps the audience learn new information and understand what to do with it. 10. Pass The Torch: We can t be the leader in every fight. As you re working toward tangible goals, think about the long game and what resources you ll need to achieve the ideal victory.

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