Advocacy or Activism ? Why not both ?

I was chatting to a friend recently, who has some really strong views about how to advance Transgender issues and is equally passionate about sharing them with you and attracting you to her calling.

Advancing equality and diversity for a minority group, any minority group is a difficult proposition.  You need to align all the factions within that group to a common message and to present a position of unity, then you need to broadcast to society to share your message and gain support as well as engage with the gatekeepers who are in the position to change the legislative position.

In short, it needs a team of people, each playing to their strengths to bring about positive change that benefits and reaches everyone within the community.  Activists like my friend are essential because the create emotion, outrage and noise.  With Activism, you generate publicity, rally people to your cause and bring events to societies attention instantly.  We all have the ability to be activists, particularly in these days of social media, but its not for everyone.  Being an activist puts you on the front line, in harms way so to speak, sometimes, even now bringing you into contact with physical danger.

I admire Activists, they play such an important role in advancing a cause, existing in that tension between old and new, challenging the boundary between them to move in the direction of change.  It’s certainly not my calling.

Me.  I’m an advocate.  We’re the people who believe that to create lasting change, you have to engage, educate and inform to influence society.  Comparing it to Activism, it’s a slower process, not as passionate, but undertaken with no less love by those who practice it.  We share of ourselves, using our experiences to justify the need for change and illustrate the differences change will make for future generations.

Both activists and advocates have roles to play, neither can exist without the other and change can’t happen without both.  Choose what speaks to you and where you think you can make your most positive contribution and join in.

Love and strength





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