Early Queer Nation Policy


from http://www.qrd.org/qrd/

I got this at one of the QN/Boston meetings, it might be of interest to some.
I believe that although it's labelled as a draft, it's in fact the latest draft
and as such represents the current situation in QN/Boston.
All typos are mine - Gail Zacharias

15 September 1990

Queer Nation is a loose federation of autonomous groups - working groups,
affinity groups, organizing committees, caucuses, ad infinitum - which works
to confront and eliminate homophobia in all its forms. We are dedicated to
the use of militant direct action to oppose violence, harrassment, enforced
invisibility and any discrimination based on perceived sexual orientation.
Queer Nation was born out of the recognition that the censorship and
invisibility of our sexual orientation divides us from each other and denies
us our collective strength. Our strength lies in our numbers, our diversity
and in our public and proud contempt for the closet. In calling ourselves
Queer we take back a name that has been used as a weapon against us, and turn
it into a symbol of our power and our pride.
Confronting prejudice is everyone's responsibility, but we will not wait
any longer for society to assume the responsibility. We demand respect for
our human rights and dignity, and we respect the rights of all others. We
will strive to make our group accessible to all Queers and our actions
respectful of our differences.

Any queer-identified person supporting the mission statement of Queer
Nation is a member.

The composition of Queer Nation chore people shall reflect the diversity
of the membership. These positions will be filled by calling for volunteers.
If too many apply, they will decide among themselves, or we will flip a coin.
The main qualification is willingness. Queer Nation has eleven positions that
rotate every six months:
3 Treasurers - maintain financial records, report to general meeting,
write checks.
2 Note takers - take minutes of the general meeting.
2 Historians - collect and organize press clippings, flyers, document
events, keep membership lists, working group minutes, etc.
2 Hotline coordinators - keep announcements on the hotline up-to-date and
answer messages.
2 Phone tree coordinators.

Our meetings should be accessible to all who want to join us. We will try
to hold all meetings in wheel-chair accesssible spaces and to provide ASL
signers for as many meetings as possible. We will also try to have our
literature translated into Spanish and other languages. We will call for
translating and signing volunteers at our general meetings, and the historians
will keep a list of those who respond.

Changes to the Queer Nation structure can be proposed at the general
meeting; proposers should talk with a facilitator before the meeting to get
proposals on the agenda. After brief discussion, and if the general meeting
supports the change, an ad hoc working group convenes to write a formal
proposal. To become effective, proposals must be discussed and approved at
two general meetings.

1. Introduction
2. Request that police and media reps identify themselves
3. Working group reports
4. Bashing reports
5. Break/new members
6. New business
7. Announcements

Queer Nation finds its strength in the diversity of its citizenship. We
are all equal in Queer Nation, but we are not all the same. We each and all
see, think, and feel in different ways. When we come together as a Nation, we
need to know that our difference will be acknowledged and respected, and that
our words will be listened to and understood. These suggestions for meeting
facilitation are offered with that need in mind.

1. So that many voices can be heard, speakers should have a time limit. If
the same people speak time after time, facilitators should call for those
who have not yet spoken. Speakers should not be silenced by hisses,
booing or any other derisive sounds from the audience. Listen to those
you disagree with, then respond. We cannot learn together any other way.
2. Members of under-represented groups (women, people of color, PWA's, etc.)
may be sometimes offended by the discussion, decisions, or actions of the
majority. They should be allowed to call time-outs for caucuses, or other
forms of small-group discussion. And they should be able to withhold the
approval of Queer Nation for actions which disregard their oppression.
3. Queer Nation should increase the participation of under-represented groups
by encouraging individual members of those groups to learn and take on the
role of facilitator. We should strive for gender and racial parity in
this and all other chores. We can train facilitators by overlapping their
terms in office, so taht beginners can work with experienced guides.
4. A few minutes should be set aside at the end of each meeting to critique
the facilitation and group behavior of that meeting.

People who get together to do things in Queer Nation may call themselves
whatever they please, but will be referred to as Working Groups in this
document. Working groups are autonomous and anymember or group of
members may form a working group. A working group is free to restrict its
membership when open participation could thwart the groups of the group.
Such a group would still report its actions and meetings at the general

Working groups;
1) Announce their formation, their primary goals, and the name of a
contact person.
2) Report their intended or completed actions to the whole group.
3) Inform the Queer Nation Hotline Coordinators of all meeting times and
events and, if possible, announce meeting times and events during the
working group reports at the general meeting.
4) Notify the Hotline Coordinators of their formation if it is _prior_ to a
general meeting. During the period _before_ the next meeting, the
working group calls itself the "xx working group of Queer Nation,"
and not Queer Nation.
5) Attempt to make their meetings both wheelchair accessible and ASL
interpreted, and to publish that information on flyers and other materials.
6) Attempt to have their materials translated into other languages and
invite under-represented groups to participate in their meetings,
actions, etc. Queer Nation will attempt to provide a list of
volunteer translators.
7) Dissolve when they have completed their task, have lost the steam to
keep going, or decide for any reason to dissolve.
8) Report to the facilitators prior to the meeting with agenda items.

If during the course of the report a member disagrees with their action
or finds it offensive s/he may ask the facilitator to attend to discussing
it. If a majority of the whole group disagrees, then the working group
must rework or dissolve their action/task. If there are a number of
people who disagree who are people of color, women, people with AIDS, etc.
(i.e., the actions are inherently offensive to a specific group) then
_their_ majority can rule out, overrule, or force a reworking of a working
group's action.


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