I tend to over think things a lot. I won’t go into detail about my neurosis (you’re welcome), but one of my struggles within the non-profit sector is making sure that I don’t stretch myself too thin and burn out.
For example: In most states, the state that I live in is working toward marriage equality. I have tried getting involved and volunteering for the cause (actually have attempted to get involved in multiple states), but I never feel motivated to follow through and put all of myself into it. My head says DO IT while the rest of me resists. This dichotomy makes me feel extremely guilty – how can I not feel motivated to participate in winning my basic civil rights?
I would think that those who work in the non-profit sector outside of the LGBT* arena would also feel guilty if they are not actively working toward their rights. Should we feel guilty? Definitely not. We are more than just our orientation, and we have many different passions. There is no need to get burned out because we feel like we should be spending our energy on multiple issues. I’m not Super Man, and just because I am a lesbian does not mean I have to be an activist. If you want to delve 100% into education, water development, homelessness or anything else – you should! If you want to commit yourself to just queer issues – do it!
LGBT* rights are obviously extremely important, and participation is essential. But we need people who are fully dedicated to the work involved, not people who feel like they need to participate to keep their gay card.
To be our best selves, we need to follow our hearts. We are educators, humanitarians, aid workers and volunteers. We are a complex group of individuals who are passionate about a plethora of issues. We are all working towards a common good – and weighing good deeds against each other gets us no where.