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Come Out and Win: Organizing Yourself, Your Community, and Your World

Come Out and Win: Organizing Yourself, Your Community, and Your World

by Sue Hyde

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Come Out and Win will educate, engage, and agitate LGBT and straight activists to become involved in the political movement to win full equality under the law and sexual/gender freedom. Spurring a new generation of activists to positive social action, it not only tells the history of gay liberation but, crucially, offers guidance and practical advice for


Come Out and Win will educate, engage, and agitate LGBT and straight activists to become involved in the political movement to win full equality under the law and sexual/gender freedom. Spurring a new generation of activists to positive social action, it not only tells the history of gay liberation but, crucially, offers guidance and practical advice for building organizations and taking concrete action to eradicate homophobia.

From starting a gay-straight alliance in your high school to the most effective way to lobby your state representative face-to-face, Come Out and Win explains how to organize and become politically engaged in a clear and user-friendly manner. Other issues explored include youth organizing, marriage equality, legislative change, public relations, having a voice in the mainstream press, putting on a street demonstration, and political organizing from local to national levels. Grappling with the complexity of grassroots political interactions, Come Out and Win suggests ways for LGBT communities to form coalitions with women's organizations, communities of color, and faith communities.

Between the Lines (Michigan) praises Beacon Press for launching the Queer Action Series:

"Interestingly, Beacon is launching the series at the same time many mass market publishing houses are moving away from LBGT genre books. The national InsightOut Book club has been cancelled and recent shuffling in the industry has left many editors of LBGT genre books looking for work."

"‘Beacon actually has, as a part of their mission, to work on social justice issues. So this very much fits into what Beacon is mandated to do. They have prioritized this,’ Bronski said."

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A civil rights activist and organizer in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community for more than 20 years, Hyde has inspired and trained thousands on how to get involved and make a difference. In this richly detailed and well-organized book, she offers a stirring course in gay activism with step-by-step "how-to" advice. Whether it's lobbying elected officials, monitoring and responding to the media's portrayals of LGBT people, organizing a gay-straight alliance or even seeking elected office at the local or state level, Hyde offers advice from her vast experience. She also takes readers through the nascent gay rights movement and introduces some of its architects (the Mattachine Society, Harry Hay and Franklin Kameny, who in 1965 led the first group of gay men and women in public protest at the White House), breaking down the prejudices, persecutions, landmark legislation, setbacks and turning points. Designed to outrage, inspire, encourage and anger readers, and give them the tools to spring into action, this is an indispensable resource for anyone looking for a little guidance and a little push.(June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - Francisca Goldsmith
Hyde presents activism as an organized method for gaining self-acceptance as well as societal and political change. Addressing her audience with respect (for both their youth and their sexual orientation); awareness of their likely status (probably high school or young college students); and engaging directness, she moves from how to come out to one's friends and family through becoming politically active, to finding a place within LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) history and current causes. She discusses the whys and hows of forming alliances with other minority groups seeking social justice, showing with well-documented anecdotes how combining forces can create not only strength but better human understanding beyond the immediate issues. This book fills a niche that heretofore has lacked a sophisticated yet accessible treatment of the topic. It offers a new generation of LGBTQ youth solid guidance in making a place for themselves in the national and local dialogue. Web sites helpfully are described in terms of key words, so there will be no dating of URLs for those who go online at the places Hyde suggests. This book has staying power both for the reader and as a library collection staple.
From the Publisher
Sue Hyde's book answers the plaint, 'What are we gonna do?' So quit whining, get her book, pick a chapter, do the workbook. Repeat. Create change. Badges not included. —Kate Clinton, humorist and author of What the L?

"Sue Hyde has demonstrated in her own life that winning equal rights for LGBT people is not a spectator sport. Now she has taken this one step further and provided a manual for other LGBT people so that they can join her in this effort."—Congressman Barney Frank

"Unique and invaluable, this is the essential guide for anyone wanting to advance equal rights for LGBT people."— Matt Foreman, Executive Director National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"An invitation to change the world can't be taken lightly, unless it's delivered with the sure and light touch of an engaging, dedicated organizer like Sue Hyde. Turn the pages and be the new world."—Jewelle Gomez, author and activist

Product Details

Beacon Press
Publication date:
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Penguin Random House Publisher Services
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229 KB

Read an Excerpt

There are many ways to contribute to social change, but there
is a diƒerence between grassroots organizing and writing a book.
There is a diƒerence between being an organizer and being a city
councilor. I want to be a voice a‰rming the value and heroism
of long-term commitment to democratic processes of community
organizing. We may hate the endless meetings, be sick of licking
envelopes, feel frustrated working across diƒerent identities and
political visions, and be drained by community cannibalism, but
we’ve got to continue doing the work . . . social change cannot
happen without old-time grassroots community organizing.
—Eric Rofes, excerpt from remarks made at the Second
Annual Summit to Resist Attacks on Gay Men’s Sexual
Civil Liberties, Pittsburgh, November 13, 1998
The political movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
(LGBT) freedom and social justice, barely over fifty years old and a relative newcomer to national politics, has already changed the world in which we live. We have instigated legal and policy reforms, historic court rulings, institutional recognitions of our needs and lives, and a national and public dialogue about our relationships and our civil rights. We have made possible the coming out of LGBT people at both younger ages and in higher places in the power structures of government,
corporations, and religious bodies. News outlets cover LGBT
people and issues nearly every day, both our victories and our defeats.
Still, there is much more organizing and community building to do if we are to reach our goal of ending widespread oppression of homosexuality and gender variance.
I liken political organizing to parenting: tedious, repetitious, endxi lessly consuming of time and energy, and yet punctuated by real breakthrough events and times during which we can see that the hard work has yielded positive gains. With this book, I invite you to take up the tough and rewarding tasks of organizing so that we all benefit from the pivotal political watershed moments when nothing that comes after will ever be the same. Organizing isn’t glamorous or sexy and it isn’t a route to wealth and fame, although if we are fortunate, we’ll meet wonderful people, have opportunities for lots of great sex, and know the somewhat rich and almost famous who will want to support our work.
Organizing is simply that which is required of us to ensure that no
LGBT person must ever again choose to live in silent shame in order to live at all. Let’s come out and win. See you at the hustings!

Meet the Author

A longtime LGBT activist and organizer, Sue Hyde has worked with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) for over twenty years. Prior to her work at NGLTF, Hyde served as news editor at Gay Community News in Boston from 1983 to 1985 and was a leader in the community-based campaign to defend lesbian and gay families in Massachusetts when state lawmakers banned the placement of foster children with lesbian and gay parents.

Since 1986, Hyde has served on the staff of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, leading the fights to repeal sodomy laws, rescind the military's ban on openly lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers, and to pass non-discrimination laws in cities and states. The Task Force in 1994 appointed Hyde to direct the Creating Change Conference, the LGBT movement's annual skills-building and strategy forum. As director of NGLTF's Creating Change conference, Hyde has trained thousands of queer activists. Hyde is a leader of the battle to preserve marriage rights for same-sex couples in Massachusetts. She was bestowed the prestigious Stonewall Award in 2002, recognizing her for a lifetime of dedication and service to the social movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender freedom, justice and equality. Hyde lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her wife and two children.

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