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How To Become A Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender Rights Activist

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A man holds a gay rights sign.
© Hisham Ibrahim/Getty Images
Want to become America's Next Top Gay Activist? Seeking to make a more modest contribution to the advancement of equal gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights? Even the most passive can make their voices heard in the most magnificent of ways. Whether your thing is marching on the steps of city hall in protest or writing a blog, you can become a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights activist.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. Pick Your Path: Not all gays are created equal. We have different ideals, opinions and priorities. Ask yourself what you want to change in the world. Do you dream of being a parent, but just witnessed an anti-gay adoption bill pass in your state? You might want to become an activist for LGBT parenting rights. Just learned that some breeders euthanize homosexual pets? You could become an advocate against animal cruelty. Tired of being picked on at school? What about starting or joining a Gay-Straight student alliance? Pick the path of your activism based on your passion.
  2. Find Your Passion: Your passion will be the driving force of your advocacy. When I came out I had no one to talk to and very little information to read. I was lost for a very long time. My passion now lies in my desire that all LGBT get the information and the advice they need to live better lives. Again, what do you want to see changed in this world or is there an experience you don't want to repeat? Write out your thoughts. Be as specific as possible. Include how an injustice or imbalance in society makes you feel. Jot down the things you'd like to see changed. Then, evaluate how you can help.
  3. Find Your Vehicle: Now that you've identified your passion, pick your vehicle. I'm not suggesting you go car shopping. By vehicle, I mean find the tools that can help you create change based on your passions. You can start a blog based on your topic. You can volunteer at an existing LGBT rights organization. You can start, join or run a LGBT club or group. You can organize a social networking rally on Facebook. You can write a series of letters to your political representative. How about starting a free podcast or commenting regularly on your favorite political blog? The opportunities are limitless.
  4. Become An Expert: You don't need a PhD in political science or to have a masters in xyz to become an an expert advocate. You do, however, need the knowledge. Stay current on the news related to your topic. Research the laws surrounding your ares of interest. Talk to other experts. Join message boards related to your topic. Read relevant books and blogs and new articles. Listen to comparable podcasts. Knowing is half the battle, G.I. Joe said. The more you know, the more you can facilitate change.
  5. Trust In Your Voice: What qualifies you to be an advocate? Your desire to change the world does. The word 'advocate' can seem quite intimidating, especially when you observe other advocates doing great things. There's always room for more people with a desire to correct the imbalances of the world. And keep in mind, just because someone barks the loudest doesn't mean they are the most heard. So, you're voice is just as important even if you're just starting out. Changing one mind or one life can be just as effective as influencing millions. Trust in your ideals, validate your own experiences and make your mark.
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