Before We Plan an Action--or Act—We should ask ourselves:
Self-Question 1: Does the Proposed Action have a Clearly-Defined Goal? Does it have a Clear Message? Does it have a Clear Plan so we look like Politically-savvy Activists (and not Disorganized Idiots)?
Self-Question 2: Does the Proposed Action Help Achieve our particular Political Goal? Does it work against our ultimate interests, either now or in the future? (Passing a bill or stopping anti-gay legislation, expanding equality or access, confirming a judge, etc.)
Self-Question 3: Does this Action Help or Harm the Image of Our Movement? Does it Help or Harm efforts to grow that movement and/or appeal to progressive allies to help us in the future?
Self-Question 4: Does the Action Unify Our Movement or Sow Discontent and Inflame Turf Battles? Does it compete with or reflect poorly on (or worse, disparage) other members or groups in our movement?
Self-Question 5: Is the Action happening simply to Articulate/Vent Our Frustration or Hatred of Our Enemies (or Impatience with our Allies), regardless of ultimate harm to our goals or to the movement as a whole?
Self-Question 6: What constitutes a Success or a Failure? How can we measure whether what we are about to do was effective or not?
Self-Question 7: How will we Use the Proposed Action to Grow an Active Membership, to Motivate the new (and existing) Members for Future Actions?
To be clear: the answers to these questions need not necessarily deter or prevent a particular action. But it is wise to enter any political action situation fully prepared and fully self-aware, with a good handle on the situations Three M's: Mission, Message, Motivation: What is the mission to accomplish? How clear is our message? What, honestly, is our motivation??
Please note the above graphic says "our" not "your"--I'm not pointing fingers or mocking GetEqual, a group that I myself am a member of. I'm asking us all to look inward as well as outward, call a truce to the turf war, focus our ire on the real enemies of LGBTQI equality, and unify to work hard to win those very real battles to come.