Friday, July 17, 2015

Garth Raleigh: Stop the Hate

I received this email from Garth Raleigh, former GA Lead (2011-2014), today and will share it with you all without comment.

My dear Bock,
As you well know, I have been actively trying to stay out of extended discussions revolving around events within the Gay Archipelago as most of it is merely gums flapping in the breeze.
However, after reading the post from Myles and now the post from Hiro, I am compelled to come forward thus toss my hat into the fray as it were.
Regarding our own estates decision to withdraw membership from the organization: 
This was a private, conscious decision made within our estate owner and managers group which involved deep discussion as to benefits and merits involved in continued membership. The unanimous decision to withdraw membership was reached, the GA Lead notified and fellow GA Owners notified. Simple.
I hardly think this is what one would term a 'hissy fit,' and it mystifies me as to why a group of adults making their own decisions and carrying them out would be seen or termed as such.
To the newly-appointed leadership team following this thread (waves):
I. There seems to be a LOT of public and 'behind closed doors' schoolyard name-calling, shaming and 'blame tossing' coming from within the GA leadership team. These actions are uncalled-for, undignified and unworthy of anyone who is supposed to be representing the GA or its membership in any capacity. Stop the hate.

II. From what I hear, the current state of the GA and any/all problems that exist or are imagined are being squarely laid at my feet. I understand how easy it must be to vilify someone who is not present and no longer a contributing member however, I must point out that there have been THREE GA Leads since my time in the office. One who is currently serving on the newly-appointed team as PR Lead.
Following that logic (if one can call it that) which, I assume, assigns responsibility for these 'problems' (real or imagined), I would call on these three men to also take their share of this 'blame.' Further, that line of 'logic' allows that net to be cast back even farther back in history to encompass multiple members of the GA Council structure and the various Leads involved during those years. Oh, and lets not forget to snare GA founder, Fabrice Snook, into that net as well.
I shall consider myself in good and intelligent company and point out that you have some excellent role-models to follow. Stop the hate.

III. I have heard none of the estates who have chosen to terminate membership with the GA, or ones who are considering doing such in the near future, publicly or privately express any degree of malice about or toward the GA.
This can only be some sort of self-defense mechanism generated by the newly-appointed team to perhaps bond and create a warm, fuzzy feeling internally. Decisions to terminate memberships and support do not equate imaginary 'political agendas' in any way. Stop the hate.

IV. While there are indeed some personalities in SL that are more in the forefront than others, anyone in SL that believes there is such a thing as 'power' in the virtual platform needs a RL reality check.
There is only 'do or do not.' Stop the hate.

V. As it has always been, members, estates and regions will come and go from any organization such as the GA. Being angry with people who do not share in your vision or believe your ideas are the best - will only serve to make you unhappy and further cement decisions to terminate membership as good ones, and quite possibly have a negative impact on decisions of those considering joining the organization in the future.
The estates and members who have chosen to leave the GA, and those who are to leave the GA for whatever reason, should be wished well and know that they would be welcomed back at a future date if circumstances dictate such.
Build a community, not an exclusive private boys club. Stop the hate.

VI. Bylaws, codes of conduct and other such rules and regulations are merely words on a dusty notecard in the end - only read and cared about by those who created them.
Lead by example first and foremost, then by notecards if needed. Stop the hate.

We've seen all this sort of thing before, Bock. Tiresome as it is, maybe it's just our innate nature that these situations happen or perhaps just one or two who thrive on dramas and fainting couches. As Hiro astutely pointed out, all this will pass.
I am blessed to have been one of the major builders of the Gay Archipelago and remain proud of the extraordinary achievements that were made for the LGBT community and for the Gay Archipelago, as well as the lasting true friendships I made during my long tenure as GA Lead.
Garth Raleigh
GA Lead, 2011-2014


  1. NO hate ..................LOVE all

  2. This was beautifully written, however the need to dedicate so much time to respond in such detail makes something very obvious: every person involved on either side should seriously consider pursuing a non-pixel life away from the keyboard.

    1. Thank you for commenting, Anonymous.

      May I ask you,
      1) What basis do you have for assuming that Garth needed "much time" to write his response? I happen to know that Garth is a highly intelligent and verbal man, which makes me think it took him no more than 15-30 minutes to write up his response.

      2) What basis do you have for assuming that "every person involved on either side", do not in fact also have full and rich first lives away from the keyboard?

      Now go have a wonderful non-pixelated life and remember not to be so judgemental, it makes you look bad.

  3. For a serious burn like that, I recommend aloe vera ;-)


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