Friday, February 8, 2013

The Intellectually Flexible Country Singer


I suspect that as LGBT rights continue to move forward, some issues will become more--not less--complex.

Examples from history:

Those diaries kept by pioneer women in their covered wagons may reflect the anguish and misery of four months of hell, but nowhere do they mention the frustration of a glass ceiling in the work place. That came along after women's suffrage.

First-person "slave narratives," documented in the 1880's, are fascinating, touching, heart-wrenching...even astonishing at times. One thing they are not, though, is an editorial about who should fund the research conducted in Black Studies Departments of major universities. That came along after Civil Rights legislation.

I don't know quite what to make of this; it is just something I've noticed. When equality becomes codified, leadership requires a keener insight to fight new battles in new ways.

With our fight for equality moving along at a good clip, we need a cadre of leaders who can identify what needs to be focused on in the moment. People comfortable with ambiguity, who believe the questions sometimes tell us more than the answers.

As all this plays out, I'll enjoy watching Chely Wright's role. Her resume, as I understand it, shows a background of effective leadership. She seems clever and courageous and likable. People trust her. And although she's on the cusp of mommy-hood, I have a hunch that her direction won't change. She'll remain one of those "keen" thinkers, aware of the unsettled reality we find ourselves living through, and comfortable with carving out our place in it.