Young Virginia activist steps down from leadership roles

Tully Satre, the teenaged, openly gay activist in rural Virginia is stepping down from his various leadership roles and, in some ways, stepping almost completely away from the public light.

In a blog posting, Satre, 18 years old, states:

I have grown tremendously as an artist and I will continue to kindle that muse as I move my studies to Chicago where I will be attending the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Come August 24th I will be moving downtown on State Street in the windy city. A lot of people have judged my decision to leave Virginia saying that I am abandoning the work I have started. First of all I would like to point out that the work I started in Virginia continues and lives on through the many dedicated and hard-working individuals and groups who worked with me from the beginning. Equality Fauquier/Culpeper continues to thrive and is currently under-going a bit of a make-over as authority transitions. CEEVA was converted into the Virginia Safe Schools Project which will enable Virginia’s LGBT youth to find a statewide outlet that serves and protects their specific needs as youth. The Voice Project which lives and breathes online through social networking arenas such as Equality MySpace continues to grow under the authority of Matt Hill Comer. Although I have given up my leadership positions in many of these venues I will continue to write for The Advocate, with a pending piece about religion currently underway and another article in development about generational gaps and vocabulary in the gay community.

Other people have asked me why I no longer accept speaking invitations. I think a lot of people who did not necessarily agree with my views or way of doing things decided to start a rumor that I am an opportunist; willing to take any chance I can for the spotlight. I resent this statement both as an activist and an artist. In either venue I never was striving for the spotlight, but when it shined I wouldn’t turn it down but would rather use it in accordance with my plan to advance an organization or work of art. Regardless of this I decided it was important for me to “be a kid” and live out of that sort of spotlight as it was one which demanded constant maturity, responsibility, and wisdom which I lack at my young age.

Later in the posting, Satre explains why he never intended to enter politics as a career and tells the world of his plans as a future art student. He says the work he did while a high school student was “a reflection of doing the right thing.”

You can read more at Satre’s blog.

I should note… Tully is a good friend of mine. I like the work he has done and fully believe that he did it all precisely because it was the right thing to do, not because he wanted the spotlight (I think his exit from the public sphere is enough to show he never wanted the spotlight to begin with).

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