Getting The Word Out
AANR Government Affairs Chair
I’ve started to get some reaction to the AANR position paper on Fire Island National Seashore. The purpose of the position paper is to make it clear AANR supports efforts to reclaim nude use areas, and expand their availability. With the statements made by Chief Ranger Koschmann about reevaluating the ban following the season, it seems now is the time for local clubs and activists to be pressing for that evaluation. From the standpoint of those using the Long Island Travasuns Blog the ban is a waste of resources and deprives the majority of the former users of the beach of a beach that should be open to nude use.
Now local users can use the support of our team members with direct knowledge of Parks Service policies and procedures to get a valid answer to the question of what did the ban accomplish? GAT is ready to send our Washington, D.C. member to meet with the chief ranger and the local clubs representatives. AANR support doesn’t mean we have an “in” or that local action can be reduced; in fact it means without local action we are just one more disenfranchised group for the chief ranger to ignore. Without local action anything we do won’t let one more person enjoy the beach nude.
Since the beach season will be upon the area soon, now is the time to get the policy reviewed and hopefully reversed or another season of following the tactics that were used last year is ahead. Using the public sites in the minimum allowed cover-ups is what was pressed last year. It seems like a stance that is designed to annoy the policy makers, and it does really point out how foolish it is to create polices that don’t promote a public good. The beaches are open to all users and simply designating the nude use of a traditional nude use area is such a common sense solution it is a shame we need to take such drastic steps to achieve our goal. This is the same thing that seems to be happening in San Francisco with their nudity ban.
In San Francisco, the police show up in large numbers whenever a local activist advertises she is going to be holding a “nude protest.” Media follows the erstwhile protestor while she uses a bullhorn to protest the nudity ban while she is clothed. Once she strips off her cover the police move in and then release her with a citation that is usually dismissed on procedural issues. What a waste of time and resources. It is unfortunate that such a circus atmosphere is created over a nude person doing nothing wrong other than being undressed. The manipulation of local media to garner publicity also doesn’t help the naturist cause. Very soon the annual Bay to Breakers race will take place and nude use is protected there.
We need to have positive news releases ready to spread the word of the fight for designation when nude runners are approached at the Bay to Breakers Race. Taking advantage of these opportunities helps get the word out that wholesome nude recreation deserves to be recognized with access rights to public lands.
We talk a lot about tolerance and civil rights in this country but when it comes to nudists we are still at the snickering and doubting stage. The lack of education on the difference between nudity and iniquity is alarming. We enjoy our freedom from clothes without thinking about this to a great extent because we have adapted to the outside cultural norms when it interferes with our nudist practices.
I follow the Dallas Examiner Reporter Larry Darter’s nudist column and in January he had an interesting article that dealt with the perception of nudists culture. That article is available at http://www.examiner.com/article/thosewho-are-not-against-us-are-with-us. In the article Larry addresses the differences between simple nudity and those who see nudity a prelude to other activities. It is really refreshing to see a mainstream media column that champions the fight of those of us who profess nude is not lewd. Check out his site and see if you can’t support his ideas to help make nudism more mainstream.