Internal vs External Activism: Why Both are Needed

Hello all, it’s Vex again! I’ve come to deliver an article explaining the intricacies of two kinds of activism; internal and external activism! I don’t have much fluff for you today (besides my fur, which is lustrous today), so let’s get down to brass tacks! What are the two kinds of activism?
For clarity of purpose and word, I’ll define the two terms with reference to the zoo
Internal Activism refers to intracommunity building activities, raising other zoos up, educating other zoos on ethics and safety, and any other activity considered to be occurring within the community, for the community. For example, Zooey Dot Pub (the first internet zoosexual lifestyle magazine!) would be considered internal activism! This is because the content of the magazine and the magazine’s existence itself are for zoos, from zoos, all occurring within the community! Now, onto our next form of activism!
External Activism refers to intercommunity or public oriented activities meant to bolster and spread the word of zoos out into the world! This means placing your zooey stickers, scribbling some zooey graffiti, educating non-zoos about zoos and our ethics, being publicly zooey, and more! An example here would obviously be the sticker campaigns that have led the zoo community to put stickers out there in the real world!
Why are both important?
Well, without both, activism for the community is incomplete! We need internal activism to build up people’s morale and pride in their identity, and we need external activism to show the world who we are and fight for change! External activism specifically requires a lot of internal activism to happen or be effective, as without people willing to engage with more public facing activities, anything we do would be small and ineffective at changing anyone’s mind or making our presence known. Internal activism builds that resource we need. It builds people up, makes them proud and happy. Proud people are people willing to shout to the world that they’re a zoo and proud of it, not hiding their love! Anyone and everyone reading this is capable of being an activist in either respect, leading to our next section...
What are some activities I can partake in to be an activist?
It’s good you ask! Being an activist doesn’t require burning things or spray-painting murals onto the side of corporate HQs (but if you do that, let me know!). Being a zoo activist can be as easy as making an account and engaging with the community in our own community spaces, such as the Zooey Dot Pub Discord server! That internal activism I mentioned? You engage in that every time you make friends, bring joy and pride to your fellow zoos. It isn’t hard, and it makes you feel good too! Give that a shot if you haven’t already, especially if you’re still in the closet, you may find engaging with your identity brings a lot of happiness into your life. If you want to go further, though, you can also try helping with zooey projects! There’s plenty around for you to join up with, so don’t worry about having missed your chance.
You can even engage in external activism if you’re feeling bold! You can get zoo pride
stickers easily; Steeeeeeeeve occasionally sends batches out! Then you just go out, find a public place to stick it (and be safe while doing so, please!), and voila! You just committed an act of external activism! You’re an activist now! There are of course other forms of external activism, such as being loud and proud about your zooey nature on a public platform such as X (the website formerly known as Twitter), but I think you’ll come up with your own form of activism and how to do it in your own unique way if you put some thought into it.
Why is activism important at all?
It’s a good question to have answered, but really a very basic one. As zoos, we often lose our agency to represent ourselves in society. Our reputation is shaped almost entirely by others for us, leaving us to have no say at all. Activism is important in reclaiming that agency, so we can tell the world who we are for ourselves, without relying on the damnation of others being the only thing everyone knows about us. Think about it. How often do you hear the tired old tale of zoos being nothing but animal abusers who care nothing for how animals feel, that we only care about making ourselves feel good? Many of you with animal partners may read this and know immediately what I mean. You love your partner more than anything or anyone else, you’d never do anything to hurt them. But society claims you to be a monster. It hurts, honestly. But that’s why we need to be public, to get that exposure to the world. We need to be able to tell the world about ourselves, our ethics, our principles, our partners, our love.
And we are able. All we must do is individually take that step. Will you?
Article written by Vex (May 2024)
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