WEST SEEGMILLER: Building a movement in a dangerous time

Six months ago, a group of friends from across the political spectrum formed the first LGBTQ Freedom Coalition in California— the Free WeHo Coalition. When free thinkers come together, the impossible becomes a reality. Having a friend to count on has allowed us to be heroes in our own right. Through our struggle to build a movement for medical freedom in the LGBTQ community, we discovered a truth: only love can heal the divisions between us.

Sometimes it feels like the whole world has misunderstood us. Some people have lost everything they ever wanted – their jobs, their friends, even their families – to retain their right to opt out. The world would not change without their small heroic actions. In the beginning of the pandemic, I waited for a clear voice in our local community affirming that medical freedom is a human right. Then I was reminded that, in many ways, West Hollywood is the belly of the beast of the Corporate political establishment. I realized that there was nothing I could do but step in and tell the truth. And now, I’m proud to say we’ve made history, in our own right.

Our Coalition brought the message of medical freedom to the inaugural West Hollywood Pride Parade, two years after the lockdown. To be officially admitted into the Parade was a happy surprise, as was the hundreds of smiling faces among the crowd cheering us on as we strolled down the boulevard. The Coalition also marched in solidarity for reproductive choice in May, uniting with other grassroots groups under the banner of bodily autonomy. We marched along the same route in the heart of central LA taken by countless workers rights activists in local history, in the same spirit of righteous protest.

A significant mass of people will always make a difference. It doesn’t matter how many people vote or contribute to political campaigns. If enough people stand up for something they truly believe in, anything can happen. Power comes from us, not from any government. In this spirit of collective humanity, our Coalition has held monthly events to help re-integrate our community using celebration to defeat fear.

West Hollywood was one of Southern California’s most autocratic municipalities at the height of the pandemic, enacting draconian and discriminatory “public health measures”. They were one of the most vocal cities to impose mandatory medical segregation on businesses and public spaces. Now, thanks to our efforts, to some extent, City policies have completely changed. Their tone is also a far cry from those of earlier days, with officials creating a stigma against the unvaccinated.

We are looking for a commitment from the Mayor and City Council to put in place a legal, non-discriminatory and non-coercive policy, regardless of our choice to get vaccinated. This Independence Day, let’s remember what the spirit of Liberty means to us. Let’s stand up for everyone’s human rights, so they will stand up for ours.

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About West Seegmiller
West Seegmiller is a national policy researcher and local advocate for survivors of labor abuse and human trafficking. He is a Co-Founder of the Free WeHo Coalition, www.FreeWeho.com

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lindsey
lindsey
2 months ago

These people are unsung heroes!

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
2 months ago

Seriously though, William. Get vaccinated for Monkeypox. Especially if you still do sex work.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
2 months ago

I don’t always agree with West, but admire his passion and his eloquent defense of his position. We should all be so respectful of dissent.

West
2 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Thanks for your kindness, Alan!

Randy
Randy
2 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Agreed, Alan.

angry gay pope
2 months ago

You are just a bunch of paranoid anti-vaxxers in a community desperate for decades for an aidsvax.
Oh jeez this guy is also an ambulance chaser!

Last edited 2 months ago by angry gay pope
Crazy Talk
Crazy Talk
2 months ago

This individual repeatedly exhibits serious mental debilitation wrapped in indecipherable language.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
2 months ago

I don’t get from this what is meant by medical freedom, unless it is the right to not get the Covid vax. I need to know more. Lots of things sound good on paper but just don’t work in reality.

Scott Sigman
Scott Sigman
2 months ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

I figured trans rights? Abortions? Monkey pox has a high gay risk group in Europe and USA and Canada

Dan
Dan
2 months ago
Reply to  Scott Sigman

Everyone makes personal decisions about their bodies unless they just comply, believe what they are told, and never ask questions. This group supports freedom of choice whether they all agree on choice or not. When you have a more detailed conversation with most of them, you find out that most of them have done their own research. Even more so, there was a lot of love being expressed even if they didn’t receive any. What is wrong with expressing love to others? Do you want to lose even more freedoms?

Contrarianism
Contrarianism
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan

The philosophy is notable but this individual is his own worst example. One needs to have least have a foot in the conversation rather than increasing their position of contrarianism.

West
2 months ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Learn more and get involved with the movement;
StandforHealthFreedom.org
ChildrensHealthDefense.com
PERK-group.com

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
2 months ago

Watch out for Monkeypox, William!

Earl Eason
Earl Eason
2 months ago

Great essay! I hereby nominate West Seegmiller for the Darwin Award! I hope John Duran, his former boyfriend, will sign on to the endorsement. Keep spreading it West!

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
2 months ago

good grief

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