What Can I Do to Advocate
advocate: vt. to write or speak in favor of something n. one who advocates
- Write the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to let them know of the need for public, clothing-optional beaches. Write to Director; Department of Natural Resources; 530 W. Allegan Street; P.O. Box 30028; Lansing, MI 48909. This is not a useless gesture. The DNR has gone from saying "absolutely not" to saying, "We don't have the money, but if the interest increases here in the north maybe we can reconsider." Remind that the DNR is obligated to attempt to meet the recreational needs of all the citizens and that, if need be, special areas can be set aside to avoid conflicts. Special areas are common. Hunting zones are a given. Separate biking trails, OVR trails, and equestrian trails have been developed to avoid physical conflicts. Creation of official, clothing-optional areas need not cost anything more than the cost of some signs and yet will create additional revenue.
- Write your local state representatives and write local park authorities.
- Write the media. See the article "Exercise Your Right to Write" (click Articles tab of index).
- Be open about your interest in Naturism. Such openness allows you to correct misperceptions about social nudity, makes it possible for you to invite others to events, and eliminates the worry of being "found out". See the article "A Tale of Two Naturists" by clicking the Articles tab of the index at the top of the page. You don't have to go public on the internet, but it won't hurt you to come out of the closet with your family and friends (and if it does, what do you want to hang around them for anyway?)
- Join The Naturist Society and contribute to The Naturist Action Committee. Check for Alerts on TNS's website and respond as directed.
- Join and participate in a local naturist club. Contribute to the success of the club. Don't wait until things are to your satisfaction before joining in. If you think the club could be improved, work to make it so.
- No naturist group in your county, city, or campus? Start one. See the article on starting a group; click the Articles tab of the index. Contact me for advice and support.
- Here's a plea particular to women: join in. Women and girls enjoy the company of other females. I see this even in non-nudist settings. For example, while skiing at Mt. Marquette in Michigan, I overheard two teenage girls exclaiming how much more fun their trip had been since "more girls came along." Likewise, when I first helped establish the Southeast Michigan Naturists, few women would show up at events, as they were just house parties. Taking the initiative, I rented the pool at the Ann Arbor YMCA for an approved nude swim, and the male to female ratio jumped to even. Wow! Discussing this with two women -- each of whom I had seen but once at the house parties -- each said, "Well, I would attend [the house parties] if more women showed up." You are the women for whom other women are looking for companionship. Another time, at a Naturist Society Gathering, I was discussing with an avid female nudist her attendance at an outdoor, Lillith Fair Concert in Ontario. This Canadian province had recently recognized topfreedom as a right for women (wherever men have the right). "Did you take off your top?" I asked. "No," she said, "I was waiting for someone else to do it first." But you are the nudist. Take the initiative! Other women look to you.
- Let women know that there is no safer environment for women than at a naturist event. Studies show that, while nudist women have suffered rape at about the same rate as non-nudist women, the perpetrators of the rapes are all textilists as the studies show that nudist men do not rape. I wondered whether these facts indicated that naturism attracts only gentle men or if the practice itself gentles men. Perhaps both, but many studies indicate that rapists and sexual abusers come almost entirely from harsh, restrictive, home environments. This weighs in favor of the latter. Let the world know that a naturist setting is the healthiest setting for women and families.
- Start a top-free rights group here in Michigan. It amazes me that no woman in Michigan has started one yet. Both the federal and the state constitutions (and many municipalities) forbid discriminatory laws or the discriminatory enforcement of laws, and court rulings in New York State and in Ontario give precedent for a favorable ruling in Michigan. It's a slam dunk really if someone will take the ball. Let me know when you've committed to this, and I will add your efforts to this website. See the Topfree Equal Rights Association for inspiration.
- Utilize your skills and experience to advance the naturist cause. As examples, a developer could utilize his experience to develop a clothing-optional, housing development; musicians could organize benefit concerts or clothing-optional music festivals; someone knowledgeable about land conservation could form a naturist land conservancy that would not only work to preserve open land but also make it available for nude use; anyone with organizational experience can start a naturist group or assist an existing group.
- Attend the meetings of your city or township council to keep alert for potential legislation that would be harmful to naturist interests. Contact The Naturist Action Committee with notice of a problem well before it would have otherwise become law. If you live in or near Washtenaw County, join the Washtenaw Skinnydippers, a group dedicated to getting a public beach in that county. If you live elsewhere, start a group!
Join the e-mail group. Send and receive messages related to naturist activities throughout the state and nearby states and Ontario.
This is for Activists - not spectators. If you are interested in contributing to the efforts of others or in initiating activities that promote naturism, get on this list.
This e-mail list is through Yahoo. All memberships to this e-mail list must be approved. It is e-mail only and currently is set up so that messages must be approved -- thus no spam or unintended personal messages will get through. To be considered for this list, e-mail a request to Michigan_Free_Beach_Advocates_subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Be sure to say something about yourself: Your county or city, your name, your membership, if any, in other naturist groups.