Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Future Speak: Some of Our Favorite Thinkers Look Ahead and Tell Us What Tomorrow May Bring

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Future Speak: Some of Our Favorite Thinkers Look Ahead and Tell Us What Tomorrow May Bring

Article excerpt

Deepak Chopra, teacher

On healing the world

The greatest challenge is to get over our habits of prejudice and tribalism. We have to go beyond racism, bigotry, prejudice, sexism, and homophobia. Our future depends on our critical-mass intentionality. We have the collective intelligence and the collective creativity to solve all of our problems. Now we need to harness the collective caring and compassion to get rid of poverty, find a creative solution to war and terrorism, reverse global warming, and bring social justice to the world.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Linda Loudermilk, designer

On going green

Over the next decade, I think more people will get involved in what we call "style activism." They'll still choose what's trendy, but the green movement has helped them understand that you can follow trends and still do something good for the planet. The aspirational products will be clean and pure, fashion that can feed your ego and your soul at the same time. It'll be about natural fibers, the purity of nature, getting back to the basics--but in a very self-expressive way.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Joan Roughgarden, biologist

On the evolution of gender

A glorious yet ominous and strange future glimmers in my crystal ball. Someday soon the wider gay and lesbian community will completely assimilate transgender people. The need for gender conformity in the gay community will ease, and transgender people will associate romantically as well as politically with their kindred spirits. This melting pot of queer expressions will flow throughout American culture, changing its aesthetics just as jazz, blues, and reggae did before.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The science of gender and sexuality--as it impacts evolutionary biology, genetics, physiology, and medicine-will be framed anew, and the gender and sexuality therapy that has oppressed us for many decades will become as medically obsolete as drilling the skull to cure headaches.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Yet even as the grounds for the discrimination against us dissolves, new lines of demarcation will arise, because humans need to discriminate, and we must guard that discrimination against us is not replaced by some other equally groundless discrimination against other groups.

Bishop John Shelby Spong, religious leader

On the end of homophobia

I think the LGBT community will be completely mainstream in the next decade. In 40 years, people will wonder how their parents and grandparents could have been so insensitive as to have been homophobic. In 40 years, Alabama and Mississippi will recognize gay marriage. The battle has been decided. All that is needed now is for people to walk into it and claim victory. We are in the last stages of the darkness before the dawn. With George Bush in the White House and Benedict XVI in the Vatican, we have the last gasp of negativity.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Jeff Whitty, playwright

On the power of theater

Let's begin with the fact that theater will never die, no matter what people may say about the fabulousness of technology. If we enter a post-Armageddon society and have nothing to power our DVD players and movie theaters and Xboxes, theater will persist like a fabulous cockroach.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

As movies become dulled by the endless possibilities of CGI, I think the public will increasingly crave an art form that permits them to use their imaginations. And as technology allows for more "interactivity," I predict that people will hunger for the brutality of theater. (I'm not immune to the siren song of technology, speaking as an unrepentant video-game nerd.) More and more, I detect a yearning for the handmade in entertainment, which only theater provides.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In the next 10 years, I expect New York City to become less of a theater mecca. …

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