For too long we; the queer community; have been forced to swallow shame that is not ours. Most of us have met some opposition against the beings that we are born to be. Parents, classmates, society, they all point to our strengths and tell us we are wrong to celebrate them. That we are to be ashamed of ourselves and keep closeted the love and joy in our lives. This is not our shame. This is their shame and we refuse to own it any longer. We as a people have been blessed through time as leaders, rulers, kings, queens, shaman and the storytellers of our own culture and the culture of our fellow man. We have been exalted as beings of 2 spirits, personified yin and yang, and of mystical relation to gods and earth. We are a culture rich with imagination, understanding of magic and the ability to overcome against all odds. There is no need for shame to be placed upon us because we are not a culture that produces shame and disgrace.
To believe that a person or culture is less than another is bigotry and to honor that bigotry is to employ fascist beliefs plain and simple. Morality is about caring for your fellow man, not making them less and not judging them because of who they are or whom they love. This must not be the way rights are decided. We as members of society do not believe these lies and that is why we will have our rights and the people who stand against us will fall from lack of support under their shaky morals. The view of us as a immoral people is why people are able to believe it is alright to beat, rape, torture and even kill us; often in the name of their own god. We battle on against this false morality and shame and will gain our rightful place in society with full rights, full dignity, and pride in our hearts. We are tired of waiting. We will act up and fight on till we as a culture are recognized for the glory that we bring to this town, this country and the world.
I have not lived these 42 years to continue to see my people trampled beneath the boots of falsities and lies. I hope that with every step I take on that bridge today, and in my life ahead, is a step forward for the "we" as a people. We will not lay down and let these atrocities go unchallenged because it is wrong to treat humans in such abhorrent ways. Especially ones so full of all the traits that makes this world a beautiful place to live.
That very abuse by society however is why every last Gay, Lesbian, Queer or Transgendered person has the ability to be a hero. The fact that every day we prove ourselves to be stronger than the hate just shows what heros we already are. We are here, we are Queer and we are moving beyond societies shackles into a brighter day without shame, one step at a time. The days have come to come out, stay out and demand what is rightfully ours. No longer does shame hide our anger but instead frees us to use our voices and become the heros of our birthright. To move beyond and make a difference today until our rights are grated and dignity restored.
I hope at least that these words are the reason I was asked to be here because I believe them 100%.