This week at ohio university we have been celebrating pride week. On Wednesday as part of the festivities, we had a candle vigil to reflect and remember the challenges as well as joys we have experienced as individuals and as a community. Below is the reflection I shared.
Reflect and Remember
A queerfelt muchas gracias to you all for your presence tonight.
Tonight we reflect and we remember, not to get stuck in the past but to inspire and transform our nows and our tomorrows.
We reflect and we remember the challenges and tragedies we have endured as a community…
–The murders of Matthew Shephard, David Kato, and Gwen Arujo
–The assaults on two queer women last month in Hocking College
–The kids who are kicked out of their homes for living and loving beyond the norm
–The spiritual violence of “God Hates Fags” that has broken individuals to the point of suicide
–The countless and often unknown victims of sexualized violence who identify as trans or gender variant
–The OU person who tweeted last semester that they don’t feel safe on campus because they are gay
–The misrepresentation and otherization of our vibrant and diverse community in the media and other social networks
Despite the challenges and tragic hardships, we also joyfully reflect upon and queerfully remember the celebrations, revolutions, and radicalness of our community. We reflect and we remember…
–Sylvia Rivera and all those who refused to be bullied and silenced at Stone Wall
–The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the states that have taken steps to respect same-sex and same-gender loving relationships
–The bravery of athletes Britteny Griner, Jason Collins, Kye Allums, and Tom Daley for challenging notions of masculinity and femininity within the sports world.
–That OU has and is and will be taking steps to fully live into diversity and inclusion…having an LGBT Center, Gender Neutral Housing, and hopefully fully approving the LGBTQ Studies Certificate
–The Inspirational witnesses of author activists Janet Mock and Kate Bornstein whose deconstruction and reconstruction of gender has given people hope and has sent a message that we are more then our genitals
–We celebrate the laughter of shows like Will & Grace, Modern Family, and GLEE who have raised awareness that we are here and we are queer!
We reflect and we remember our heroes and sheroes and “insert-gender-neutral-pronoun-roes”…
–Neil Patrick Harris
Trail blazers past and present, who spark and kindle our commitment to a justice and equality in which ALL are welcome truly means ALL are welcome.
We reflect and we remember our anthems…
–Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out”
–Cindi Laupers “True Colors”
–Gaga’s “born this way”
–Macklemore’s “same love”
–And most recently, Frozen’s “let it go”
We reflect and we remember ourselves, we take pride in our journeys of living and expressing who we are…We honor all of who we are, our bloopers and our triumphs as individuals and as familia…We take pride in our efforts to embody being a rainbow in the clouds of others…We take pride in our goods, our bads, and our freaking awesomeness!
We reflect and we remember that all of us without exception IS fabulous, fierce, glitterful, amazing, unicornlicious…We reflect and we remember that we are and will continue to be bangass rainbow warriors.
Muchas gracias! Que asi sea
featured image taken on Wednesday…Athens’ skyline “happy pride” to all