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Old 01-22-2013, 05:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A historic moment

I have to say I was moved by the fact that for the first time in history the word gay and our struggle with civil rights such as Stonewall was included in a Presidential Inauguration speech. In case some of you missed it here is the quote
Quote:
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths that all of us are created equal is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth....

...Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.
What was said gave me pause for several reasons:
*No American President has ever acknowledged we existed as a class of real humans in this Country before in such an important speech.
*The context that he put the fight for equality in placed it as shared aspirations rather than shared experience to the struggles others have had for civil rights. I think this context change actually will allow for more of those who have fought for civil rights to better relate to our challenges and fight.
*The judges on the Supreme Court were at the Inauguration and they have before them right now at least 2 cases involving gay rights. This may have been a good way to utilize the power of helping them to open their eyes a bit wider to the changes that have occurred in this Country and have less fear about ruling on the side of equality.
*As silly as it may sound hearing this actually left me feeling for the first time in my life a little more a part of this Country. All the hate that I have felt and seen over the past nearly 50 years of my life that has been directed toward the GLBT community has taken a toll on me and left me feeling a bit separated and alone. This helped me to revive my hope that we can reach equality and possibly do it in my lifetime.

Did this part of his speech change how you feel, give you more hope, improve your outlook, make you feel more included, have any effect on you, etc...?
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Nandm YES it did.

I have always felt like I was not part of society. Everything is so geared to others that I got numb to my own self. That I expect to not be able to speak of my life freely. My relationship was always something to keep quiet about. That holding hands or a quick kiss good bye in public is for those people. To shut myself down when leaving the house.

I am not a quiet person. People that know me know I don't hold back... But everything I feel as I described are reactions to the general feeling that is put out there by society. Not by how I feel about myself. It's simply protecting myself by these actions.

Who wants to go through life constantly feeling the need to filter and protect oneself with every action and word. That's tiring.

But this speech made me feel included. I believe that we will see a big change soon, at least in the law. The minds and hearts will take more time.

Anyway.... Thanks for mentioning it. Glad you feel the same.

Ken
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Obama gave a great speech and it made me feel great to be a gay American. I think he's going to go all out on all the big issues during the next four years, because he doesn't have to be concerned with a re-election.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting this nandm! I didn't get to see or hear any of the speeches, inauguration, etc.

Reading that does make me feel incredible. Like I did when I read about marriage equality passing in Maine and Washington. Makes me feel like a real human being. Like we are being seen as full human beings, members of our communities and important to the survival of life itself.

Yes, I do believe we are important to life and survival. I believe that biological diversity is a necessity to survival. And socially we are important, too. As we gain rights and equality, as we are seen as full human beings, we stand for the diversity of others as well. For their rights and humanity as well. And as someone said in another thread, our diversity is important for cultural survival and expression and growth too.

I agree it may take time for hearts and minds to change--we only have to look at the unfortunate existence of racism and sexism to see that. But as laws change, as we become more visible, those hearts and minds will change, too.
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