This blog is a note of greeting and appreciation to the many LGBT activists – some whom I know – who made the July 2009 Copenhagen World OutGames Human Rights Conference a profound success:
I was delighted and my heart was warmed to see your faces, but more importantly I continue to be deeply appreciative of your continued gay human rights advocacy on behalf of our worldwide community. From the happy victories of Denmark’s registered partnerships and the out loud support from the government for the Conference to the fearsome political defeats in Burundi and violence in Guatemala, you continue undaunted against all odds to confront ignorance and bigotry. It gets heavy and hard along the way but you are no longer alone; there are now more of us in the ‘trenches’ and there is more funding each year for this humanitarian work.
So to lighten your day with another victory I am enclosing a YouTube video of Ellen DeGeneres, the lesbian queen of comedy, giving a commencement speech at Tulane University in New Orleans in June of this year. She is witty and also poignant in her playful comments to the graduating students and their mostly straight families and the conservative faculty.
But there is a greater wonder here: her completely ‘out’ presence at a major American university talking freely and comfortably about homosexuality for all to hear. She talks about coming out as a lesbian on television and the consequent discrimination she faced as well as her ultimate public rebirth as a popular talk show hostess now broadcasted across the country. She an inspiring and fearless pioneer for gay rights–as you are.
Thank you for your devotion and courage.
Here’s Ellen on YouTube.