Monthly Archives: August 2009
I'm kind of enjoying the fetus of a speechwriting career I've somehow umbilical'd over the course of this year. I've written three speeches for my boss to give to companies, one for my boss-boss to give to the European Parliament and now one for my buddy to give to a throng of drunk, sunburned homosexuals.
My friend HC is the president of the Danish National Association of Gays and Lesbians, and he asked me to write the speech he delivered at the closing ceremony of Copenhagen Gay Pride this year. It was a special year, since the Pride took place at the end of the 10-day Copenhagen OutGames, which are pretty much the gay Olympics and sort of my favorite thing ever now.
Some estimates say that 50,000 people were in the square to hear the speech, but you know how gays inflate numbers. It was probably more like 125 people.
Anyway, here's a snip of what I wrote for him. The full Eva Peron is here.
As most of you know, there was an incident on Tuesday where one spectator thought it’d be a good idea to go to one of the Outgames sporting events and throw fireworks onto the field. A few of them exploded and an American runner was injured.
Now… The problem with harassing gay athletes is that they’re athletes. A couple of them ran after him and held him down until police arrived. He’s now detained by the police, the sports events continued and the runner was already back the next day to participate.
You know, one of the first messages of the gay rights movement was ‘We’re Here, We’re Queer, Get Used to It’. After this week, I’m looking forward to seeing the banners saying ‘We’re Here, We’re Queer, and We Can Run Faster Than You.’
In October 2009 Denmark celebrates its 20th anniversary as the first country in the world to let same-sex couples enter a civil union. Last weekend we paid honor to Axel Axgil, the founder of our organization and the first man ever to get married to another man. Axel’s presence here demonstrated to me that we’re all a part of something larger.
LGBT people and activists have been around long before I was just a skinny boy in Jutland—realizing I fancied other skinny boys in Jutland. It also made me realize that there are a lot more Axel Axgils out there, waiting for the world to tell them that the future has room for them too.
Events like the OutGames are a way for us to deliver that message. The OutGames is special because it’s an event where lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people can come together and represent not how we love, but what we love. The OutGames lets the world know that we really are everywhere. We’re in your families, we’re at your workplace, we’re on your sports field and yes, we’re in your locker rooms.
People are always talking about ‘the gay community’. But sometimes ‘the gay community’ is hard to see. You know, for a group defined by the term ‘homo’, we’re a pretty diverse bunch.
Some of us are from small towns, others from big cities. Some of us work in fashion or theater, others are plumbers and electricians. Some of us get up early every morning to go swimming, others think the backstroke is something you get at a massage parlor.
What I’m trying to say is, we’re here to celebrate not what makes us different, but what makes us the same.
It’s important for us to acknowledge that the gay community also includes a lot of people who couldn’t join us this week. And I’m not just talking about the members of our community who live in places where it’s illegal or unsafe to be out and open. No matter where you go, whether it’s Moldova or Massachusetts, you’ll find people struggling to be themselves, people who need to hear that the rest of the world supports them.
The OutGames sets an example to LGBT people around the world. It also sends a message to all the straight people: We are everywhere. We are united. And we can run faster than you.