Monday, February 23, 2009



[Thanks to a list of people] for taking on the challenge of telling this lifesaving story. When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas, to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life, it gave me the hope to, one day I could live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married.

I want to thank my mom who has always loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us thirty years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches, or by the government, or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures who have value. And that no matter what anybody tells you, God does love you and that very soon you will have equal rights federally across this great nation of ours.

Thank you. Thank you God for giving us Harvey Milk.


You commie, homo-loving sons of guns!

I did not expect this, and I want it to be very clear how hard I make it to appreciate me, often. But I am touched by the appreciation and I thought enough that I did want to scribble down so I have the names in case you are commie, homo-loving sons of guns. [Thanks a bunch of people, ending with] there is no finer hands to be in than Gus Van Sant.

Finally, for those--two last finallys--for those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue in that way of support.

We've got to have equal rights for everyone.

[Then shoutouts for electing "an elegant man President" and Mickey Rourke: "he is my brother."]

I remember something Sarah Dougher said onstage at the PDX Pop Fest in 2004, in the heat of Oregon's Measure 36 fight: "Gay people cannot get equal rights without the help of straight people."

Thanks for stepping up, Penn. And thanks, DLB, for the shout-out to your good mom (moms everywhere, listen up!) and that stellar parting line. Usually award winners thank God for their own success, as if he personally cast the overriding vote; I wish more people thought to thank him for Harvey Milk.

And guess what? You can behold the real deal himself in the superb 1984 documentary The Times of Harvey Milk in its entirety, all 88 minutes, right here. It's stunning and moving. A must-see.

1 comment:

Brenda Ann Elizabeth McKinney said...

I saw these on the net after the awards ceremony, and I have to admit the first speech (by Dustin Lance Black) almost made me cry. Well put. So true. Glad you posted this to watch again.