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04 February 2014 @ 11:28 am
Miss Panti Goes to the Theatre  

Irish drag queen Miss Panti gives an impassioned, intelligent speech about opression and homophobia at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre.

I don’t normally post videos, much less ten minute videos, but this is really, really worth watching all the way through.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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Kate Kirbykirbyk on February 4th, 2014 09:26 am (UTC)
Excellent.

A lot of people like to point out ways in which it's gotten better - and no doubt, it's gotten a lot better. Even in the last few years, public opinion has shifted radically. In America, we're allowed to serve in the military, can get married in an increasing number of states that's between a third and a half, show up in an occasional commercial or TV show, and hip people are happy to point out they support us.

But there are a million daily little jabs. In my home state, they're gathering signatures for a ballot measure to allow me to marry - and one that allows businesses to refuse to serve me and not run afoul of antidiscrimination ordinances. In more than half of the states, I can't get married. Whether I can adopt depends on geography. Whether someone can refuse to rent to me, fire me from my job, depends on geography. And people, nice people, like cardinals and popes and teachers and once favorite science fiction authors, will happily spread their voice that it ought to be so and it ought to be worse because I am less than them.

And it's more personal. What do I post, and where? Do I have the strength for a fight today? Do I just let it go? For the love of god, please remember to not read the comments! What happens if someone leaves a careless comment on a Facebook post? Will my parents find out before they die? Will they abandon and disinherit me? More likely than not. Think about that. Whether I get to remain a part of my family depends on if acquaintances bother to think about context when they post on Facebook. That's a lot of power and control that I have to leave totally to chance.

And when straight people are out on a first date, they worry: Is he nice? Am I good enough? Is he? What should I order? Who is paying? Is this dress too slutty or not slutty enough? All that stuff. I get that too, but get to add: Are those people staring at us? Is someone going to make a scene? Is someone going to bother us to try and tell us they like lesbians? Is someone going to follow me to the train and attack me? Is the wait staff going to do something to the food that we don't know about? Just existing as openly gay is a political statement, and dating is hard enough without it also being activism.

So, yeah, it's still really fucking awful to be gay. And I'm in a big city that's relatively safe. It's fear, and being judged, and not being in control. It's having your character and your worth questioned in the media every day. It's being a prop to support someone else's claims of enlightenment, but never getting to represent yourself. It's having your basic rights be subject to a vote of people who aren't like you, and would like to think they're better than you, so you'd better dance for them or you're in big trouble.

Just because it's better here than in Ireland, and better in Ireland than in Russia or West Africa, doesn't mean we're the golden land of equality and happiness. But we persist. What choice does anyone have, really?
Kevenn: Jujubeekevenn on February 4th, 2014 09:57 am (UTC)
This was a BRILLIANT speech! :)
jenmaryajenmarya on February 4th, 2014 04:08 pm (UTC)
Amazing speech. Thanks for posting.
saare_snowqueensaare_snowqueen on February 5th, 2014 03:11 am (UTC)
What a wonderful, brave person!!!!

This needs to be as widely disseminated as possible.
blitheringpooksblitheringpooks on February 5th, 2014 09:51 am (UTC)
Thanks. Shared on FB.
lokifan: Rent: queer flaglokifan on February 6th, 2014 03:47 pm (UTC)
Amazing speech. I cried a bit actually cos it's so true and... ouch.