Category Archives: lgbt

Poetic Tribute from 2018 Esteem Awards

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Women’s March/Rally Ann Arbor, MI 2018 Speech

The 2018 Women’s March/Rally in Ann Arbor, MI was phenomenal. Many asked for the text of my speech. Well Here you are

Women’s March/Rally Ann Arbor, MI 2018 Speech by Michelle Elizabeth Brown 01/20/2018

Hello Ann Arbor!

Here we are one year later STILL standing in solidarity for the America we believe in.

An America hijacked a year ago, when a toxic orange cloud settled over our nation’s capital.

Most days it feels like common decency is under siege as Republicans use their almost overwhelming political power to paralyze our dreams for our communities.

It no longer, even remotely feels like a government of, for and by the people but a renegade government operating under its own agenda.

From day one, it’s been about turning back the hands of time for women, the LGBTQ community, workers, immigrants, education, the environment, you name it.

Making America great, not for the majority of us, but for the same minority that continues to hold all the wealth.

Almost every morning we wake up to another blast of presidential tirades from an over-night twitter storm that’s regurgitated all day by 45’s band of clueless henchmen and women.

He’s a stable genius alright but apparently that stable never got cleaned and its full of muck!

The travel ban, the transgender ban in the military, his nuclear pissing contest with North Korea, putting the nation’s education system in the hands of the most unqualified secretary of education in history, continued attacks on healthcare even for children, appointing a climate-change doubter to head the EPA – like the song goes “We’re living in bad conditions.”

2017 was a hard year!!

But I continue to look for the best of times, the best in people, the best in possible outcomes and I’ve seen it in the faces of women, students and everyday people.

Last year across the country we marched together, our children in tow, not JUST in protest of the election but for the protection of all we hold dear.

We still believe the greatness of this country lies in its diversity, inclusion and equality for everyone – all of the huddled masses whether born here, brought here as children or immigrating here. We are all yearning to breathe free.

We continue to resist and it’s our women leading the charge.

Thousands came to the Women’s Convention planning strategies and actions to “reclaim” our time.

Women in office are speaking out and holding their male political counterparts to task. And we have even more women thinking about and running for office.

Women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community were elected to office across the country in record numbers last November.

And despite the President’s endorsement, Alabama’s Roy Moore, was defeated. An election which saw a large turnout from voters, especially Black women.

The #Metoo movement has finally put the spotlight on sexual assault, harassment, and JUST BAD BEHAVIOR. It’s time we call out the occupant of White House for his actions.

In her Golden Globe acceptance speech Oprah Winfrey talked about a new day on the horizon! A new day finally dawning because of a lot of magnificent women.

She was speaking to the women in that room, but I say it is because of the magnificent women – Black, White, Brown, of all colors, ethnicities, sexual orientation and gender identity as well as many men standing together strong!

We say to The White House, McConnell, Ryan and the Grand Old Party of Prevaricators, Predators, Perverts, and Phonies – Your time is up!

We say to the Dem’s, we are watching you too. Hear our voices! Do your job and open the doors for OUR NEW IDEAS AND this new wave of women joining your ranks.

And finally, to our dear confused sisters who continue to vote against their own best interest, if you can’t VOTE for yourself vote for your daughters, your granddaughters, those little girls born every day who will live under the choices you make. Wake up and STAY WOKE!!

So I’m going to ask you – Whose time is this?

THIS TIME IS OURS!!!!

Now let’s grab them by the midterms and take our power to the polls!!

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Wearing My Pride Like Some Rainbow Rompers!!!

Printed 6/8/2017 in issue 2523 Between The Lines Newspaper

Bet that got your attention! ROMPERS!! They’ve been around forever. No, I don’t have one. No, I don’t care if you wear one. No, I don’t care if men wear them! No, I don’t want to see pictures of anyone in them! No, I don’t understand what all the buzz is about. And no, I’m not talking about them!!

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s talk about celebrating PRIDE this year. June is here and PRIDE is literally busting out all over. Although National Coming Out Day has always been celebrated in October, it wasn’t until 2000 that then President Bill Clinton declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride” Month. It was expanded by President Barack Obama to include the Bisexual and Transgender communities in 2009. We got accustom to being invited to the White House in June during the Obama Administration. Many of our community leaders and friends had been to the White House and photos with the President were all over Facebook feeds. Even me, a little girl from the eastside of Detroit, now living out and proud had been to the White House and received Holidays cards each year for from the Obama’s. Sadly, my parents weren’t alive to see not only the first African American President but their daughter visit the White House but my “Little Nanny,” in her 90’s at the time, did!!

After the Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize same-sex marriage we saw the White House lit up in rainbow colors. We raised our rainbow flags a little, higher while marching in PRIDE celebrations across the country during these years in the belief that, although we still knew we had a way to go, we felt we were headed in the right direction.

Unfortunately, considering the current administration, I think it will be a long time before we again experience that level of access or support from the White House. When White House spokesperson Kelly Love was asked by the Washington Blade if Trump would issue a Pride proclamation or host a White House Pride reception, her response was “We will let you know as soon as we announce our June proclamations.” I’m not holding my breath!

Considering the anti-LGBT positions and actions Trump and his administration have taken, would we even attend? Our concerns would probably fall on deaf ears and those who did attend would need to adhere to a strict “buddy’ policy lest any lone activists mysteriously get spirited away to some “Gay conversion” camp in Indiana!

But its June and PRIDE is busting out all over so let’s let our Rainbow flags fly! PRIDE celebrations are often the first place where LGBTQ people of all ages can come out and be themselves. It is that brave, safe space where the questioning, the closeted, the isolated can find their tribe and know they aren’t the only one. It’s a place where we can showcase our organizations and their services. It’s the place where we can celebrate, laugh out loud, dance with reckless abandon, reconnect with old friends, make new friends and in recent years, even get married. Our PRIDE celebrations are OUR family reunions. Each year they get bigger.

We welcome not just our LGBTQ family but our allies – family, friends, coworkers and businesses. More than a White House photo, in coming together each June – and beyond – in cities across the state and country our PRIDE celebrations have helped pull back the curtain of fear and ignorance and move hearts in minds where it matters, beyond the beltway, in our communities and neighborhoods where the real victories must be won.

These are perilous times when many of the gains we have made are again under attack. We can still get married on Saturday and fired on Monday simply because we are LGBTQ. So far, this year the Human Rights Campaign reports that with major state partners they have battled more than 130 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in 30 states; to date, seven of those bills have been signed into law.

It’s June and PRIDE is busting out all over!! On June 11 the National Equality March will

be held in Washington, DC and on the west coast, the #ResistMarch will take place in Los Angeles. Just about every weekend there’s a LGBTQ PRIDE coming to a city near you. Sites like www.gaypridecalendar.com and www.centerforblackequity.org list events nationwide. You could even plan your vacation around PRIDE celebrations in different cities.

Rainbow tie-dye a ROMPER to wear if you must but attend the PRIDE celebration in your community. Be visible, be proud! In these crazy times, it’s more important than ever to say in one loud and resounding voice that “We are here! We are Queer” and all of us are better when we stand together regardless of race, gender, class, ethnicity, religion, ages, sexual orientation and gender identity as one community.

It’s June and PRIDE is busting out all over!! I’m heading to PRIDE and letting my

Rainbow Flag fly!! See you there!

Posted in bullying, lgbt, LGBTQ Pride, marriage equality, NGLTF, Pop Culture, Queer, Self imaage, Social Justice Issues, Transgender, World events | Leave a comment

Thoughts on Black Queer Activism

Activist Michelle Brown contends that what sets Black queer activism apart is its deep commitment to community organizing. Having sat on the boards of Michigan Equality, Affirmations, Black Pride Society, The Ruth Ellis Center, and other local organizations, Brown has been active on both sides of Eight Mile. She says that in contrast to the more centralized nonprofit model of the larger, mostly white organizations, black queer activists “put their roots in the community,” and seek sustainability by creating a wide base of support and, importantly, involvement, versus relying on corporate/foundation dollars and private donors.

From “BLACK AND PROUD: PUTTING COMMUNITY BACK INTO QUEER ORGANIZING” by Jackson Bartlett in Critical Moments 7/8/2011

What do you think?

Read the whole article at https://critical-moment.org/2011/07/08/black-and-proud-putting-community-back-into-queer-organizing/

Posted in Black identity, Detroit, Detroit Spirit, DOMA, ENDA, marriage equality, NGLTF, Queer, Social Justice Issues | Leave a comment

My Speech from the Women’s March Ann Arbor – January 21, 2017

Hello Ann Arbor!!

It is an honor to stand in solidarity with the 66 million Americans across the country and, dare I say more than a few nasty women, for the protection of our rights, our safety, and our communities.

Many of us woke up that Wednesday morning in November and wondered what the hell had happened.

We have worked and lived our lives to build a world that could be what our children might see.

A world where healthcare is the right of every man, woman and child regardless of their ability to pay.

Where access to procedures, medications and research is not driven by big pharmaceutical profits but by the need of the patient.

Where women are the keepers and decision makers for their own bodies.

A world where every person has a right to equal opportunities for employment with a fair living wage and an equal pay based on the work done not by their gender.

Where the glass ceiling exists only to let the sunshine in on our best and brightest minds.

A world where our families are respected because LOVE IS LOVE!!

Where we recognize that the union of two people as partners in a loving committed relationship is marriage and the law of the land.

A world where we recognize Diversity means respecting the individual while recognizing our differences make up the whole of America. Not demonizing and attacking whole groups of people because of their religion, ethnicity or country of origin.

A world where every child is protected and allowed to reach their full potential.

Where they have access to excellence in education, clean water, safe streets, affordable housing and the right to live their authentic lives whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning without the fear of bullying, harassment, attacks and even death.

Black lives, Trans Lives, Women’s Lives, Our children’s lives matter!

Even though our government is now under the grip of an apocalyptic orange horseman and his henchmen of billionaires, bigots, climate deniers and conserva-fools who promise to attack, overturn or deny all that we hold dear,

we stand here and across the nation in solidarity to say in this country WE are the people and say in one loud, resounding voice that women’s rights are human rights; no human is illegal, science is real, all lives matter and we will fight for all that we hold dear.

To borrow from that great civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis, we will fight until hell freezes over;

And because we are strong resilient citizens, and more than a few nasty women, when hell freezes over we will sharpen our ice skates and fjght on, .because – each of us regardless of race, creed, country of origin, sexual orientation or gender expression – is her

and I’m still with her.

Posted in 2016 Elections, Abortion, Black women, Love, marriage equality, Queer, Voting Rights, Women, Womens March 2017, World events | Leave a comment