We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it.   Leave a comment

I wrote this speech for Margaret Cho when I attended a speechwriting course in April 2011. In theory, MC asked me to write a speech for her capturing her voice. I hope I did! Thank you to all my resources.

Introduction for Margaret Cho

I don’t think I, Danelle
could ever
give a proper introduction
for this woman.
She is a beautiful,
drop dead diva, comedian,
lover of humanity,
I say that in the spiritual sense (Looks at Margaret)
and political activist.
I give you my old,
old friend,

We are gathered here today
to bless these two in holy mat,
wait a second.
What the *Bleep*.
Hey, who wrote this *Bleep*?
Sounds like I’m marrying a couple.
Do you lesbian number one
take lesbian number two
to have
and to hold,
Ok, sorry wrong speech.
I hope my dog didn’t eat (Shuffle papers, whispers)
my *Bleep* speech again.
Oh, wait!
I Got it!
Do over.
Let’s try this one on for size shall we.

Good morning,
What a great honor for me and thank you for joining us at the GLBT History Museum. On this bright and sunny morning we are here to dedicate the First GLBT History Museum’s Permanent exhibit of Queers in the United States on this day, April 17, 2011.

The GLBT History Museum’s presentation will incorporate
a gallery specifically on the Queer population
and its history.
That’s right.
We have history!
The museum will feature
two debut exhibitions.
In the main gallery,
you will find Our Vast Queer Past
Celebrating San Francisco’s
GLBT History.
Curated by historians
Gerard Koskovich,
Don Romesburg and
Amy Sueyoshi.
In the front gallery,
you’ll find great collections
of the GLBT Historical Society’s

We are here to honor our community
and the GLBT Historical Society’s 25th anniversary,
the curators of Our Vast Queer Past
who burrowed into every corner
of the society’s extraordinary archives.
We are here to show respect
and acceptance as we dedicate
this section of this museum as our very own.
It is a commemorative event
not only to Queers, (Point to audience)
and those questioning.
It is for everyone.
Did I forget anybody?
For those who don’t know me,
hello bitches.
I’m Margaret Cho,
nice to meet’cha.

I am the Korean American fag-hag, (Point to self)
girl comic,
trash talker
and I am a biological female.
In layman’s terms
I was born a girl.
I’ll let you in on a little secret,
I am
and always will be
in love with men,
women or whatever.
It’s not what’s between a person legs
that matters to me.
That’s how I got the label queer.
After having gay boyfriends for many years (Slow down)
finally I have a straight husband,
and lover all in one.
After having lesbian girlfriends
and lovers thrown in the mix,
I am Queer.
I’m not a lesbian anymore.
Which is a shame.
Because I am soooo good at softball. (Pause)

Fran Lebowitz once said,
“Girls who put out are tramps.
Girls who don’t are ladies.
This is,
a rather archaic usage of the word.
Should one of you boys happen upon a girl
who doesn’t put out,
do not jump to the conclusion
that you have found a lady.
What you have probably found is a Lesbian.”
I am not the first avowed queer woman
and I won’t be the last.
I have always tried to make a difference
promoting equal rights for all,
regardless of sexual orientation
or identity.
This museum has joined me
in the fight.
Our struggles,
and tears can be seen in the exhibition.
It begins with a rainbow view
of nearly a century of queer experiences
in the San Francisco Bay Area.
You will be consumed
by multiple stories,
sometimes interweaving,
sometimes isolated,
sometimes in battle.
What will you find? (Pause)
Motifs based on being human.
The first is the search for companionship
and pleasure.
The second is the struggle
for self-determination
and respect in an often hostile society.
The third is the value of individual
and collective expression.
And the fourth is the spirit,
and wit that have been keys to our survival.
But, really why are we here?
Society is slowly learning to be more diverse.
Back in the day,
you see I was a lesbian
and very proud.
I can remember the moments
of being a lesbian.

First, I can recall the memories
of a woman touching me,
Second, the curves of a woman’s body,
her scent,
and eyes would always beckon me.
I do understand the meaning
of being a lesbian.
And third,
being with a woman
was one of the most spiritual experiences
that I had ever known.
As I close my eyes,
at this very moment,
I can envision the women
who were a part of my life.
Not only emotionally but,
and spiritually.
I can tell you that each woman had
their own inner essence.
Each touched my heart.
with time comes change and well,
people change.
I was a lesbian.
And then bisexual
and now presently considered a queer.
I’ve have such a wealth of sexual experience.
I’m always going to be queer.
Why you ask?
Because, I follow my heart.
I married a bio man. (Speed up)
I kinda wanted to get married
and I looked at husbands
like I looked at tattoos.
Like I WANT one
but I can’t decide on WHAT,
and I don’t want to be STUCK with something that
I am going to grow to hate.
I have come to realize
that there is a difference between genders.
Straight men are so simple.
All they need are beer
and boobs
and Buffalo wings.

Oh yeah,
and straight men
don’t want to go shopping,
etc. are all people to be respected,
just people,
just different.
Just as we each have
our own hearts,
and souls.
Let’s talk about our dilemma
that has to do with diversity
in our world.
Do you think our society
is ready for the next gender identity?
I know we are willing to try.
To learn more about what queer really means.
Queer in today’s society
is considered similar to
the features of the GLBT group.
no but,
no cigar.
We are our own breed.
Once again,
society is slowly learning diversity.
We as a society (Look around)
need to open our minds
to the unknown.
To open our hearts.
To open our acceptance level.
We all want the same rights (Point up)
and freedoms.
Because we all know
that once we face the unknown,
it is not that scary anymore.
I was partially raised by my parents,
and partially grew up cradled
within the gay community
by a motley crew of gay men
and drag queens.

I grew up in the 80s
and 90s,
and I worked a lot
as an AIDS activist
when I was very young.
So it’s something
I always knew I would do.
It’s just inherent to who I am.
My identity is
rooted in my activism.
I’m queer,
I’m a woman of color
and I’m very progressive politically.
I hope to one day
leave my mark on this world,
we call home.
Today marks a day for learning. (Slow down)
Learning from the past
that will give us strength
for our future battles.
As we look at the past within these walls,
it reminds us we still have far to go.

Presently, legislation is pending
in both the House
and Senate
for our community.
Gays and lesbians
have been struck hard
and need Congress
to Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act,
Respect for Marriage Act H.R. 3567
which denies legally married lesbian
and gay couples
more than 1,000 federal protections.
These are basic protections
such as access to Social Security benefits
and the right to care for an ailing spouse
under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
With six states
either providing
or soon to provide marriage benefits
to same-sex couples,
it’s time for Congress
to repeal DOMA.
To treat all married couples equally.

which was signed into law
by former President Bill Clinton in 1996
has two key components
against the GLBT community.
Section 2 stipulates
that no state need recognize
legal civil marriages
between persons of the same sex.
Even if the marriage was recognized
in another state.
Section 3 prohibits
the federal government
from recognizing same-sex marriages
for any purpose.
Excluding these couples
from all federal benefits and protections.
Whether granted by statue,
or sub-regulatory decision.
It effectively bars federal benefits
from flowing to same-sex couples
in state recognized unions.
These are unequal
and unfair laws.
We all deserve the same rights
don’t we?
As the GLBT community
struggles it also strengthens.
As gay and lesbians are fighting
for their rights,
we as queer individuals fight for ours.
Their fights are our fights.
If you are a woman,
if you are a person of color,
if you are gay,
if you are a person of size,
if you are person of intelligence,
if you are a person of integrity,
then you are considered
a minority in this world.
As we come together today
as a united front,
we will experience life
as never before seen.

With all my heart,
please join me
with great pleasure
in opening the doors.
The doors of enlightenment
for all the world to see.
A queer world.
My world.
Our world.
This exhibit reminds us all
that just because you are blind,
and unable to see my beauty
doesn’t mean it does not exist.
I want each of you to remember these words. Love is the big booming beat which covers up the noise of hate.
Thank you all for making history with me. (Put hands together and bow).

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