You’ve honoured me this evening to a degree I feel I don’t yet deserve. When I read about the work of my fellow honourees, I felt humbled and certain that among us, I am the one with much to prove. I believe I’ve received this award not so much because of what I’ve done, but because of the way I was born and raised. I was born the younger sister of a gay man, my older brother Mike, and the daughter of parents who were both empathetic to and loving of the LGBT community. In my household, being gay was and is - no big deal. When my brother came out we hugged him, said we loved him, and that was that. When he brought home his first boyfriend …when he brought his first boyfriend, now husband home for a couple of weeks one Christmas, my father’s only comment to my mother was: “Please, try not to mix up our underwear.” We had no idea that I would become recognizable because of my work and that we would become publicly labeled as having an “alternative family lifestyle”. Just for the record, we don’t feel that there is actually anything alternative about our family values. So for semantic reasons only, it’s with some hesitation that I accept the HRCLI award. I don’t consider myself just an ally to the LGBT community, I consider myself your family; and so, I’m doing, what we should all do, with our families. I’m loving you, I support you, I completely accept you as you are as I hope you do me, and if anyone, ever, tries to hurt you - I’m gonna give them hell! …There are people who’ve said that I’m being brave for being openly supportive of gay marriage, gay adoption ..basically of gay rights, but with all due respect, I humbly dissent. I’m not being brave, I’m being a decent human being, and I don’t think I should receive an award for that, or for merely stating what I believe to be true; that love, is a human experience, not a political statement, however, I acknowledge that sadly we live in a world where not everybody feels the same. My family and I will help the good fight continue until that long awaited moment arrives. When our rights are equal, and when the political limits on love have been smashed. This award does not represent in anyway the pinnacle of my relationship with the LGBT community, rather, it is a triumphant roar to announce that we are just beginning our fight together. In closing, to paraphrase Enis Del Mar, who was unforgettably embodied by the late, the great, Heath Ledger: I swear HRC, I swear. I have not yet done enough to deserve this award, but don’t worry, the best is yet to come.
I loved her before, but this totally enhances that by a billion. This woman is amazing!! Sitting here crying right now after sitting through this speech to write it down for all of you guys. Incredible!