Gay Rights Speech

1399 words | 5 page(s)

Dear Dean Michaels, dear professors, ladies and gentlemen, my fellow students,
I am here today to address a most important matter, that of gay bulling. It is only recently that a young man lost his life as a direct result of bullying. His story is not unique, as countless gay people are mocked daily, bullied, and abused. It is unacceptable for people whose only crime is that their sexual orientation does not fall in the category of normalcy – whatever that means – to fall victim to such social and psychological exclusion.

Indeed, there is much joking about the whole topic of gays; young adolescents are being made fun of, even at the age of 13, or 14, when people are just discovering their sexual identity, at an age where many of us are actually still children. Yet, the mainstream groups, the cliques, the tough guys are all too eager to label as problematic and exclude certain individuals as being different, as being softer, as being too feminine or not enough masculine. The problem, of course, does not only concern adolescents. People of all ages are against gay marriage, and there is even much debate on whether or not it is okay to call someone “gay”, or whether the term, “homosexual” is more appropriate. In other words, prejudice and intolerance is even reflected in language. Yet, I do not intend to proceed to an academic analysis today; my intention is to speak from the heart; from my heart to your heart, and invite you all to join me in my mission of putting an end to gay bulling, to gay segregation, to gay intolerance.

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You might be wondering what inspired me to talk to you about this topic; Yes- there is a story behind my talk today. I was not even 5 when I became very close to a boy my age in kindergarten and our friendship only grew stronger as time passed. I thought we shared everything and we did, except this one important aspect of his that he only recently confessed to me; my friend is gay. I was shocked and upset when he told me and not because of the fact that he is gay, of course. What upset me profoundly is that he did not share this with me earlier.

Moreover, he told me that he has also kept from me the fact that he has been experiencing a great deal of bullying when people suspect his sexual orientation. It is not that I cannot understand why he was reluctant to come out, because this is not something that one can easily do. Still…. The fact that he struggled to tell even me, made me realize the extent of the effect that this exclusion and mockery has on a person, and that it had on him in particular. Realizing this has had a profound effect on me; using this incident as a springboard, I will try and do everything in my power to raise and expand awareness so that this racist practice stops. It is offensive, it is derogatory, it is dangerous.

My dear fellow students, most of us are 16 or 17 years old. As young people, who are about to cross the threshold of adulthood, we have an obligation to put an end to bigotry. We all know people that are the age of our parents or older who often make negative remarks about gays, and still believe that homosexuality is perverted, abnormal, or even sinful. When I think about how much negative talk there is about homosexuals, I understand my friend’s decision to keep quiet about the fact that he is sexually and romantically attracted to people of the same gender. I constantly hear people say that being gay is a choice, and that it can be cured, if only the person prays, if only the person tries to date someone of the opposite sex, if only the person gets married. In fact, some people say that it is a passing phase, it is curable, and other such nonsense. Such people view homosexuality as fundamentally problematic. Being gay is not a disease, it is not a phase, it is not something that needs to be fixed. Homosexuals have a different sexual preference than heterosexuals, this is all. Having experienced mockery, disapproval, hostility and exclusion, many gays desperately tried to ignore their feelings and attempted to form heterosexual relationships. Some married and even had children. Many if not most were deeply unhappy and unfulfilled. Some got depressed and it is not uncommon for victims of extreme bullying to commit suicide or be murdered.

One of the realistic approaches towards promoting your understanding of the feelings and perceptions of the gay is through getting an insight into what motivates their habit. Through this we can understand and appreciate their existence amongst us. The Understanding can also assist us appreciate the fact that being gay is not only about sex. The truth is that, like so many other non-gay people, homosexuals also want to have families, want to be successful at their jobs, want to be loved and appreciated in their community. Just as heterosexuals, homosexuals too, need to be productive, successful, and be able to pursue their dreams without fear of mockery and bullying of any sort. Therefore, we should appreciate the gay people and accept them in the society just like any other social group.

I do believe that our generation needs to be more tolerant to increase the level of acceptance of the gay people than the older generations. In fact, there are groups of people where it is definitely cool to express anti-gay sentiments. People of my age, need to have a “live and let live” attitude regarding most issues. However, we have to erase every last speck of anti-gay prejudice. In this context, my goal is to persuade all of you to look at the past and identify whether or not you have made remarks that are offensive to gay people, anywhere, anytime. If you have ever called someone “gay” as a way to make him feel foolish or bad, then you have certainly acted in a bigoted way.

I know that I plan to find a way to be active in the whole issue of gay rights, whether it means simply standing up for people if they are being bullied, becoming involved in the politics of homosexuality, such as participating in some of their school activities that involve discussions about gender and sexual identity, and becoming active in promoting tolerance for all people. I hate to think that someone that I am close to might suffer because of the way in which some people make insulting comments about gay people in his presence because they have no idea that he is gay. The way to avoid humiliating yourself by making such comments is not to make them at all, in front of anyone. As I said, making negative comments about anyone’s race, social status, or sexual identity is not cool at all, and it is only a matter of time before the majority of people understand that.

A realistic way of embracing our gay colleagues in the society is to let them coexist amongst us and allow them practice their culture to their satisfaction like getting married. The US Supreme Court has stated that marriage should be viewed as a fundamental right for all people. In the same context, if people engage in same-sex marriages, they should be viewed as enjoying their civil right, which is among the rights that are recognized even by the State House Website. My call to support gay people in the US is also on the grounds that same-sex marriage is fully protected by the Constitution. In fact, it is notable that the US Supreme Court has expressed its views regarding marriage, which is one of the critical liberties that are founded on and protected by the Due Process Clause. Ladies and gentlemen, I would urge you all to view gay people as ordinary persons in society who need to enjoy their fundamental rights and liberties as contained in the Constitution. Let us all embark on the journey that will eliminate all traces of homophobia. Let us all build a world that welcomes diversity and thrives on respect of all people. Let there never be exclusion of any decent human being on the grounds of his/her sexual preferences.
Thank you.

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