Below are my remarks from the dsm Magazine / One Iowa presentation of the 2020 LGBTQ Legacy Awards.
Thank you DSM Magazine, One Iowa and the good people of Ames United Church of Christ for this recognition.
It is a recognition I never could have imagined as I have spent the bulk of my public career downplaying my queerness.
Don’t get me wrong – I have been plenty gay. But I focused on how my #whiteness and the educational and economic advantages I was given by my family of origin could allow me to address #poverty and #whitesupremacy.
And to stay employed in one of the most conservative businesses there is: American Christianity.
And while my whiteness and other unearned advantages have long protected me from some of the worst #queerphobia – my life expectancy is so much longer than that of #transwomen of color – I did not really appreciate until this last year the power of being a non-feminine #dyke in clerical garb, in the pulpit of this most conservative of institutions.
But it isn't my power. It is God's.
My tradition teaches that God has tattooed love onto every one of our hearts. Every one of our hearts has been held and marked by a promise of divine love and presence. A divine love that renounces all efforts to deny our truth, and a holy presence that rebukes the places of silence and violence that this trans- and homophobic world would send us.
You are sacred, my fellow queers, and you are adored.
And if we can own that, if we can own the power all beating hearts have been granted, then we have the power, too, to ensure that all of humanity is acknowledged as sacred, protected as adored.
For there is no one the world needs more now than a pack of queers.
A gaggle of queers that because we have together known the brutality of queerphobia, have worked out – and we had better be working this out right now – our own #racism, #sexism, #ableism, #ageism, and #xenophobia.
Let none of us downplay who or how we are. That is a denial of our God-given inborn power.
Let us instead tattoo onto the heart of this nation a promise to make all #blacklivesmatter, all hungry children full, and all un-housed people sheltered.
And let all the gays and our allies, advocates, and accomplices say amin, ashe', and amen!