Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I've had multiple requests for a copy of this, so here is the version of my speech as it appeared in the pocket of my chaps the night of the contest.

     That silence is me NOT telling you about myself.

That silence is my words catching in my throat, gagging me with the
fear of being judged for who I am.
That silence is thousands of unwritten rules binding each of us with
innumerable words but a single, unified message: we. are. wrong.
     That silence is one of many that we're all familiar with. Those
silences are most often the few scant heartbeats when you pause, words
forming in your head, prepared to deliver the truth of yourself to
another human being, and then abandon them unsaid. It is those
silences that form the doors of our closets. It is those truths that
should be spoken as often as possible and worn like badges over our
hearts. Or hankies in our back pockets.
     There's a great freedom in that. What others whisper of in hushed
tones, we have flags we hang out and wave about. What others call
perversions we call a good fucking time. We bare our souls to one
another, we negotiate our kinks, and we share our wealth of wisdom
with our community every day. We carry the torch of radical sexuality
with us wherever we go, ever exploring the limits of human desire and
the truths of self.
     But still we all hold things back. Still we fear that judgement. Still
we feel those little rules biting at us. Whether it's an aged, married
man refusing to acknowledge and admit his own sexuality to his
partner, or just someone rolling over to sleep instead of leaning up
to their lover's ear and whispering the thought that's burning their
loins. These truths are frightening to admit to. They can be awkward
to bring up. They can cost us our friends, our jobs, our lives. But
they need to be said. Perhaps not from rooftops, but certainly at
least to trusted confidants, certainly to those they most affect.
Sometime soon, I want each of you to tell someone something they need
to know about you, something they don't yet know. I know it's hard.
Believe me, I know.
     I'll go first. Hi. I'm Kate. I have a penis. I don't have any plans to
get rid of it. It doesn't affect my being a woman, and, well, I can
pee standing up.
     Thank you.

When I finally delivered it, I'd cut the third paragraph entirely and sections of the fourth for time, as well as rearranged a few things. I really, truly was not expecting the response to it that I got. I'd like to thank everyone who's already commented positively on this again, and all those who applauded when I least expected it. Oh, and a special big thanks to whoever told me to take a deep breath right at the start. That was so perfectly timed.