Friday, May 15, 2015

Women's diverse perspectives on LGBT issues: 6 famous speeches

They speak about existence, identity, personhood. They talk about parenting, marriage, and relationships. Rights, wrongs, discrimination, hatred and love pepper their speeches. And in this collection of famous speeches by women about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, the women speakers include actresses, parents, a student and a legislator. Click through to see text, audio or video (where available) for each of these speeches from The Eloquent Woman Index, as well as what you can learn as a speaker from their efforts:
  1. Laverne Cox on transgender activism: The star of Orange Is The New Black keynoted a conference on social change and LGBT issues, recalling her own struggles as well as giving shout-outs to local activists.
  2. Sally Field at the 2012 Human Rights Campaign dinner: Honoring her gay son as she accepted an award for her support for LGBT issues, Field had a message for parents in her speech.
  3. Rep. Maureen Walsh's speech on gay marriage:  During a Washington State legislative debate on a gay marriage bill, this representative surprised herself and her audience by talking about her lesbian daughter and urging passage of the bill.
  4. Lady Gaga's speech at Rome Europride: Both formal and flamboyant, this speech reached for traditional rhetoric on a nontraditional topic, before a rock-star-sized crowd outdoors--something with which the speaker is certainly comfortable.
  5. Debi Jackson on her transgender child: In describing her child's transition from boy to girl at age 4, Jackson delivered a short but powerful retort to the stinging comments her family has endured about having a transgender child.
  6. Kayla Kearney comes out to her high school assembly: This speaker may be young, but she's also brave, using the typical boring high school gathering to share something essential about herself with her peers.