DailyAfirmation (dailyafirmation) wrote,

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Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday 2009

I had an unexpectedly emotional day today, which started off mundanely enough, with having my tires rotated and later in the day with a trip to the dentist.

On my way to my 3:00 appointment, somewhere around 2:45, NPR announced something to the effect of, "And now, we're going to hear a recording of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous I Have a Dream speech, which takes on particularly interesting meaning in the context of President-Elect Obama's inauguration events."

I thought of a lot of things listening to this speech, and I stayed in the car once I got to my dentist's office to hear it to its end. There were many times where I substituted in "homosexual" for "Negro"—even though a lot of African-Americans vehemently oppose a comparison of the gay rights struggle with that of their own. Do we really need a "winner" in the sphere of inhumanity?

But one hundred years later, the homosexual still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the homosexual is still sadly crippled by the manacles of alienation and the chains of discrimination. ... One hundred years later, the homosexual is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, homosexual men as well as straight men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of other orientations are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the homosexual a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

And those who hope that the homosexual needed to blow off steam after Proposition 8 and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the homsexual is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" ... We cannot be satisfied as long as the homosexual's basic mobility is from a smaller homosexual ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "Marriage is For Straight People Only." No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of America, the homosexual sons of straight Americans and the straight sons of homosexual Americans will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even these United States, a country sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by their sexual orientation but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, homosexuals and heterosexuals will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

3:00. Time for my dentist appointment. I wiped off my cheeks, and I went inside.

Later this evening, I attended the 7:00 screening of Milk, which juxtaposed to my thoughts this afternoon, made me dream about the day I'd stand on the mall in Washington, DC, and say, "I never thought I'd live to see the day in which a gay person became President of these United States."
Tags: change, movies, tires, writing

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