Text of a speech by Brice Smith at an event honoring Chanel Larkin, other local deaths, and students who committed suicide. Speech focuses on living your truth and building community.
It’s an honor to be with you and speaking here today.
Over the past couple of months I’ve spoken with many of you – trans, gay, allies – and I’ve been pleasantly overwhelmed by how many of you want to help one another – how many are yearning to create community.
Today we’re coming out as a community. A community based in love, not fear.
Love of who we are
Love for who others are both because of and regardless of the bodies they inhabit
We have gathered here today because we know that we are not expendable.
This is a terrible lie that far too many people have believed, including some of us.
But we are not expendable. We are valuable.
We have a valuable gift to offer the world.
We’ve struggled to understand who we are and to become who we are.
The majority of people today struggle a lifetime not knowing who they are, and some resent us for daring to live our truth.
But we know that it’s a miserable existence trying to be who others think we should be.
And I for one have been miserable and fearful enough in this lifetime.
I choose joy and love.
By living in fear my life is once again NOT my own.
I will celebrate my life and yours, and deal with the bad when it comes… but I will not live in darkness.
We have experienced great tragedies and injustices, and as more and more of us continue to live our truth it is possible that we will experience more. But it is time, my friends.
It’s time to make this world the kind of place we want to live in.
We are all here for a reason. We were born in this time, into these bodies and with these desires, and we have found each other in this place for a reason.
Why? To change the world, of course.
Think that’s impossible? Have you ever stopped to think just how revolutionary we are?
To make this world the kind of place we want to live in, to transform our planet from one of fear and destruction to one of love and creation we must begin here [HEART].
First and foremost we must embrace who we are.
Secondly, embrace the people around you today for their courage in being who they are.
Third, contact Diverse & Resilient, FORGE, Alliance School, non-profit I’m starting, telling them what you have to offer and asking them what you can do to help.
And if you ever forget or doubt that you are loved, let me, the other people speaking today, those around you, and – perhaps most importantly – the force that brought you here today remind you that are loved.