The Official Website Of Urvashi Vaid

Tagged: social justice

Thoughts on Progressive Movement Building

"What will it take to create winning arguments and winning majorities for true racial, social and economic justice?  What are the critical elements needed to build and sustain powerful, effective and integrated liberation-minded social movements. A version of this presentation was given at a panel at the Open Society Institute/New York in September of 2004. Copyright 2004 Urvashi Vaid. What will it take to create winning arguments and winning majorities for true racial, social and economic justice?  What are the critical elements needed to build and sustain powerful, effective and integrated liberation-minded social movements. Before we go to the method, what is the goal? In [...]

On the Family: A Rainbow Families Agenda

"We undeniably ...should be able to adopt and foster parent without stigma and opposition.  But shouldn’t we be also fighting against barriers that unfairly exclude our heterosexual friends and families as well?  What about the realities of single parent families...Could what we promote for ourselves also benefit the heterosexual single mom or dad down the street?  I think we would all answer yes, of course.  But this framework – of pursuing a socially just agenda rather than just a gay one – is not the dominant frame of the GLBT movement." This Keynote was given on April 12, 2008 at the Rainbow Families Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Copyright 2008 Urvashi [...]

Race, Sex, and Power: Observations in 2008

"The color-blind or post-racial paradigm appeases the powerful without yielding much in exchange other than their comfort." A version of this presentation was given as part of the Opening Plenary Panel at the Race, Sex and Power Conference at the University of Illinois, Chicago on April 11, 2008. Copyright 2008 Urvashi Vaid The response to this conference certainly indicates the continued salience of, what that Marxist Leninist study group that one of my friends once belonged to used to call, “the primary contradictions.”  Indeed, the hierarchies of dominance and submission that those primary contradictions of class, race, sex, gender, and sexuality represent continue to [...]

The Enemies of Love and the Future of LGBT Politics

"We are engaged at the highest level in this century in a fight between liberty and authoritarianism, between democracy and oligarchy, between pluralism and fundamentalism, between movements with visions rooted in liberation for all and movements with visions rooted in elitism...This is a struggle about competing visions of human freedom and responsibility." A version of this presentation was given in May of 2007 at the University of Washington in Seattle.  Copyright 2007 U. Vaid The title of my talk comes from a song by the Canadian poet and song writer, Leonard Cohen.  In a song called The Traitor, he writes:  I could not move to warn all the younger soldiers /That they had been [...]

Sexuality & Its Discontents: The Challenge of Building a Progressive LGBT Movement

"The class divide is evident in the different between those who attend the fancy black tie dinners that raise political monies for our national organizations, and those who use the services provided by our social service agencies. You see the former represented in the media and on the L word; but you will not even see the latter referenced in a footnote to a report on poverty. The GLBT poor are invisible. So is the GLBT working class. A version of this presentation was given at Miami University Ohio in March of 2004 ©2004 Urvashi Vaid I want to speak to you tonight as an individual – as someone who spent more than 20 years working nearly full time in the GLBT movement. What I [...]

San Francisco Dyke March!

5 Minute Video of Start of 1999 SF Dyke March By dök tor_tele vi sion http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=17512111 This talk was given at the Dyke March on June 26, 1999 in San Francisco.  Copyright 1999 Urvashi Vaid. Good Evening lesbians, bisexual women, trans gender women, queer girls, and think you are still-straight women!  Hello supportive brothers.  Happy Pride.  I stand before you tonight to make a confession of bias, a confession of desire – I love women madly passionately, hopelessly, and lustfully.  I love the warmth of women, our intensity, our intimacy, our ability to relate, I love our maddening process-consciousness, [...]

Speech at the 1993 March on Washington for LGBT Rights

March on Washington for LGBT Rights – April 25, 1993 - © 1993 Urvashi Vaid Hello lesbian and gay Americans. I am proud to stand before you as a lesbian today. With hearts full of love and the abiding faith in justice, we have come to Washington to speak to America. We have come to speak the truth of our lives and silence the liars. We have come to challenge the cowardly Congress to end its paralysis and exercise moral leadership. We have come to defend our honor and win our equality. But most of all we have come in peace and with courage to say, "America, this day marks the end of exile of the gay and lesbian people. We are banished no more. We wander the wilderness of [...]