The Official Website Of Urvashi Vaid


Queer Dreams & Non-Profit Blues – October 4, 2013

When I started working in the queer movement in Boston in the late 1970s, formal LGBT organizations were very rare. Almost all the groups I worked with were not formally incorporated or registered with the government as nonprofits.    Gay Community News, Lesbian and Gay Media Advocates, Allston Brighton Green Light Safe-house Project, LUNA, the Feminist Caucus of the Boston Food Coop.  We were all volunteer groups, not registered, although organized around goals, values, decision-making processes and theories of governance and accountability. Funders for LGBT Issues noted there were about 50 LGBT organizations in 1969.  These groups had to fight to even get formal governmental [...]

Imagining The Impossible

Review of Irresistible Revolution by Bettina Aptheker in The Women's Review of Books From: Review of:  Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Politics    By Urvashi Vaid  (New York: Magnus Books, 2012, 238 pp., $21.95, hardcover).   Reviewed by Bettina Aptheker Urvashi Vaid is currently the director of the Engaging Tradition project at Columbia University Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law. Trained as an attorney, she has been a remarkable and courageous organizer in the LGBT movement for thirty years. Her work is marked by a feminist [...]

MLK Day Services @ Congregation Beit Simchat Torah

  Congregation Beit Simchat Torah - January 18, 2013 Remarks by Urvashi Vaid Thank you to Rabbi Kleinbaum for the invitation to be here tonight and for the honor of offering some words at this service. Rabbi Kleinbaum is a leader cut from the same cloth as Dr. King. A spiritual leader who believes that faith is made meaningful by an engagement with justice, a visionary leader who challenges us to examine biases and think more critically, and a brilliant organizer whose 20 years of stewardship have made CBST a vital resource for personal and cultural transformation. Thank you for the many years you have been my teacher. Martin Luther King Day is the one official holiday [...]

A Future Beyond Formal Legal Equality

Urvashi Vaid. | JUREK WAJDOWICZ BY CHUCK COLBERT | If the LGBT movement is, at its core, a progressive struggle for justice and equality, then shouldn’t the gay rights agenda include issues of economics, race, class, and gender? In other words, is there more to gay rights and liberation than simply securing passage of non-discrimination laws and gaining the right to marry? Longtime activist and LGBT community leader Urvashi Vaid certainly thinks so. For years now, she has been urging mainstream movement leaders to take up a [...]

Still Ain’t Satisfied: The Limits of Equality

cross-posted from The American Prospect This article printed in the American Prospect on April 30, 2012 is an excerpt from my forthcoming book titled, Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics, coming out from Magnus Books in July of 2012. The LGBT-rights movement should fight for economic and social justice—not simply de jure civil rights.   An acquaintance baited me with a question at a dinner party not long ago. “So, is the movement over?” she asked loudly. I was surprised by her contemptuous tone. But because I didn’t want to embarrass my hostesses, I demurred: “Gosh, what do you mean over? Not in my [...]

Engaging Tradition Based Resistance

This talk was given at a program hosted by Political Research Associates and the LGBT Institute for Social Science and Public Policy at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, CUNY on October 13, 2011 Bryan Fischer: I believe we need a president who understands that just as Islam represents the greatest long term threat to our liberty so the homosexual agenda represents the greatest immediate threat to every freedom and right that is enshrined in the First Amendment, it's a particularly threat to religious liberty.... We need a president who understands that every advance of the homosexual agenda comes at the expense of religious liberty. We need a president who [...]

SAGE Award 10.25.10

What Faces the LGBT Workplace Equality Movement Today?

"The biggest and most important opportunity lies in moving the corporate commitment to LGBT inclusion from the marketing sides of the shop to the policy influencing side." This presentation was made on April 20, 2010 in New York City at the Annual Out and Equal Leadership Summit. Thank you to Selisse Berry, the Out and Equal Board and to Christie for this invitation!  In our short time together, I want to offer both a broad and particular perspective, to share a view of the status of the LGBT movement generally, and the challenges and opportunities facing our workplace movement in particular. This is a mixed moment for LGBT people. We are making progress, and experiencing really [...]

National Equality March on Washington 2009

This speech was given on October 11, 2009 at the National Equality March for LGBT Rights in Washington DC.  Copyright 2009 U. Vaid Together on this day, from all across this country, we gather to claim the love that law cannot invalidate. We are here to insure the full civil, political and moral equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people becomes the law of this nation and a reality across the globe. Our gathering happens in a broader context, one that shapes the outcome of our struggle for LGBT human rights. It is a broader context of malevolence at the heights of power – embodied in the cruel destroyers of the last eight years, who slashed and shredded [...]

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 [...]

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