The Official Website Of Urvashi Vaid

Tagged: progressive

Election Tea Leaf Reading

The airwaves are thick with analysis of the story written by Rove, that other Karl, and his band of electoral wizards. Here are a few immediate observations. 1. The vote reflects a resounding thumping of the existing Democratic Party, its approach to governing and its ability to communicate the value of its leadership.  The wins eked out do not disprove this fact, they only accentuate it by showing that it was possible to win, if the party leadership had been more effective. 2. From President Obama to Harry Reid, from Nancy Pelosi to Tim Kaine, from the Democratic Governors Association to the DSCC, Democrats lost because they are seen as out of touch with people's real concerns, [...]

Ideas needed to defeat the Right

"Middle class America wants to feel better about itself and listening to progressives does not leave them feeling good or inspired at all." “Everyday like the last one, Everyday like a rerun” – Patti Smith, Piss Factory What was striking about the Glenn Beck rally was its familiarity, not its strangeness. Everything about it was a repetition of messages and ideas reinforcing the version of American tradition that ‘imagineers’ on the right have promoted for decades. A national identity erased of color or class or gender or religious plurality. A restoration fantasy of “taking this country back” (to the pre-civil war 1850’s at least, if not the 1760’s). The banal [...]

Queer Asian Pacific Legacy Conference

A version of this presentation was given at the Queer Asian Pacific Legacy Conference on March 6, 2004 in New York ©2004 Urvashi Vaid Defenceless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame. W.H. Auden September 1, 1939 This is a talk about justice and affirmation. About where we find ourselves and where we can imagine being. About the broad political context shaping our lives today as API queers, internal dynamics of the GLBT movement and API people within [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]