The Official Website Of Urvashi Vaid

Tagged: racism

Thinking About Diversity

These informal remarks were given at  a workshop sponsored by the Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference at Columbia University on April 2, 2012. The Center hosts interdisciplinary conversations among scholars focusing on "keywords."  This conversation involved me, Ira Katznelson, Fred Harris and moderator Mae Ngai. Every time I sat down to think about today’s presentation, I found myself impatient, irritated, avoiding the topic.  I realized the word diversity actually annoyed me a great deal, and even infuriated me to the point that I could not focus on this exercise. They say that if it’s hysterical, it’s historical.  So I had to ask myself why this annoyed [...]

SAGE Award Remarks – 10.25.10

"I am not a member of any LGBT movement that narrows its focus away from ending sexism, racism, and economic injustice." A version of the prepared remarks below was given at the Annual Award Dinner of SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) in New York City on October 25, 2010. The Ken Dawson Advocacy Award was presented to me by Virginia Apuzzo. Thank you. I was 21 years old when I first heard Ginny Apuzzo speak. It was 1979, and it probably was in Boston. From the minute I heard her speak, I was smitten. Women did not claim their political power, their space in the mainstream world as out lesbians, their intellect or their humor as boldly as Ginny did (and still does). She [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

The Color of Violence: Conference on Violence Against Women of Color

"To develop a more politicized violence against women movement, a movement that fights for women of color, requires us to reinvigorate grassroots organizing that can augment the crisis intervention and service models that we are currently deploying. We need this movement because our culture is one that accepts violence against women as inevitable. It is... the ordinariness of it that ...needs to be challenged, and can be challenged only by organizing." This talk was given on April 28, 2000 at a Plenary Panel at the first Color of Violence Conference.  The Panel followed a keynote by Angela Davis.  The conference was held at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Copyright 2000 [...]

Race and Sexuality in the 21st Century

"In order to both address racism, structural economic inequality and sexism and in order to  "include" sexuality in a racial justice movement at every level, people of color communities must be wiling to engage in a drastic re-consideration of the heterosexism, of patriarchy in our communities, of our notions of family:  for example, no inclusive, anti-homophobic Asian movement can emerge without such a re-visioning of Asian family and culture." These remarks were given on April 9, 1999 at the Michigan State University conference on Race in the 21st Century.  Copyright 1999 Urvashi Vaid. I want to talk today about the limits of racial identity politics and the real challenge [...]