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Billy Porter addresses modern LGBTQ issues

by Brianna Bush - Editor-in-Chief
Wed, Feb 19th 2020 12:00 pm
Porter directly addressed issues facing the LGBTQ community in modern America, signaling just how much progress still needs to be made. He echoed a powerful quote: `Every act of kindness is a blow against cruelty, every act of empathy is a blow against bigotry, every act of courage is a blow against cowardly self-interest, and every act of love is a blow against hate.` Photo Credit: Photo Credit: @SVTVNetwork via Twitter
Porter directly addressed issues facing the LGBTQ community in modern America, signaling just how much progress still needs to be made. He echoed a powerful quote: "Every act of kindness is a blow against cruelty, every act of empathy is a blow against bigotry, every act of courage is a blow against cowardly self-interest, and every act of love is a blow against hate." Photo Credit: Photo Credit: @SVTVNetwork via Twitter

On Tuesday, Feb. 4 President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union Address highlighting the accomplishments of America over the last century, lightly touching issues that involve the LGBTQ community. In a similar fashion, actor and activist Billy Porter gave his own address titled, The State of the LGBTQ Union.

This is the second time Porter has given this LGBTQ State of the Union for Logo TV, and his speech was largely about Trump's presidency. 

“Last year, I told you that the state of our union is strong,” Porter said on Logo TV. “While it certainly has been battered, our union is far from broken. Now, in 2020, our responsibility as citizens has been more evident.”

In his speech Porter called for the American people to take a look at what has happened under Trump’s presidency, and reminded them that citizens have the chance to correct this in the upcoming years. Where Trump highlights the past century, Porter was able to pinpoint areas of concern within the last 4 years under Trump’s presidency.

One of his first highlights was Trump’s ban of transgender people serving in the military. The President was also called out for his rule that allowed health care professionals to refuse medical procedures to people of the LGBTQ community. CNN reported on Trump showing his “true colors” during his term with his appointment of anti-LGBTQ judges.

Porter brought to light that the very first day of the year, with in hours of midnight, a transgender man, Dustin Parker, became the first LGBTQ homocide of the year. This reflects the 16-year record high that Porter highlighted in his speech.

“HRC [Humans Rights Campaign] is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Dustin Parker, a 25-year-old transgender man fatally shot in McAlester, Oklahoma, early on New Year’s Day,” HRC reported. “He was killed while working as a taxi cab driver. Parker is believed to be the first violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2020.”

Porter made sure to let his audience know that Queer rights are not the only onees affected.

“Let’s not get it twisted,” Porter addressed. “Queer rights are far from the only right under attack. From the erosion of the truth, to the normalization of white supremacy to the assault on women’s reproductive freedom. From the dangerous uttering of immigrants and people of color to the inhuman treatment of migrants at border, to the rampant injustices of our criminal justice system. From denying the very existence of climate change to the frustrating and incredibly disappointing inaction on gun control; the fate of the entire country is in the balance.”

Where Porter discussed the problems that need to be fixed throughout the world, Trump only highlighted the past, not that it is necessarily a bad thing. Trump brought two Holocaust survivors to his State of the Union speech. One had narrowly escaped death almost a year ago when the Tree of Life synagogue was viciously attacked by a anti-Semitic group, after surviving 10 months in a Nazi concentration camp, according to whitehouse.gov.

The crowd that was present for the speech had enjoyed the presence of the survivors, but as citizens of the U.S. they can’t ignore the other hardships that the world is facing.

“We may have a tough fight against us, but I know we can win it,” Porter addressed Logo. “We have no choice but to win it. Remember that we have far more that connects us, then what sets us apart. We are all responsible for the country and the world in which we want to live and therefore we are all responsible for each other. So love one another, take care of one another and lets secure the future for those who will inherit it.”

Porter ended his speech with a quote from writer James Baldwin: "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it's faced."

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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