Must watch video here.
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences.
Panti Bliss shares her experience of the little, everyday things that can have a huge impact on the well-being of gay people.
Panti expresses her thoughts on navigating a world in which the simple act of holding hands can be a political statement in itself.
Partial transcript via Towleroad:
“Everyday I am jealous of straight people because that tiny intimate expression of affection has never once been mine…
I am jealous of that because gay people do not get to hold hands in public without first considering the risk. We look around to see where are we, who’s around, what kind of place is it… are there bunches of lads outside a pub?
I’m 45 years old and I have never once casually, comfortably, carelessly held hands with a partner in public.
I’m 45 and I’m fed up of putting up so I’m not anymore.
I’m 45 years old and I’m not putting up anymore because I don’t have the energy anymore. Putting up is exhausting.
I’m 45 years old and I’m not putting up anymore because I don’t have the patience anymore.
I was born 6 months before the Stonewall riots and you have had 45 years to work out that despite appearances, I am just as ordinary, just as unremarkable, and just as human as you are.
I’m 45 years old and I’m not asking anymore. I am just being… human being.”
Like millions of gays and lesbians, I feel the exact same frustration. With so many homophobes using the phrase “I don’t want it ‘in my face,’ the simple act of holding hands is pretty much alien to me.
I’ve been with my husband Michael for over 20 years, and it really doesn’t cross our minds to hold hands. The world pretty much beat that out of us.
Watch Panti Bliss’ fantastic speech below: