LGBT Community Center's 25th Anniversary And 11th Annual Women's Event
November 1, 2008 - Pier 60, Chelsea Piers
The 11th Annual Women's Event at the LGBT Community Center of NYC
Jennifer: "This evening, Saturday, November 1st, 2008, we're just three days away from the most momentous, the most hopeful, the most potentially transformative political election of our lifetimes. We're voting for change. We're hopeful about changing the world. And as for me, my experience on The L Word is one of the reasons I believe that it's possible to change the world.
Seven years ago I was invited to take part in a new project. At the time it was called "Earthlings" -- don't ask. And at the time, there had never been a show on prime time national television that told the stories of the every day lives of women who happen to be lesbian. It was considered a risk -- maybe even foolhardy -- certainly not a guaranteed success. And when our show debuted on Showtime in 2004, the response was galvanizing.
I've been moved and overwhelmed by the vast numbers of women who have let us know how this unprecedented visibility has helped them to find community, has given them the courage to come forward, to come out, to live openly with pride. I've been privileged to discover that the entertainment we make is also a tool for raising awareness and raising money and raising the bar on what we are able to give back to this community that has supported us so avidly and so generously.
And in the course of those seven years we've seen changes that when we first began making The L Word seemed almost unimaginable. Like, Ilene, I envision a time in the not too distant future when my daughter will say to me, "You mean there used to be a time when gay people couldn't get married? God, that's so crazy, Mama!"
Understanding that we've taken part in ushering in those changes is very exciting, is very motivating and very gratifying to me.
And I believe that there is a seismic change coming. I believe that people want to turn from fear towards hope, from divisiveness towards unity, from intolerance to an understanding that we all belong to one great community. Within all the chaos, within the despair, the not knowing, the anger, the anxiety, there is always the possibility for change. There is a seed of hope. And I'm not talking about a pie-in-the-sky kind of hope, but a kind of hope that calls on each and every one of us to stand up and be counted -- a kind of hope that calls on each and every one of us to give the very best of ourselves -- not just for our own benefit, but for the benefit of all of us, collectively. And there may be times when we ask ourselves, 'What is my very best? What is it that I have to give?' And so often our best is within our personal narrative. It is often one's own story, one's own truth, which then becomes everyone's story; it becomes a part of everyone's truth. It is the beginning of community.
I've seen how storytelling can help shift the paradigm. And with the advent of The L Word, I've come to understand that telling the stories of LGBT people is a radical and transformative act for all of us. And if history is written by the victors, then we have made ourselves victorious by writing our own history.
I am so grateful to all of you for allowing The L Word to touch and reflect and reverberate with your wonderful, diverse, storied lives. And I know now that it is possible to change the world. And on November 4th we will have the opportunity once again to author our collective history.
Images of this event: http://www.tibette.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=305
transcript by Motaterz