B1 Intermediate US 909 Folder Collection
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Thank you! I feel compelled to strut down the aisle, do some kind of cat walk strut
but (laughs), I’m sure some of you are disappointed to see me in a simple cocktail dress and not
some, drag queen, Drag Evil Queen costume! I promise next dinner I won’t disappoint.
(laughs)
I am sincerely honored to be here with all of you tonight at this Human Rights Campaign
dinner.
I am here to initiate my active involvement in the LGBT community in order to advocate
on behalf of the HRC’s mandate!
Is this really loud?
Thank you to Wally Lanci, and my very dear friend Raven Toney, for asking me to be a
part of this very special evening!
Now many of you may know me from playing the Evil Queen on “Once Upon A Time”.
(laughs) If you haven’t had the opportunity to see
our show yet, let me briefly tell you about it.
It all takes place in two opposing universes. One is set in a small fictional town called
Storybrooke, and the other is in a fantastical land full of the iconic fairy tale characters
that we all grew up with and loved.
I play the Evil Queen, (cheers) who casts a spell on everyone in the Enchanted Forrest
and sends all the fairytale characters to Storybrooke, where time has stopped and all
knowledge of their previous identity has been erased.
Now, I’ve always loved fairy tales and I think it’s because they often feature characters
facing extraordinary challenges to survive and triumph over adversity. We have evidence
of such courage in this room here tonight.
(claps)
The Evil Queen is a complicated (laughs) character to play. And I instinctively knew that I had
to discover who this character was at her core and why she became such an evil bitch!
Now, yes, I get to wear the fabulous costumes and glorious make-up, but what makes my character
tick underneath it all? Once I started to peel away at the layers, I realized that she
always felt like an outcast, different and misunderstood! Now, trust me, I’m not saying
that casting a curse on an entire kingdom and its citizens is the healthy way to handle
these issues. But however, I did find myself thinking of two individuals, in particular,
who have overcome intolerance and hatred because of their difference.
I grew up in a close, extended family and I especially enjoyed being around my older
cousin. He was smart, and funny, and he looked like Patrick Swayze. Looking back, he was
probably my first schoolgirl crush. When he was in his early twenties, he had a close
friend named James and eventually they became roommates. Overtime it slowly dawned on me
that they were more than roommates, they had a deeper connection. I didn’t know how to
describe it, but as a young girl without prejudices, I simply accepted in my heart that he had
found someone that he loved and THAT was beautiful. Unfortunately, some family members did not
understand his relationship, and I watched that cause a lot of hurt for my cousin over
the years. Not only is he my cousin, but also the, one of the most incredible people I’ve
ever met. Eventually, my family accepted his sexual orientation. He married, and has two
children...and my entire family is actively involved in their lives.
As children, when we witness a glimpse of love and affection – we usually don’t
question it or judge it. We accept it. In much the same way, we must apply this childlike
innocence and acceptance to our families and friends, irrespective of their sexual orientation.
Unfortunately, this concept is seemingly difficult for some people to understand, much less accept.
An example of that is my dear friend Joshua, who always knew he was different from a young
age. He often told his friends and family that God had made a mistake and he was born
in the wrong body.
He came out as a gay man at 14 years old in a small town of 4000 people and had to change
high schools because of life-threatening bullying. One night in his early 20’s, while he was
driving home from a gay bar, he was followed by 3 homophobic people and was driven into
a ditch. Joshua found himself trapped inside the car, was pulled out, and then beaten.
Luckily, Joshua managed to escape to safety.
Today, Joshua has harnessed these challenges and experiences by being actively involved
in raving, raising awareness about gay youth suicide, bullying and transphobia. He is a
PHD student, writing his thesis on the "cultural specificities of gender and sexuality" in
order to raise awareness of queer subjects from a global perspective. He's currently
producing a film on gay youth suicide, entitled "Whispers of Life" with his husband Florian
– he’s actually shooting tomorrow (laughs), which we’re all very excited about.
And Florian, hum, works on “Once Upon a Time”, and hum all of the uh cast members
have supported them hum in giving a lot of money towards making the film and a lot of
our crew has jumped on board to be a part of the filming, which is fantastic.
(inhales) (claps)
Now my cousin and Joshua are two examples of the many wonderful people that I am blessed
to have in my life. They have faced extraordinary circumstances and overcome them. Growing up
around family members and later, friends, who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender,
sensitized me to these issues and I want to continue to make a difference.
I support equal rights and marriage equality. I'd like to thank the HRC for promoting the
message that love is genderless. The Human Rights Campaign works year round and coast-to-coast
to open minds and change hearts to accept equality. They see a world where every one
of us is welcomed and accepted in our families, in our houses of worship, in our workplaces
and everywhere in the community.
A world where, hopefully, in the not so distant future, there won’t be hate crimes, denial
of medical benefits, or teenagers bullied for their sexual orientation.
Chad Griffin and his amazing staff, supporters, volunteers and allies, do a tremendous work
to build these bridges and to educate others. As a straight ally, I want to do the same.
I feel so honored to be a part of the Human Rights Campaign, to be here tonight, and to
show my support. And I want to thank you all for a fantastic evening, you’ve all been
so receptive, and so loving, and so kind. And I love taking pictures with all of you,
so please, feel free, to ask me, I’m very generous in giving of my time and my heart,
and I’m here, I want to get to know you. So please, I’m seating at Table 42. Thank
you, have a good night.
(cheers)
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Lana Parrilla at the 2012 HRC Cleveland Gala

909 Folder Collection
蔡曉白 published on May 29, 2015
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