Accepting what is wrong and trying to make it right is a dangerous prospective.
Transgender actress Alexandra Billings told fellow members of Hollywood and the LGBTQ community Saturday night that sermonizing to one another about gay rights does little to accomplish change. Instead, she said they need to “take courage” and talk to people who don’t agree with their point of view — and also that they can be grateful to President Trump.
She made the comments in Los Angeles during an acceptance speech after her show “Transparent” won the Outstanding Comedy Series award at the 28th annual GLAAD Media Awards. According to the GLAAD Media Awards website, the awards “recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community and the issues that affect their lives.”
Billings seemed to knock the riff used by fellow actress Patricia Arquette and GLAAD president and similarly echoed by CEO Sarah Kate Ellis earlier in the evening about how the “LGBTQ people and allies don’t do silence.”
“You know it’s really easy you guys for us to talk to each other, isn’t it? It’s really easy for us to say to each other that we won’t stay silent, isn’t it? It’s easy for us to say to each other, dressed up, looking the way we do, clean, beautiful, pretty, shiny that we’re going to change the world. That’s easy,” she said. “What’s going to take courage is for us to talk to the people who don’t agree with us.”
Making change across the world will require a willingness to “reach across the aisle,” Billings added, before seemingly offering thanks to Trump for helping to galvanize the LGBTQ movement. “I think that we can be very grateful without his knowing it that the president has changed us in a way that I don’t think he has any idea about.”
Though there has been some criticism in the gay community against some policies of the Trump administration, like rolling back Obama-era protections for transgender students, and its members, including Vice President Mike Pence‘s past record on gay and transgender rights, not all are opposed to Trump. Last month, for example, there was a “Gays for Trump” rally in Washington, D.C.
The 55-year-old noted that the younger generation is looking to celebrities like those in attendance to guide them. “Because without their voices and without their stories we have no more humanity,” Billings said.
“Go outside, take who we are, who we hope to be and give it to the people, the strangers who are waiting to hear our voice, that we think cannot help us, because those are the ones who can,” she said.