Earlier this month, board member A.T. Miller attended Omaha’s Club Q vigil, speaking on behalf of OutNebraska. Read the full remarks below:
Thank you for being here today. I’m A.T. Miller – a member of the board of OutNebraska. OutNebraska wants you to know that we will not back down from the work of liberation for every queer and trans person in our state.
We honor the memory of Ashley, Daniel, Derrick, Kelly, and Raymond by recommitting ourselves to resistance. We lift up the Colorado Springs community and our community across the world in these remarks.
Being here today is an act of resistance. Our love for one another, as a broad community, is an act of resistance. Our very breath is an act of resistance – when there are so many who are working to steal our joy. An injury to one is an injury to all, and we feel for our neighbors in Colorado as well as our own communities throughout this state.
We are proud of the Queer and Trans service members at Offut Air Base. We are proud of our LGBTQ+ pastors, priests, and nuns, ministers of music, teachers, social workers, construction workers, farmers, ranchers and state employees. Disrespecting us is directly harming Nebraska, is an attack on all Nebraska families, who all have their queer and trans members and providers, neighbors and friends, known and unknown. It is an attack on the Nebraska workforce that needs all of us, not just that professional, but their lesbian daughter, not just that international student, but their two gay fathers.
Make no mistake, political rhetoric that attacks queerness and trans identity breeds violence. This violence, these senseless deaths, are directly tied to those who cannot accept the richness and vitality of inclusion across the United States and yes, here in Nebraska.
Trans youth, trans women, especially Black trans women and other trans women of color, are being targeted. Queer people in general are being targeted. Last year more than 300 pieces of anti-LGB and anti-trans legislation were introduced across the country. These efforts at exclusion harm the country, harm our society, and endanger us all.
We must stand together in resistance to these laws when they are introduced in Nebraska. We must commit ourselves to remembering all those lost to gun violence when extremists try to make it easier to get and carry weapons. We must not sit quietly when politicians target our community with hateful speech.
Please take your mourning, take your grief, and fear and hopelessness and turn toward action. Turn toward joyful resistance. Join OutNebraska in this work because you are the reason we exist. You are the fuel behind our fight. We will not go away. And we will not back down.
Under Fire, In The Light
From the start when doctor/nurse in birthing room
Was led to guess and hope for rightness in the either/or
We learned to sit up, stand, and walk in pride
Ourselves, inside, and who we’re for
And all the firing bullies, mocked, those taking aim
In aimless, thoughtless cruelty and jest
We know the rest
We will not dignify their failure with the bitter sense of blame
For we chose love, we found ourselves, our families, place,
And in those trenches met the other warriors under fire
Those who inspire and turn rejection with a sense of grace
For Jesus loves me, this I know, and Buddha, God, the earth, the sky
Don’t even try to let this go
We love, choose love, say we, yes, we
And rise above this tragedy
We are the light, our hearts the way
They beat the odds, they win the day
So pray for the redemption, yet,
The deaf shall hear, the blind shall see
All that we are and forever will be,
Yes, we shall be received.