A politically active drag queen as Governor of Alabama? We could do worse. We’re doing worse already, and Ambrosia Starling sounded a lot like a candidate when she spoke in Huntsville on Saturday. Rally attendees eagerly snapped up posters, buttons, and t-shirts that promise “A Queen You Can Trust” for Governor.
Speaking before a crowd at the GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services community center, Starling called for tolerance and mutual respect. The bulk of her speech was devoted to the intolerance of the so-called “bathroom bills” aimed at transgender people. She pointed out how that burden disproportionately falls on young people who are vulnerable both physically and emotionally.
As an adult, Starling noted,”I grew up gay in Alabama; I can take it now,” but an isolated teen is another thing entirely.
“If we let one thing slide against adults, the next thing we know, we’re doing it against children.”
After her speech – which included reading the text of her “open letter to Roy Moore,” Starling was called back to the stage to address the calls for her to run for Governor. Here’s a partial transcript of that portion:
When I heard there were three job openings in the State of Alabama, and that all of them paid more than $7.75 an hour, I said…. wait… I don’t know.
[People ask] … how would you manage to get things accomplished? And I said that it’s very simple. When the serious business of seeing that Alabama is over $80 million short in education comes up… I happen to have a Ralph Lauren 3-piece suit that is absolutely devastating.
That’s the advantage to me being a drag queen. I don’t have to walk the transgendered mile. Not like these people who are just trying to suffer through life in Alabama. Quietly suffering their own little indignity … just trying to feel like a human being like everybody else. That’s all they want.
But if you go walk that mile, you can find yourself unemployed real quick like – and it’s perfectly legal.
Even as a drag queen who can take my stuff off, who might not do a show but twice a month… my landlord can catch me outside and I could have an eviction notice on my door the next day. It doesn’t matter. I have been through this. I have gone & paid my first month, last month rent, security deposit. Lord knows, I’m cash-strapped already; we already mentioned the minimum wage won’t increase as long as we keep the Republicans in office, right? How in the world am I going to immediately scrape up money if my landlord tells me to get out immediately? I can barely keep food on the table now. What do I do? Guess I have to open up that suitcase; I have no choice.
There are times when I certainly don’t enjoy the pains in my feet, but I enjoy inspiring somebody and making them forget that right outside that door, anybody can treat them any way they want to.
I will walk myself out of a pair of pumps if that’s what it takes to call attention to the fact that we should treat each other as decent and civilized Americans.
If running for Governor is what it takes, I am all for it!
Straight people have been hiring us to teach those girls how to walk in pageants for years! If you need someone to show the Alabama Legislature what it looks like to walk with dignity and do your job, then that’s fine.
I’m sorry… you’re not done yet! Session’s not over! You can have a break, but when we get back, there are no “walk outs.”
Show up at the state courthouse: do your job.
Show up in Congress when it’s time to vote. If you’re in Washington DC, you have the responsibility to be in that room representing the people. That’s why they put you there and why your offices are close by.
That’s what the Founding Fathers meant. They didn’t mean for us to sit by and sell our natural resources or destroy our ground water. There’s a reason why all these things are wrong and we know they’re wrong. But fundamentally, the one thing we can all fix is this: we can all fix how we treat other today.
When we treat each other decently in public, that’s when we know everything’s going to be all right. If you want Ambrosia Starling for Governor; if you think that’s what it’s going to take… baby I’m all there and all for it, but between now and then, there is one more thing.
Liberty and justice is for all, not some! Freedom and Democracy is one of the most beautiful things in the world, and if we want to hold ourselves up as the shining light of freedom and democracy, then we need to start being the shining light of freedom and democracy.
Fair treatment and mutual respect for every citizen, period. That’s my platform. If this is what you want, that’s my platform. That’s all we’re asking.
Here’s the full video clip:
We’re looking at an election cycle with nobody queued up yet on the Democratic side, but a perfect storm of crazy as Roy Moore and Jim Zeigler fight for the wheel of the GOP clown car. Right now, Starling may be our only hope.