Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Clay Aiken Receives Family Equality Council Award

On April 21, 2009 Clay Aiken received the Family Equality Council Award in part for his ongoing dedication to bettering the lives of children on a global basis, but also, for becoming a gay father. In her introduction of Clay, Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director of the Family Equality Council (FEC) said:
"And obviously the reason that we're honoring him tonight, not just for his talent or for his humanitarian work, in 2008 Clay Aiken, our honoree for this evening, became a father. And, after his decision to become a father and after Parker was born, he did what I think is the singularly most important thing that any lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender parent can do. He told the truth about who he was. He was honest about his life. And he showed his son that to live a life proud, truthful, committed to the things that you believe in, is the only way to live in the world."
Clay Aiken is a humble man and, during his acceptance speech, he gave the honor back by acknowledging those who have fought for family equality and for their years of dedication. Clay stated:
"I've only been doing it for 8-1/2 months, and so the hard work, and the most important work, has been done by many of the people in this room, who've been doing it for years. And many of the people outside of this room who have been doing it for years. So really the honor should go to everyone here who have done everything, and I'm just humbled to be a part of, a part of this group and to be a gay dad, and to be proud of that. To be proud of my son and to be able to raise him hopefully in an environment that is accepting, in a country and a society that is accepting, and that's being done thanks to the work of everyone who's involved in the Family Equality Council."
And finally, in true Clay Aiken fashion, he challenged us. He challenged us to use our voices to spread the word of equality:
"I'm just going to speak to these some of these very interesting ladies in the room right now on the outskirts. We were talking earlier this evening, before we came into the room about how, and I'm going to get political here for just a second, how in the 1960s and the earlier part of last century when the civil rights movement really was taking hold, there was a lot of activism not only on the part of African Americans but on the part of white Americans who were very active for integration and equality for African Americans in the Country.

I think it's just as important now and days when we have individuals who are straight and are being activists for gays and lesbians and transgender and bisexual people. But it's really a tough job for you because gays and lesbians and all us folk can say as much as we can, but it really is going to take a lot of effort on your part as well.

So to you who have come and have been so supportive of me, not only tonight but for years and years and years, I'm very honored that you're here tonight and I'm very appreciative and I hope that you'll go and spread this message to the people who you know in your communities who may not know about the work of Family Equality Council or the power and the love that's in every single family in the country."
Now for me this is one of the easier challenges. I have a family member who has been in a committed relationship for the past 15 years. She and her partner have raised a wonderful young woman who is bright, beautiful and loving.

That little girl is now married and she and her husband are planning on starting their own family - bringing another generation of people into this world who are accepting of all and who understand that through diversity we learn love, acceptance and understanding.

Bravo Clay and thank you. Thank you for always using that beautiful voice of yours not only to entertain, but to enlighten. You are, quite simply, the best.

To see clay's speech in its entirety, please visit:

Clay Aiken News Network


37 comments:

musicfan said...

Clay Aiken is such a humble man. His speech was filled with both humor and a serious message. I agree with him that we all need to stand up for what is right!!

Thank you for putting his words in print so that we can see those important thoughts.

Shyeyewitness said...

Bravo SueRue!!!

Thank-you!

Anonymous said...

Lovely blog Sue.

jbc4clay said...

Outstanding blog Sue!

ImGranny said...

Great blog! What an honor for Clay Aiken! His speech was so good. He is very articulate and never has a problem speaking off the top of his head. Thank you SueRue!

PaulaBear said...

I can't think of anyone more deserving of this honor from the FEC. As is typical of Clay, his speech gave credit to so many others in the room as he acknowledged the hard work that has been done for years by so many. Thank you for this wonderful blog with so many highlights from this special evening.

Allegra said...

Thanks for wonderful blog and transcribing Clay's speech. I'm sure it was a labor of love. *g*

Carolina Clay said...

SueReu,

Very special blog about the Family Equality Council Award presented to Clay Aiken Tuesday night and the reasons why!

Have a great week!

Caro

stargazer said...

Thank you, SueReu.

This was so special.

fgs said...

Nice blog and I saw the videos at CANN. Wonderful to be able to see and hear Clay Aiken at this event!

Ashes said...

Thanks for this special blog for our special man.

always and forever loving clay aiken said...

Great blog, Sue. What a wonderful honor for Clay Aiken.

I have a lot of gay and lesbian friends who are just every day, hard working people; quietly living honorable and productive lives.

They don't march in parades, they don't dress outrageously to draw attention to their 'cause,' they don't seek attention by shouting demands from the rooftops. They are just living their lives and being productive members of society.

I'm glad that someone like Clay Aiken can be their voice.

I'm proud of them. I'm proud of him.

clayam said...

Thank you for this blog.
Clay Aiken has proven again and again what a great human being he is.

claniac24 said...

Thanks so much for transcribing some of what Clay said, SueRue. I love his message and hope we 'straights' send it out world-wide. Clay is so very special. I am so happy to see him honored by the Family Equality Council.

katy said...

Very nice blog about a wonderful event who is promoting gay rights.

CLM said...

WOW..........great blog Sue. I know I'm late to the party (hehe) but I still wanted to let you know that I love reading this.

diane

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the transcript! Clay Aiken is one articulate guy.

katy said...

We need to keep creating awareness that gays are equal and are being excluded from equal rights. Thanks for the transcription.

Anonymous said...

Clay Aiken is heightening awareness about the need for family equality, which is a wonderful message in my opinion. My admiration for him just continues to grow and grow.
(from VoxAngelicus)

Anonymous said...

I love Clay, I am so proud of him.

Truth Rules said...

Great blog Sue.

topcat said...

It was a brief, but wonderful speech. It was trademark Clay, deflecting the honor from himself to the FEC and all those who have worked so long for equality. Bravo Clay! Bravo FEC!

Beanblossom said...

Great blog - good read. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great Clay Aiken blog!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this blog about Clay Aiken receiving the FEC award. He truly deserves this honor.

PaulaBear said...

I'm happy to see that this continues to be mentioned in blogs throughout the internet.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Clay Aiken!!

Rhode Island Fan said...

Wonderful blog.

So proud of Clay.

Anonymous said...

Clay is such a special man. Loved the blog!!

mbm said...

Great Blog! Loved Clay's speech and how he reached out to his fans! Clay is "using his voice" once again!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy reading your blogs. Thanks for taking the time and effort to do them.

Anonymous said...

Great job with your blogging about Clay Aiken and his career.

Anonymous said...

I've been a Clay Aiken fan from the beginning, and have to say I've never been more proud of him than now. What an outstanding young man!

Ashes said...

Clay Aiken said he wanted to use his voice to make a difference, and he is.
I'm so proud to be a fan.

PaulaBear said...

This was such a great blog about Clay Aiken and the FEC that I had to come back and read it again!

celebhith said...

I have to agree with everyone here. . . I've never been more proud to be a Clay Aiken fan and I think I've never loved him more. Thanks for hitting the highlights of this wonderful event and honor for Clay!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful honor for Clay Aiken!