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Troy Williams’ speech at Equality Utah’s Allies Dinner

Life is full of surprises. This isn’t quite the life path I envisioned for myself when I was a 19 year-old Mormon missionary knocking doors in England. Or when I came home from my mission and I was so scared of being gay that I became an intern for the one organization where I thought I would be safe – The Utah Eagle Forum!

Gayle had no idea she was training the future director of Equality Utah! Obviously, I’ve come a long way since then.

Finding our path is never easy. There are always twists and turns. I used to be so scared. In fact, it wasn’t until I met Utah’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community that I found the courage to come out. I saw in you models of strength that I aspired to become. You helped me find my way. Ten years ago when Amendment 3 passed I wanted to get involved. So, I started throwing rallies, protests and marches. I didn’t know exactly what I was doing at the time. I just knew I had a loud mouth!

And that big mouth eventually got me hired at 90.9 FM KRCL, who, this December, will celebrate 35 years of independent, community radio. For three decades, KRCL has been an unwavering ally for our community. This station nurtured my voice, allowed me to make mistakes and always encouraged me forward. Thank you KRCL.

Now, as I take on this role at Equality Utah, I look at the path ahead of me and realize that it’s not necessarily that the path is new, but that I have a new perspective on the path. I have learned that none of us alone and angry is as powerful as the whole of us united by love and hope.

This movement belongs to all of us. Together we have the opportunity to shape the future of this state. Our challenge now, is to model for the rest of Utah how we can all co-exist; Republican, Democrat, Mormon, Atheist, Transgender and Gay, we all belong to the same human family. Our commonalities far outnumber our differences.

Our goal is nothing less than full legal equality for all Utahns – because each of us deserves to live, work and love freely. So, thank you for raising your voice to make that happen. Thank you for helping us ensure that every Utahn has a shot at the American Dream! Together, we will make that a reality! Thank you!

As we move forward, it is imperative, that we move together. We’ve got big plans. Equality Utah is determined that we all cross the finish line together. And that includes lifting up and celebrating the lives of our transgender brothers and sisters. They are some of the most courageous and strong individuals in our community. Our commitment to them is unyielding.

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