March 16, 2010

America's Smartest 11 Year Old

I was at the GLAAD media awards on Saturday, where Joy Behar and Cynthia Nixon were honored for their work in promoting positive LGBT issues in the media.  There were many other awards and plenty of speeches.  But there was one that was truly extraordinary.  

Will Phillips, an 11 year old from Arkansas (!), was the subject of a CNN story about his refusal to pledge allegiance to the flag at his grade school because he believed the phrase "with liberty and justice for all" didn't cover the nation's millions of LGBT citizens.  When his story won, he got to the podium with his parents and received a standing ovation. Then, as he pulled out a typed acceptance speech, the audience exploded with laughter.  However, his speech was no joke....this kid had something to say and wowed the crowd with his simple eloquence and excellent diction, not to mention a message for President Obama.   

This kid was easily the highlight of a star-studded evening. And he gives me hope for a future in which this nation's LGBT citizens will get their full and equal rights, as promised in the pledge.