I wrote the other day about the goings on in the Memphis City Council, which was considering an inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance for city employees. Unfortunately, due to the petulance of certain members of the Council and the Mayor, the Tennessee Equality Project asked that the ordinance be pulled from consideration, to be reintroduced at a later date when it might have a chance of getting a fair hearing.

If you’ve been to a City Council meeting in a large city, you know the drill. Once your reason for being there has passed from the agenda, you get up and get out of Dodge. Amid a contentious session (for many reasons), we stayed until it was time to go, and then we finally left. My friend Michael Hildebrand, however, did not leave. He and his boyfriend stayed until the bitter end, and after the final prayer (way to go, secular government!), he finally got the floor. In a chamber empty except for the members of the Memphis City Council, Michael spoke from his heart about what it feels like to be a gay citizen in a city that he loves, as so many do, but that doesn’t seem to love us back.

It’s a candid speech, and well worth watching.

Also, he said “shit” in front of the Memphis City Council, so kudos for that.