1. Rin says

    Well, I think that was very brave and very cool of him. It was probably more powerful a speech for it being just him.

  2. Ross says

    This is the courage that Ken Mehlman did not and still does not have.

    If he wants to ‘make amends’ he could start by going to Memphis and standing with this man.

  3. randalf says

    Congratulation Memphis Man, this is how heroes are born. Must be tough to be the only gay in the village. Wish others would / could stand up with you.

  4. TampaZeke says


    I used to live in the neighborhood in Mid-town Memphis where he lives.

    Though Mid-town is, for the most part, gay friendly, this man has some SERIOUS cojones to stand up and speak out the way he did.

    We need more Memphis-mans and fewer Melmans in the world.

  5. pharmerandy says

    That is so much harder to do than having hundreds of people behind you… well done!

  6. says

    Thank you VERY much for your kind words. I had just reached a fevered pitch with frustration for this city. Every bit of support is greatly admired and appreciated. I’ve had such great feedback from that video… I didn’t even know that vid would be archived. I figured the only people to hear and see me would be the council and their assistants.

    Folks keep asking me “what do we do from here?”… All I can say is everyone needs to call their representative council member and the mayors office and say who you are, what you do for a living, and a short description of how the anti-gay attitude in the city is affecting their live as well as the overall progressive movement in this city.

    We are all so different in the gay community. It’s certainly hard as hell to round us all up under one idea or voice. Even though all our voices are different this is the time to speak. Speak loud and proud of your love and your life. We cannot wait anymore for politics to catch up to the way we are already living our lives. It is time to act. Please catch my fever and pass YOUR story on to other friends and family members.

    I can only speak for myself, but I will no longer fight quietly, waiting longer and longer for tolerance to arrive in my city. A fly or an itch is tolerated only as long as it is around. I demand acceptance from the government. I demand my rights as a hard working, tax paying citizen of Memphis. I am Memphis. WE are Memphis.

    Use this facebook to pass positive ideas back and forth and lets do something and change this city. Let’s get the rights that are our rights as human beings. Thank you for your time, take care and have a fantastic weekend.

  7. says

    oops… I meant to not say ‘facebook’… too much coffee this morning. Use whatever you can to get the ideas boiling. This fabulous blog is certainly the place for that to happen.

  8. tooboot says

    Michael you are a hero. Thank you for your courage and power of example. We need more men like you in the world.

  9. Rad says

    I laud you, Michael, for sticking it out and trying to make a difference. Your one voice is a thousand times more powerful than 100 voices combined.

  10. HawaiiBill says

    Thanks Michael.. for your guts,your strength, and your willingness to put yourself on the line for the cause and stand up and fight!

  11. nic says

    you are an exemplar of courage, my friend, even if now you appear to be a lone voice in the wilderness.

    ‘If a man makes himself a worm, he must not complain when he is trodden on.’ -Immanuel Kant

    you are no worm, michael. best of luck to you and your future husband.

  12. nikko says

    He’s amazing. I can’t believe we still need to justify our existence to backward heteroshits.

  13. Bernhard Meck says

    WOW Michael,
    to speak out like that in Memphis, into the face of the holy rollers and hypocrites! I know you could have said more, but you probably had the council members squirming in their seats, wanting you to STOP and end THEIR SUFFERING! The audicity! The chutzpah of 21st century!
    So those believing in talking snakes and stoning people who work on Sundays got their way once again. Let the bible-thumpers hide behind Leviticus while the real life exodus of fed-up talent from the city continues…

  14. Atheist says

    Its hard for me, as a UK citizen, to understand what is must be like for some people in america. Its very odd to watch this; the US seems so primitive on this issue, at the political level at least. Not saying its perfect over here but there is no way an employer could get away with (or even consider) sacking someone for being gay or that open hostility and outright homophobia would be tolerated in the workplace or other social situations.. I hope someone listens to Michael – he is right; he is strong and one day he will be vindicated. Karma always comes.

  15. Keith says

    Let us hope that Michael’s words are but the drop in a still pond, and those words continue to spread in every direction and create ripples of discussion throughout the Memphis community. That is how change occurs, even though that positive change will seem to be slow. . .but it will be change nonetheless. Keep up the good fight, Michael. . .your passion, conviction, courage and intelligence are admirable qualities and they serve you well.

  16. Perry says

    I applaud Michael. I have a couple of acquaintances who live in Memphis who are (supposedly) politically active. Shame on them for not being there.

    What WE can do is to contact the following: and

    The first to castigate the myopic politicians, the second to withhold travel dollars. I ask, why isn’t there movement toward an organized boycott?

  17. Stephen says

    Bravo Michael. Hopefully a trickle will turn into a flood that the Bible Bashes can’t withstand

  18. says

    UPDATE: Oct 11th, 2010 (Monday) Gay Rights March for Equality

    3:30pm – meet at or around the Civil Rights Museum Downtown
    4:30pm – march to the city council building to demand equal representation from the city government. Not just for City workers but for all gay men and women.

    I need all the help planning that I can muster. Please call me with any assistance you can give in planning and organizing this march. 773 841-6773 |

    or contact my sister at


  19. AJ says

    Brian McNaught talked about “Proud Growls” and “Courageous Roars” in the fight for gay rights. That is the very definition of a roar and I am posting this on my Facebook immediately. Hopefully, others will join you. Bravo to you Michael!

  20. Joe says

    I hate that his address is at the beginning of this clip. Someone should take that off – because if Fullilove was getting threats for being a supporter I fear for him a bit.

    I thought this was really brave, and an incredibly moving speech that had to change the views of at least some diehards in that crowd. Hopefully with others like him coming out and supporters like Fullilove (whose name I LOVE) Memphis and other anti-gay places will start to change. I think the bible belt will be the last place in this country to really change, but I hope that still isn’t too far off.

  21. Ross Guthrie says

    What happened in Memphis when the city council withdrew the LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance was so disheartening to me. I consider Memphis to be my ‘hometown’ still–it’s where I grew up & spent the first years of adulthood. It is quite frustrating that the city is progressing, but progressing so much more slowly than other its of its size. Not just in LGBT issues, but in all areas of becoming an true urban place.

    I am so proud of Michael that he stood up & was the lone voice in speaking out. It’s hard when no one will listen. Michael’s passion make people listen. Hopefully people watching this video will inspire other people to speak up for injustices they see that may be happening in their community.

  22. kodiak says

    Knowing there are people like Michael in Memphis, makes it sound like a cool city to me. Knowing that they didn’t pass the legislation makes it sound like a dull city to me. The absence of gay people in the chambers is glaring and obvious. Why can’t people just frigging do what is right? The inhumanity of it all. The council members are also probably afraid of being seen as pro-gay. Homophobia is
    rampant. Leading by fear.

  23. DaveNY says

    It’s sad that more people don’t have the balls to do as he did, the majority of people in our community are just lazy and just don’t care. We have become too lazy, we wait for others to do something and speak up and then we cheer them on like fools. We can’t even stop spending our money at places that are up front about their opposition of us. We don’t want to go out of our way because it disrupts our lives to much. I wish we all had the balls to do what this guy did, until then we will always be push to the side.

  24. kevin says

    Where is Harold Ford, Jr? He owes every GLBT Tennessean an apology for his anti gay message in 2006!

  25. says

    THANK YOU Michael.

    I spend a lot of time talking to people (including politicians) about these issues and you’ve given me some new, wonderful language to use, in particular:
    “Speak loud and proud of your love and your life. We cannot wait anymore for politics to catch up to the way we are already living our lives.”

  26. Swine says

    I wonder if Cybill Shepard would offer her support. She is one of Memphis’ most famous natives & she has been extremely supportive of gay issues. Might be worth contacting her & asking if she could help.

  27. Rin says

    I am not gay, but I take my commitment to the gay community seriously. I go out and talk to my straight friends that aren’t for gays having equal rights. I even talk to people who “hate” gays. I have done my very best to reason with everyone and I am proud to say that I have changed a lot of hearts. I use the Bible when I have to. I use compassion 100% of the time. I talk, talk, talk. Straight people (not just celebs) need to be out there and talking to their neighbors and being active.

    I’ve been a gay rights supporter all my life. My first “boyfriend” was gay (poor thing). I feel for what gays have had to go through and when I hear speeches like this it makes me cry. So to anyone out there reading this who is straight: you gotta start talking to people.

  28. Brian in Texas says

    Thank you Micheal.


    Harold Ford Jr doesn’t owe Memphis or Tennessee an apology. If anything they owe him an apology for falling into the divisive racial political tactics of his opponent Bob Corker. That’s why he left and went to NYC.

  29. says

    Michael, your statement that we can not wait any longer for politics to catch up to the way we live our lives was profound in that politics are filled with politicians who profess to be “leaders”. It begs the question. Why do we have to wait for them to catch up? Aren’t they supposed to be out front? Challenge them to get out front where they belong and challenge them to start appealing to our better nature rather than our lizard brain by stoking the flames of bigotry and hate as their “leadership” is doing at the moment. It’s time to send the message to all haters, that just because they have the right to hate, it’s wrong at its core and will no longer be tollerated. It’s time for the silent majority in this country to speak out that they want real leadership from their politicians, not poll driven leadership. They will say they are representing the will of the people. I don’t believe that for a minute. They are representing the will of a vocal minority which make them seem to be the majority. But in the event they really do represent the majority, sometimes the majority is wrong and it’s the responsibilty of our leaders to enlighten us and bring us along to a better place.

    Kudo’s for braving the stiff winds of hate blowing in your fair city, and around this country for that matter. Your cause is just and will be rewarded some day.

  30. Michael says

    You are a beautiful, brave man. I applaud you. I have been gay for 60 years and I love seeing the strength in the community now. Thank you, Michael, for your courage, and your determination. You are who I wanted to grow up to be.

  31. Matt Smith says

    What can we do to help our brothers and sisters in Memphis? Where is HRC? Where is the NAACP? Where are the gay friendly major corporations with a major presence – FedEx, Delta Air, International Paper, Hilton, Nike.

  32. Richy Pugh says

    A True Hereo! I wish more people felt like you did and would stand up for their rights. Here in Atlanta our rights are violated all the time..and the APD are the ones doing it ( example..the Eagle raid last year). We all need to take a look at ourselves and stand together for our rights.