2022 “Unite the Fight” Gala Beneficiary Speech

Hi I’m Kelle’, Executive Director of allgo.

I am thankful to be here in community with you all and I trust the timing.  I have love for allgo because it connected me to a community of people that could support and inspire me when I was discovering myself and continues to do so.. I have to acknowledge the dynamic leadership that has come before me— Saul Gonzalez, Sharon Bridgforth, Martha Ramos-Duffer, Priscilla Hale to name a few of the leaders who  were stewards in guiding the organization to be here in this moment with you all as we turn 37 next month.  

 I am able to look back and see how much allgo saved me.  The self-hate, imposter syndrome, unpacking racism, and other constructs that have prohibited, stifled growth at many turns was able to be challenged seeing folx that share a lived experience with me as Gloria Anzaldua phrases it at the borderlands of society where cultures and queerness meet.

I can look back and be thankful for spaces that allgo provides because of the validation I was able to find. I am thankful to connect with the fellowship of communities with a shared experience.  I am hopeful that allgo and organizations like it are elevated. We center queer and trans BIPOC: celebrating and nurturing our communities out of silo.  We acknowledge that we are not monolithic and embrace our different life experiences. At one point allgo was an acronym which stood for Austin’s Latino/Latina Lesbian Gay Organization and was written all uppercase.  As we grew and evolved, we dropped the acronym to acknowledge all the communities of color within our organization creating and celebrating art, life, and culture together and allgo became a word because the work that allgo produces is more than the acronym could hold or represent.  When you see allgo written it should be all lowercase letters as one word that now honors our history, as we continue to build forward.    

allgo is an organization with a rich history and ties to Austin since 1985. Queer activists from all over the country have been affiliated with the work of pushing forward LGBTQIA+ communities of color under the name of allgo.  

We fuse art and wellness in our intergenerational programs.  We utilize a sustainability mindset.    Finding ways to thank our bodies for their labor, connecting with community members,  allowing rest and challenging our thinking around systems that were never really meant to serve us is part of what we do.  Leaning on our creative brains to reimagine the status quo is allgo.  Donating to us will support providing spaces for the most marginalized in queer and trans communities. We will continue the work that helps everyone heal. 

We give gratitude to the visionaries who sought out advocacy for us and we are grateful for their strength.  The need for more queer and trans BIPOC spaces rises as does the need for resources to sustain us.  We dream of a day where we can all thrive in equity and live safe, choice filled lives with autonomy over our own bodies.  We dream of a day where our most marginalized are at the center of planning and decision making that impacts our lives.  We are able to accomplish much with a staff of 3, shout out to Tabitha and Bryan and our present Board members  Kanoa and Ari,  but imagine if we are able to obtain the resources we need to fully support  our communities in thriving.  It’s great to be here and share these words with you.  Thank you Monica and the Equality Alliance team and everyone involved for this opportunity. Peace and love.

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