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And I have a lot of self-esteem, which is amazing, because I’m probably somebody who wouldn’t necessarily have a lot of self esteem, as I am considered a minority. And if you are a woman; if you are a person of color; if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender; if you are a person of size; if you are person of intelligence; if you are a person of integrity, then YOU are considered a minority in this world. And it’s going to be really hard to find messages of self-love and support anywhere, especially women’s and gay men’s culture. It’s all about how you have to look a certain way, or else you’re worthless. You know, when you look in the mirror and think, “Ugh, I’m so ugly, I’m so fat, I’m so old.” Don’t you know that’s not your authentic self? That is billions upon billions of dollars of advertising: magazines, movies, billboards, all geared to make you feel shitty about yourself, so that you will take your hard-earned money, and spend it at the mall on some turn-around creme that doesn’t turn around shit. If you don’t have self-esteem, you will hesitate before you do anything in your life. You will hesitate to go for the job you want to go for. You will hesitate to ask for a raise. You will hesitate to call yourself an American. You will hesitate to report a rape. You will hesitate to defend yourself when you are discriminated against because of your race, your sexuality, your size, your gender. You will hesitate to vote. You will hesitate to dream. For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution, and our revolution is long overdue. I urge you all today, especially today in these times of terrorism and chaos, to love yourselves without reservation and to love each other without restraint. Unless you’re into leather, then by all means, use restraints. Thank you. – Margaret Cho

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