Edie Windsor captivates at the Equality Florida Gala

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Written By: Susan Clary

St. Petersburg – When the petite 85-year old Edith Windsor slowly descended the stairs at the Mahaffey Theater to step to the microphone, hundreds of people rose to their feet and applauded wildly.

Windsor spoke for a mere five minutes, but she spoke of the history of the gay rights movement from the 1960s in New York when she met Thea, through the AIDS epidemic and Mary Bonuato’s work with the Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) in the 1990s. This culminated with the decision in her own case, where Windsor proudly said the word “respect” was mentioned 13 times.

“Half the people in this room are probably out now who never were before,” Windsor said. “You guys thank me. I thank you for a community that’s full of love and joy and I know Thea would be thrilled. I honor every person in this room.”

After her brief remarks, fans descended upon her like a swarm of bees hugging her, shaking her hands and fawning over her. She is, after all, the queen bee of the equality movement.

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