Hope will never be silent

“Hope will never be silent” is a quote by Harvey Milk, who among many courageous achievements, was an American politician and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California.

The quote was reshared by Tuisina Ymania Brown (she/her) – Samoan Fa’afafine and Co-Secretary General – ILGA World, who was the closing speaker on the first day of The Sydney World Pride Human Rights Conference.

The conference was certainly not a conference on my radar until a post on LinkedIn by @Alicia Boyd caught my attention.

Alicia’s Challenge

These two sentences Alicia wrote resonated with me …

“I very much encourage checking out the excellent program lineup, especially if being LGBTIQA doesn’t relate to your personal lived experience”


“The next 3 days will provide an amazing opportunity to learn from us and how to speak up for us and our fundamental human rights.”

The Courage to Learn

It’s so easy for us to stay within our own worlds and experiences … it takes a bit of courage to realise that wisdom and growth wants you to search beyond what you already know and experience.

My lived experience is not as an LGBTIQA+ person. However, some of my family members’, friends’ and colleagues’ personal lived experience is proudly being LGBTIQA+.

So, I accepted Alicia’s invitation and challenge to register (especially as being LGBTIQA didn’t relate to my own personal lived experience).

I didn’t attend all sessions, however, the above quote that Tuisina Ymania shared in the wrap up for day one, captured much of what I learned from the sessions I did attend.

Hope, Optimism, Positive Thinking

Let me repeat it here … “Hope will never be silent”.

The words hope, optimism and positive thinking are often used in the same context, but they are subtlety different.

After researching the terms over many years now, here’s how I differentiate them …

  • Hope is a feeling we have that something good can happen in the future.
  • Optimism is the belief that (even if something good might not happen in the future) that things will eventually and usually turn out well.
  • Positive Thinking applies more to focusing on the good in any current situation we are experiencing in the here and now

I’m wondering if you’d agree with me that optimism trumps hope and positive thinking?

Either way, leaving aside positive thinking, if we want a more inclusive, equitable future for all, it will be through our informed, mindful and intentional choices and actions, guided by hope and optimism, that will create our tomorrow.





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