But I've never done anything like this. And even innocuous New Things intimidate me - part of why you don't see me at a lot of parties. New Things are hard. Every time I do something new, it's scary - it's me pushing through fear and balls-to-the-wall going for it.
But this new thing really is a big scary thing. My public speaking is limited to SF cons - sure, I can bullshit for an hour about comics or pulp SF or blogging. But this is.. I wasn't kidding when I said it'd be like eviscerating myself. And doing it in a five-minute speech, and then taking questions about it for 25 minutes.
Hi, my name is 'song, and thirteen years ago, I was grabbed off the street and raped, and I have never been the same. And I will do anything I can to keep that from happening to other people, and to support the people it *has* happened to. Up til now, that's mostly been writing about it from the comfort of my cozy little office, or fundraising; the most hands-on I've gotten is driving people to the rape crisis clinic, but that's one on one. Tonight I have to talk about it. Not my hands. My voice. I have to stand up before a crowd and tell them what happened. And I will stammer and I will pause and no, I will not be perfect.... but dear gods, please let me be effective, please let me help.
I have a ride there and back (thanks, marmota!), but it would be cool to have some other friends in the audience. So please, if you've got nothing else going on tonight, be a friendly and familiar face in that audience; be someone I can look at when I stumble over my words, someone to smile and nod to help me on my way. And we can go out for ice cream afterward. I will want ice cream.