I'm not in love with our President, Barack Obama. I think he's an excellent man with great morals and great values, but do I think he's been the most effective president ever? No, I wouldn't say that. But do I think he's been one of the biggest impetus' for change this country has had in a really long time? Absolutely. Now he hasn't been able to change much in his four years, but he's brought up some hot button issues that no one wanted to talk about for awhile and I think that's why this country has become so divided with this election. We're talking about things that we didn't want to talk about for so long.
I'm writing this post because I came out within the last four years and it's one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I'm able to live as me. I can tell you that living in the proverbial closet was miserable for the first 29 years of life. Things have changed in this country in the last four years though. More than anything, I've had great friends support me, but another big factor in me taking the jump, the leap of faith if you will, was realizing that I'm now living in a society where it's generally more acceptable than not to be me. And I honestly do have to thank my president for a lot of that.
I still remember his acceptance speech from 2008 and I got teary eyed. I think I would have even if I hadn't voted for him. There was an air of change and forward motion for people who haven't been able to move forward in a long time. Things were hopeful. I still feel a lot of that hope, but I think Obama has realized that it sometimes takes more than just hope when you're president to get things done. I think that's where we often say "he failed." But I don't think he did because he keeps trying. And that's what I do like about the man.
I was never more proud of a president than the day that he came out in support of gay marriage. Honestly, I don't know that I'll ever want to get married. But I may want to...or I may just be happy with a long term, permanent relationship without the label of "marriage" on it. But I like to know that I have the right to marry someone. When I came out to my mom, I told her that I never chose this. That up until now, I never would've chose this for myself and I can't imagine anyone wanting to be gay. It's not an easy life to live. What I'm trying to say here is that saying that you can't be married because of something you have no choice over...saying you can't marry the person YOU LOVE because someone else doesn't agree with it....It's hurtful. And still, I do respect people who do have that opinion. Hell, there are people I've known who I thought should never get married but did anyway! But I didn't do anything to stop them from being able to get married. It's your right as a human being and it makes the lgbt community feel less human for not having that right.
I decided to right this post because I'm terrified right now of how this election will play out. I have all these thoughts running through my head that all of the progress that has been made could just be cancelled out and then thrown backwards if the election goes a certain way. Not just for lgbt Americans, but for women, for people with disabilities, for low income families....so many people. I never saw how much these issues, these POLITICAL issues that shouldn't be political affect people until I started working in mental health. And now I see it every day in every aspect. I just hope that no matter how the election turns out, no matter who our president is, we continue to move FORWARD as a country, not backwards. That's what's important to me. Not who the president is...but how we move as a country.
This from the HRC's website:
In Maine, voters are being asked for the first time in the country to affirmatively pass marriage for gays and lesbians at the ballot box. Voters in Maryland and Washington are being asked to affirm marriage equality laws that were passed by the state legislatures. In Minnesota, voters will consider a constitutional amendment to ban gay and lesbian couples from marriage.I really hope we move forward, not backwards...and I'll shut up now...and I'll hit publish and hope that I haven't offended anyone. This wasn't my intention. Just needed to get some thoughts out.