Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama and Donna Rose

Obama and Donna Rose

Wow! Today was quite the day. Waking up to change is a beautiful feeling…a beautiful recognition of hope! I went to sleep early after a string of very long and stressful days. Obama won Pennsylvania and I felt it was ok sleep instead of wait in anxiety. As it turned out, it was a good decision.

Lord knows that I haven’t been a huge fan of any of the candidates. At times I am a cynic about politics but mostly it’s hard for me to trust politicians and even though there was an Obama bandwagon going around, I just couldn’t get on board. Even yesterday, as I cast my vote, my reluctant heart felt vulnerable in trusting something that seemed so unsure…in trusting a person…an idea that has a historical precedence of a let down. But nevertheless, I voted…I waited and I rejoiced this morning with the news…the speech…and the reality check that this wasn’t all just a dream.

Let me tell you, to talk into work and hug a friend…knowing that we were entering into a new age together…a time of change….was a remarkable feeling. To reflect back on the day that Bush was re-elected just a few years ago and spend that day I disbelief and sorrow…to live in that moment of knowing that life would drastically change…My God, the contrast from today is startling.

And so as a reluctant….partly cloudy Obama supporter I relished in the day that at least some of my views of equality and justice were represented and that there is a chance for more change.

And as if that wasn’t enough, work turned out to be not all that bad as I got to spend some of my time learning about the life of Donna Rose and spending some time personally with her.

As an undergraduate, I learned about Donna as a transgender warrior in our country. I looked up to her then as the kind of social advocate I wanted to become, that is, an “everyday” kind of person who chooses to stand for something greater.

Donna Rose, a celebrity of sorts in the LGBTQ world, is know for her personal transformation from being a man (David) to becoming the candid, articulate and REAL woman that we know her as today.

Over dinner this evening, before her lecture, I had the opportunity to learn more about her journey from living as a man (for 40 years) to becoming a woman. I learned about some of her friends…some of her struggles…some of the funny moments and some of the nuances that I take for granted in what it takes to “be” a woman. From the way we walk, to the way we carry ourselves and even the way we shake a person’s hand, the transition and transformation of one’s socialization is quite radical. And I couldn’t help but to think about how passionate she was and how unique of an experience it was (sort of happenstance) that I was there to be taking it all in.

I thought of my friends, gay, lesbian, transgendered, that probably need someone like Donna in their life. I thought about what it would be like to switch places with them so that they too could have the moment…the connection. After all, it’s not an easy road to change…to change your appearance or how you identify. And you need community…you need understanding and I felt that Donna was that kind of person.

At any rate…it was quite the day…change is in the air…after a whirlwind October, November is looking up and I can only imagine and hope for what 2009 can bring.