No, really. Thank you Mr. President.
Driving to work today, I was listening to St. Louis Public Radio. No big surprise really, I listen every morning on my way to work. Most of my stories throughout the day start with, “So, I heard on NPR today…..” This morning’s content elicited a different feeling than the usual commentary. I felt more hopeful and inspired than I remember feeling in most recent mornings. See when the station played highlights of the convention from last night, and I heard our President speak about the country, and his hope for our future; I felt empowered. And, grateful. So, so grateful to him. Do you know what I mean?
As a member of the LGBT community, he changed my life. I am not being dramatic here. Think about it. He changed our lives for the better. As the Manager of Public Policy, I kind of like policy, but for most of us policy is something that we only think about when we are faced with an adverse situation regarding some policy. The policy changes initiated and implemented by this President did more for LGBT Americans than any president ever. Ever. Seriously, take a look at President Obama’s LGBT legacy.
When I was a kid, my mom taught us to write “thank you” notes. After Christmas or our birthdays, we (my siblings and I) were tasked with expressing our gratitude in the form of a handwritten card. So on my drive this morning I started to think, could I write President Obama a thank you card? I mean I could. I guess, but would he get it? Or, could I even express my gratitude in one simple, hand-written card? No, a thank you card wasn’t the right angle. Hmmm… what else…what else? By now, my mind is racing with ideas about how we can say thanks to the President. Oh, and by the way, I’m in tears too thinking about how much President Obama changed my life as a queer-identified woman living in Missouri. All while driving…I know…I know.
Then, it hit me. Let’s throw a party! This will be the biggest and most fabulous “Thank you, Mr. President” party ever. Can you imagine the amount of glitter and duck tape a party like that would entail? As much, as I do love to plan a party, this still didn’t feel like the best way to express our community’s gratitude.
How do we as an LGBT community say thank you to someone who had the power to act, to honor our authenticity, and actually did it. How do you say thank you for that? Then, I remembered something the President said during his speech last night. When someone booed a point the President made, he said, “Don’t boo. Vote.” It’s as simple as that. We need to vote in November and every election. Our way of showing thanks is to make sure that his legacy continues. The only way to ensure his legacy is if we vote. Our President did not spend the last 8 years shining the light on our faces only to have the closet doors slammed shut and to find ourselves once again hiding in the dark. I won’t go back, Missouri. I won’t do it.
In November and next week on August 2, I will show my gratitude to President Obama by voting to ensure his legacy continues and that our work at PROMO continues to be supported by an administration that promotes liberty and justice for all.
Are you registered to vote? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?