gratitude-a-thon day 2038: hey Massachusetts, vote yes on 3, please

I have a transgender person in my life who is very important to me, so I wanted to make sure that while I’ve blogged endlessly about why it’s vital to vote Democratic this year, voting yes on question 3 in Massachusetts is just as important.

My best friend’s daughter is in transition to become a male. He is lucky to have a family that fully supports him (and lots of friends who do, too),  but not every transgender person does, and many face abuse, humiliation, assault, violence and discrimination for simply being who they are. This is an issue of human rights.

My young transgender friend is one of the smartest and most interesting people I know. I have loved her for the past 15 years, and I will love him for the rest of his life.

Question 3 is about the protection of transgender people from discrimination in public places, including restaurants and doctor’s offices, restrooms and schools.

I couldn’t be any prouder to be a resident of Massachusetts (or to have my transgender friend in my life), where we aim to treat all people with dignity and respect. In fact, we were the first state in the country to recognize marriage equality.

Please vote yes on 3. If you have questions, this site has the answers.  Grateful for your vote.

gratitude-a-thon day 583: the bravery to be who you are

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The Bruce Jenner interview with Dianne Sawyer was kind of amazing. Who would have thought anybody from the Kardashian clan could teach us something really important?

Bruce didn’t dodge any questions, didn’t allow silence to dominate, or shy away from giving full answers. He spoke honestly about a struggle that has plagued him since he was a kid. He spoke about dressing up in his mom and sister’s clothing at age 8, and not understanding why, but knowing it made him feel good. He spoke about his marriages, his sexual preferences, and his truth, which is that he feels inside he is a woman, and always has been.

To be born in the wrong body must be impossibly hard. But to be a high profile, public person, known as “the world’s greatest athlete,” starring in the biggest “reality” show on television, being part of the most public family in the country and feeling like you were born in the wrong body, must be like a small elf sitting just inside your head chipping away at your brain 24/7. As Bruce said last night, “I had the story. We’ve done 420 episodes, I think, and the entire run I kept thinking to myself … the one real true story in the family was the one I was hiding.”

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It was his story, but now it’s our story. And it’s up to us to learn from Bruce Jenner more about what it’s like to be transgender. And I love that. That he is giving us the opportunity to learn from his pain, and his path. I love that he is no longer hiding, and is finally, this morning, living life as who he feels he is. I hope he feels a deep sense of freedom waking up today, knowing he no longer has to hide.

Bruce says he knows he is helping the LGBT community by coming out. But I think he’s also helping anyone who is struggling with being who they are. This may be a story about being transgender, but I think it’s really just a story about having the bravery to live your own life. Thanks, Bruce. By being who you are, you give us the courage and the permission to be who we are.