Mother is a Verb

Mother is a Verb

Monday, October 29, 2012

Think of Will

One of the more distinct pleasures of parenting is bearing witness to the unique individuals who our children become.  The letter below was written by my twenty-two year old son.  Will is a funny, warm, talented, hard-working actor, director, and playwright. He also happens to be gay.

Three weeks ago my husband sent an email to the four children who are old enough to vote, encouraging them to become educated on the issues of this upcoming election. Not surprisingly, his namesake took this missive to heart. Given that Phil and I stand together on just about everything but politics, Will has probably taken more time to look at both sides than most people. After reading articles, researching policies, watching debates, and discussing the myriad issues, he wrote this letter to not just immediate members of our family, but to his more conservative grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins as well.  

While Will's political beliefs have historically been in line with my own, his personal experience as first a gay teen, and now a gay man, is something neither I nor most of you can truly fathom. I am both proud and humbled to share his words and hope you will consider sharing them with others who may still be on the fence as this election nears.

I feel an obligation to reach out to you, my family, to speak about this upcoming election.

We determine our culture when we choose our policy makers. The economy, jobs, and foreign relations (for example) are all incredibly important issues that will continue changing indefinitely. New wars will be had, taxes will go up and down, leaders will succeed and fail. What IS permanent, is the culmination of our choices. This culmination is our culture. It is something we all represent, that we are all responsible for.

Hatred is a cultural issue globally. It is the root of terrorism. It is the root of war. But hatred does not only exist on a global level. It exists on a personal level. I face hate on the daily because of my sexual orientation. Being called "faggot" by strangers is so frequent that it doesn't even surprise me. I am sad and afraid for my future and the future of this country when I look at what lies ahead if Romney is elected.

On a personal level: A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote to make my dream and choice to marry and have children impossible. He wants to constitutionally ban gay marriage and make it nearly impossible for same sex couples to adopt. Here is some more information about his history with this:

On a national level: A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for a culture defined by discrimination and hate. It sends the message to every politician, business person, employer, teacher, colleague, stranger and child in our country that discrimination is okay. 

On a global level: A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote in favor of an America that tells the world, "some people are worth less than others." Not only are some Americans worthless, but Syrians, Libyans, Israelis, religious sects, and races. We would be declaring by example that if someone doesn't share your beliefs, they are worthless. This is the same principle terrorist groups advocate, the same kind of hatred that has made our world a terrifying theater of war.

Here are a few resources with more information about this election and the impact it will have, particularly on the LGBT community. (bravely written by a friend of mine)

President Obama has made huge progress during his presidency, especially having inherited a disaster. Take a minute to read the NY Times post above that breaks down his work very succinctly. It is not just the LGBT community that stands to lose rights. Think of the women in our lives, our brother in the army, and the Seefried and Campbell kids in the education system when you cast your vote. All of our rights are at stake.

I urge us ALL to think about the cultural repercussions of the proposals each candidate makes. Not just what our gas prices will look like next year or the difference on a tax return, but what our culture stands for globally. 

Many of you in Florida and Colorado have a lot of power in this election. I will be thinking of you all on election day and hope you will think of me too. Thanks for reading.

Love to you all,

1 comment:

  1. Incredibly brave on Will's part given the contentiousness of the "sides" in this election. I completely agree with what he's saying - even if I'm coming more from the perspective of a woman with two daughters. I've been continually astonished that women are willing to put aside questions of basic rights and being viewed as equally human for the promise of more dollars. Not that the improved economy under Romney's concept is even based on anything credible that I can determine. Obama inherited a huge mess. Things are MUCH better at least for our family than they were even 6 months ago - and even with an election looming. I happen to buy the idea that Romney's plans sound a whole lot like Bush's, which already proved disastrous. But even if he's right and the Romney version of recovery somehow, magically would be so much better than what's already in place that we would have millions of insta-jobs on "Day One" of his presidency, I would still have to vote my social conscious first, because, like Will, I believe choosing who we are as a country and members of the world at large on a deeper human level of love and acceptance is worth more than any number of dollars in the bank.