I want to speak from the heart about my feelings about Hillary Clinton. I take it very personally when she is unfairly smeared and painted in garish, hateful strokes as some sort of cartoonishly power-hungry villain. I do not recognize that character; that person is a fantasy that has been expertly and maliciously concocted over a quarter century by the Republican smear machine. It pains me when those on the left fall prey to these lies and peddle them so gleefully, and even savagely. Sexism fuels so much of the hate.
When I see Hillary, when I see the struggles she's had to overcome as a brilliant, profoundly well-meaning woman working to make things better in a man's world, I think of my own mother. Born in 1944 and married in 1967, my mom just missed feminist revolution. Throughout her adult life, she struggled with the pull between her abiding sense of duty toward her three children and her yearning to participate fully in society, to use her deep intellect and unique power for empathy to impart wisdom upon and spur growth in her students. A teacher, an academic, and a truly awesome parent, she died of brain cancer in 1999. At that time, she was only really just coming into her own as a feminist, proud and strong, knowing that her place in the world mattered just as much as her brilliant and accomplished husband's. She was just just catching up to the revolution.
To me, Hillary Clinton presidency would be a full realization of my mother's deferred dream, and the dream I've always had for all womankind. So yes, I am supporting Hillary because she is a woman. Because women are uniquely capable, sensitive and broadminded. Because the women senators have been the most deft in the art of compromise. Because they're the ones who show up in a blizzard. My dream is of a world in which the greater sex gets in the driver's seat at long last. Just imagine that.
As a gay man, I am also deeply grateful to Hillary for all she did to advocate for LGBT rights as secretary of state. It makes me think of how my mother reacted to the 1998 Matthew Shepard murder, which occurred just as Mom was first developing the speech aphasia symptoms of her brain tumor. Mom left me a stuttering voicemail on my college dorm phone saying she was so upset by the tragedy that she temporarily lost the ability to speak. I wish my mom could know how much the world has changed for the better in years since then. I wish she could have heard how Hillary Clinton gave us gay people a voice on the world's stage, saying that, just as women's rights are human rights, gay rights are human rights.
I ask that you join me in supporting the most uniquely capable and experienced U.S. presidential candidate in history. I ask that we put differences aside and join together to fight for the future of our country. Our great nation stands in peril should a true madman, an utter fascist assume the mantle of power. I hope that we can join with Hillary to fight for a world in which we celebrate our differences instead of using them as wedges to divide us.
Please share these words if they've inspired you. And please donate what you can to the campaign. The future counts on you.
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Mom and me, 1990: