The last 8 days have been wild. I spent a few fantastic days with Big Man and Things taking in hot spots like a pumpkin patch in Byron and Owatanna's famous reptile and amphibian zoo. Who knew that in the fertile farmland of southern Minnesota reptiles could flourish? I sent the Man and Boy in first since I did not trust the fading sign and tin roof. Thing 2 popped his head out and said, "It's good, mom. Everything is in a cage!" That was my green light.
Big Man's mom, who hates to cook, made him a lovely birthday meal. Her efforts showed her love and once again, we were both reminded of how well we scored in the mom-department.
Later in the weekend, I enjoyed time with the adults in my family and it was the first time in a long time where everyone seemed relaxed. Without children around, we could start and finish a conversation. We laughed and ate and made fun of each other- all of the things we do best.
Finally, I met Randy Roberts Potts and fell in an unrequited love with a gay man. It's all good. Hundreds of other women in Minnesota did the same and his partner, Keaton, gets to gloat with the assurance that he is all his.
I got through my speech, though barely. Little emotions popped up unexpectedly. The story I told happened 20 years ago. I was fact-checking with my sister and she almost couldn't remember her coming-out story. Funny, huh? You think these defining moments will stick with you forever but apparently good and bad fade so there is that.
The discussion in Winona was open and heartfelt and I hope there will be a ripple of conversation that continues throughout the year as we march toward the election.
I said in my speech that love is love.
I know this to be true. In my home, from my family, friends, and perfect strangers. I met a transgender woman with her female partner, I met a concerned parent on edge for her child who might be gay and is wondering how to help him because her husband, she fears, will not handle it well, I met a young man out to everyone but his parents and African American youth struggling with their truth as gay young adults and how it will fit into their culture. I met a lesbian woman so jazzed to see a straight mom speaking out for people like her. My words were heartfelt and true and confirmed.
For my lifetime I have felt that love is love and this was proven many times over in the last eight days.
Yes, it is great to be me. What is even greater, however, is seeing others free and comfortable being who they are despite what our society seems to throw at them. Everyone just wants a place, a chance, a voice. We all really want the same thing...to love and be loved. And for it to be recognized and validated. It's not a big deal and yet...it is the biggest deal.