I wanted to write something lengthy and meaningful about Barack Obama winning the election last night, and I will try, but you and I both know that there are no words near adequate. I cried tears of overwhelming joy throughout his acceptance speech, and I've never seen anything as beautiful as that rainbow of people in the audience who were crying tears of joy right along with me. This is by far the most significant event that I have witnessed in my 27 years. I feel really blessed to have lived to see this day.
While I have seen the other side of that, hearing incredibly racist remarks from loved ones who I never imagined could be so prejudiced... the vivid contrast that I see between that and the ones who voted for Barack Obama is especially dramatic and significant. Why? Because the vast majority of this country stood up and declared with our votes that we will no longer accept any color lines in this country.
What was so recently thought of as a near impossibility--an African-American as President of the United States--is now a bright reality. It's not only a victory for the black community, and also for the multiracial community--it is an incomprehensibly giant victory for every single one of us. My vote mattered. I finally feel what it means to be an American. I am at last proud to live and breathe on this particular stretch of the globe. It's a new day here, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be a witness to it, and a part of it.
Unfortunately at the same time, I have to note that the same people who voted for a black President also voted against gay marriage last night in several states. While acceptance and appreciation of diversity has come a long way in this country, there are still those areas of our minds where fear and confusion prevail over compassion and understanding. I can't comprehend how a person can voice their respect for an African-American man as the leader of our country and then in the very same breath deny equal rights to their fellow human beings who happen to be members of the gay community.
Today I choose not to think too deeply about that, because this is a time of incredible triumph and celebration. I know that lasting change will come in due time. There is much work ahead and I think we're all ready to roll up our sleeves and get to it. We've got to start with ourselves, by letting the cynicism and bitterness over the last eight years or more dissipate. We've got to return to the original optimism that makes us American at our core. And from there, "Yes We Can" will transform from a campaign slogan to a true story: "Yes We Did." ☺