With all the recent controversy and debate about the rights of transgendered individuals, I decided to learn and listen firsthand from those who are the subject of that controversy. I invited members of the transgendered community into my home and spent an amazing evening in some of the most impactful conversations I've ever experienced. I was particularly moved by Allyson Fox-Hale and her story, and by the end of the evening's conversations, was more determined than ever to fight for the rights of transgendered Americans, including those serving in our military.
I am especially gratified that, after our talk, Allyson took the time to write the following:
Last night I met a total stranger, one who invited me into his home, introduced me to his family. He showed me his heart, his desires even his goals. He is a frustrated Man, one who looks around and says “We as people can do, need to do better!” Our leaders in public office have let us down, they don’t communicate with us; they don’t tell us anything once they are “in”. Well this total stranger, this Man, took it upon himself to make a stand or maybe to just “stand up”. I recognized the look in his eyes as he was telling me what he wanted to do, what his vision was. It was that same look from the meek little soldier I served with while on my tour in Iraq, the soldier that no one would have expected, the one that charged from the rear, yelling, focused to save others without regards for himself. The passion in his eyes made my own heart swell.
He began to ask such caring questions about me, about what I have been through. Then sat back and gave me his full attention, even at some points when I was on my “rant”, he sat there on the edge of his chair asking, “then what?” I was the voice he wanted to hear at that moment and he gave me all of himself. I was not alone on his deck, sitting around a family table. His caring, attentive Husband was there as well as their young teenage daughter. Who is as caring, beautiful as she is smart, adding the perfect amount of humor or an insightful question. Truly a child who was raised by loving parents. Her little brother was too busy darting from the deck to the living room where fast action television was playing, to be bothered listening to the likes of the “old people” on the deck.
What started off as I sat down that night was just to listen to what this gifted Man had to say, give him the proper respects and then make my leave. In my head I figured a good hour or two, but what ended up being a full seven hours later. The topics that we covered that night ranged everything to family and what does that mean today, to the list of “tweets” that POTUS sent out and continues to do and literally everything in between. The conversation moved from the deck to the kitchen table where the group took on a family atmosphere. Although we did talk over one another, it was all done in good spirits for the sake of the conversation and not just to be heard. Such a warm, welcoming evening with this family and friends that I caught myself sad to leave. I didn’t want that “magic” to end.
To the Man and his family, Jeffery Sossa-Paquette, I can not say Thank you enough. For allowing me to talk freely from my heart, for giving me your full attention when so many other things were going on that night, for opening up your home and family to this stranger and allowing me to leave feeling like I had another family. One full of love and hope, dreams and desires, goals and the calcium deposit of a spine to stand up and do what is needed, what is right for the families of this “new era”.
There is a New Congressional Runner and his name is Jeffery Sossa-Paquette. Who is a good Man first and the right Man for this