A few summers back, I was surrounded by butterflies.
They were everywhere. On the windshield when we got into the car, hovering in front of the door to the house, filling the park every day I went—I entered a shimmering haze of them and they even began landing on me to rest.
President Obama has hand picked one of us.
As the iron gates to the White House grounds opened at 8:45 on Monday morning, July 13, the assembled group of delegates to the 2015 White House Conference on Aging began joyfully streaming toward the security stations, the preliminary steps in gaining access to the hallowed halls where aging issues and policies for the next 10 years would be discussed.
In the spring of 2014, I found myself in the last place I’d ever expected—the dark, close-set box of an old confessional. The wood muffled all other sounds as the priest slid open a little screen before me.
I knelt down and said I couldn’t remember the last time I was there, and I began to weep.
So you believe that biological sex and gender identity are always inextricably linked. This, in spite of the fact that science is absolutely clear that they are not. This, in spite of the fact that the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychiatric Association are absolutely clear that they are not.
On Wednesday, June 25, 2015, Jennicet Gutiérrez, a transgender woman of color who is undocumented, called on President Obama to release LGBTQ immigrants from detention centers at the White House Pride Reception.
It was the day after Thanksgiving 2006. My entire extended family had gathered at my brother’s “cabin” on the banks of the South Fork of the Snake River for a traditional turkey dinner the day before. My mother and step-dad went home to Pocatello after dinner, but the rest of us stayed overnight, sleeping on couches or wherever else we could find a soft spot.
They say freedom isn't free. This is something I know very well. Authenticity is also not free. Lack of authenticity has its cost, as well. The price of authenticity is often added to the cost of living inauthentically and the burden is carried by everyone whose life touches any human being for whom the struggle for authenticity is also a struggle for life and death.
It's 9:30 on Sunday morning. I show up to work with my shirt buttoned to the collar and my boots shined to a glossy black. I choose not to wear a tie most Sundays. The chain on my wallet swings freely from my back right pocket as I swagger in, copy of the liturgy in hand.