She’s My Why

She’s My Why

The other day, I was chatting with a fellow PAD Board member, as we often do, and we were talking about our reasons for why we are active in politics.  You know, the skin we have in the game, and why we have dedicated so much of our lives and are so passionate in promoting Democratic values, as is our PAD mission.  I got off the phone and had to really sit with myself for a moment, as I never actually thought about it in that great a detail.  I mean, we all have our reasons, right? But what REALLY was my do-or-die reason?  That thing that really motivates me every day, when so much of the news coming out about the current regime in Washington is so damn horrify and overwhelming.

I took some time to unpack this question, pull the thread in time, go down that rabbit hole to the single incident and the reason I felt I needed to really step up my game and get more involved. For me, it harkened back to the day my 19 year old daughter came out to her father and me, almost 4 years ago.  The exact moment that it really sank in for me is forever seared in my memory, and over the next few days, I processed what that really meant for our family and for her, as a member for the LGBTQIA+ community, who has since become very public and outspoken advocate for rights.

I’m sad to say, my mind went to some very dark places.  For the first time ever, I had to reconcile the fact that, in some places, heck even in our own backyard, she could be beaten up or even killed for loving who she loves, or will love.  She can be denied a job, housing, entrance into the military, healthcare, and the ability to foster a child, or adopt a child, and there are places in this country where that’s all perfectly legal.  The discrimination still being perpetrated in this country is so extensive, it boggles the mind.

And it seems to be getting worse, not better. THAT chills me to the bone.  So this is why I fight.  This is why I get up every day and think about 1 small thing I can do to advance Democratic values. This is why I say “yes” to opportunities to donate time to institutions doing this same work, sometimes to the detriment of my own family-life and financial resources. It’s not my only why, not by any stretch.  But it’s the reason I could no longer sit back and lie to myself that voting in every election was “enough”.  It’s not. Not even close.  And in this next election, which undoubtedly will be the single most important in these modern times, we are literally fighting for our very lives and the life and future of Democracy in this country.  Find your why. We need all hands on deck.

  • Steve Rand
    Posted at 19:16h, 15 August Reply

    Jen, Your piece is a testament to you and to your daughter. You paint a real picture of living today and hoping for a better future. Words like yours inspire me to keep aspiring to perfect our democracy, our civil rights, our respect for each other, our commitment to peace and our responsibility to leave the earth fit for our progeny to live in. Thanks for your stretch to write this.

  • Emma Van Ness
    Posted at 20:59h, 15 August Reply

    I do it for my daughters too! I want them to grow up in a loving, tolerant, kind nation. A nation free of bigotry, misogyny, and hatred. Great piece, Jen, and thank you for all you do. ❤️✊🏳️‍🌈

  • Joyce weston
    Posted at 12:26h, 16 August Reply

    Well done, Jen. Thanks for taking the time to write such a heartfelt piece.

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