Can we leave political preferences aside for a moment and just recognize the important LGBTQ history we've been witnessing in this election season? We have witnessed something truly incredible. An openly gay, christian, man and war vet from South Bend, Indiana has spent basically the last year running for President of the United States with his husband Chasten proudly by his side. Let that sink in. I feel like we've quickly taken that for granted and moved on to other things.
While David and I have known Pete for a decade, most in our nation had never heard of this guy with the funny last name. Pete and Chasten stood on stages across America standing unashamed and unwilling to hide who they are.I don't know about you, but it wasn't that long ago that I could have never imagined this would be possible in my lifetime.
With this historic run for president, Pete's real legacy is the LGBTQ impact he is leaving on the very fabric of our nation:
Pete confronted the idea that christian and gay can't be the same person.
Pete showed the world that a gay relationship is to be celebrated and embraced, literally, just like any other relationship.
Pete showed the world that there are many ways to "be gay" and there is no such thing as being too gay or not gay enough.
Pete brought hope and empowerment to young people everywhere who may have never believed they could be themselves in public, let alone run for public office.
It was just a few decades ago when US government employees were being stalked and fired for even the suspicion of being gay. If you aren't familiar with this shameful blot on our US history I encourage you to watch The Lavender Scare or read the book.
Pete and Chasten broke through the lavender ceiling. Our nation is forever impacted because of this moment in history. This is cause to celebrate. I challenge each of us to take a moment and recognize that we have been a part of something amazing. Regardless of who your favorite candidate is, we owe it to ourselves to stop and breathe in this moment to recognize that there is a new wind of hope blowing in the lives of young people all over this nation who will be our next generation of LGBTQ leaders and the leaders of our nation.
Thank you Mayor Pete and Chasten.
Joel Barrett, Joel Speaks Out