Midway through election night, I had the distinct honor of joining a great group of people; new friends and Obama supporters. Keith Burtis, an artist on my Twitter, invited those on his list to a live blog, chatting event at the Yes but No but Yes web blog. Since I was spending a quiet evening with my family, between the computer (checking election results) and CNN, I thought it’d be a great way to meet new people.

The group of people at the live blog event were amazing folks. I’m truly glad I had the chance to meet them. We celebrated Obama’s victory, listened to McCain speak, and heard Obama’s message of hope and change, together. I had never thought I could feel so speechless concerning a presidential victory, but the election of Obama was surreal. I was not initially for Obama (Clinton supporter here), but I came to respect him and feel like I’ve been a part of something big. I’ve been a part of a historic event that my children’s children can only imagine as they read about this momentous victory in the history books.

This is what I shared with this group, and afterward, I was posed with a question by Keith. It was more of a challenge, and I’m taking it head on.

Keith asked some of us who were at the live blogging event to, ‘write on why we should look at life as one, rather than life as fragments scattered across the universe.

That’s what Obama spoke of when he mentioned people of all colors, all abilities, differing sexual orientations and his speech truly was all inclusive. As a transgender man in a wheelchair, I’ve never felt so included in a political speech. I’ve never felt like a politician was truly talking to me, truly reaching out to me to ask for my assistance in building a new and better world.

So, to Keith and everyone out there, I would like to say that unity is the key to true equality and freedom. Unity is the key to building a better world. In our lives, we have so many labels. They label us by gender and biological sex. They label us by color. They label us by who we fall in love with, our religion, our political affiliation, our economic status, our ethnicity, our age, our experience, and everything else you can think of. We all have to fit in “neat little classification boxes” that describe who we are and what our assumed purpose is in life.

Well I’m here to tell you, my boxes may describe me, but they don’t define me. You can say, I’m a man with Spinal Muscular Atrophy in a wheelchair, but that chair doesn’t make me who I am. I’m white, but my skin color doesn’t dictate how I act. I’m transgender, but that doesn’t determine who I talk to or incorporate with on a daily basis. All of these things may make me different on the outside, but inside, my heart beats, my lungs breathe, my blood flows, just like all of you.

Now is the time to remove ourselves from our collective boxes. Now is the time to stand up and label ourselves in only one way…American. We are all Americans. We are all hoping for some change and we have to be the ones to look past those blurring lines, created by those boxes to build a better nation. Let us join hands together in this endeavor…black and white, poor and rich, Christian, Jewish, Polytheist, Muslim, Atheist or otherwise, gay or straight, man, woman, or transgender, from any ethnic background and with any ability or lack thereof.

We have the opportunity to join our President Elect in making a better world. Everyone deserves equal treatment. Everyone deserves a fair shake. By oppressing groups, we’re distracting ourselves from upward progress as a nation. We need to look past it all to the real problems and the real issues.

I don’t know about you but I think we should focus on getting our troops out of the war in Iraq as opposed to worrying about a man loving and wishing to marry another man. We need to worry about sending our children to better schools as opposed to worrying about upholding income limits in order to keep Healthcare for those in wheelchairs. We need to worry about getting the economy in a stable, easier to live in state, as opposed to worrying about taking foster children away from GLBT parents who love them. We need to make sure children and those in need are insured medically, as opposed to caring if a man has taken the steps to become a woman legally.

Our priorities need to be in the right place. We need to be as one. Otherwise, we could lose our country and our very livelihood. People living in their own little universe only care about what happens to them and not to anyone else. Their beliefs trump the lives of others and they don’t care who they hurt or how. This has got to end. Otherwise, we will never restore the United States back to the prestige and glory it deserves as one of the best nations in the world.

Change is on the horizon and only we can see it through…together…as one.

[tags]unity, Barack Obama, together, change, belief, true issues, politics, president elect, election, Yes but No but Yes, challenge[/tags]

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