The White House
Welcome to the White House, was said at every corner by a person in military uniform. Sure, we can't serve openly but they can be nice as we walk along the corridor.
I walked in with my friend David. I was glad to have someone to share the moment with, and someone who was also like a kid in the candy store. Oooooh. Look!
On the first floor, was a portrait of Hillary Clinton.
Walking in, I had the chance to say hello to Judy, Dennis and Logan Shepard. I shook Judy's hand and said, I'm a mom, too.
I got teary, she got teary, and she gave me a big hug and said, that's why we are both here. Dennis went on to say, This has been all Judy. Her work. I am so proud. Anyone who has mistaken his silence as some kind of lack of interest, is completely wrong.
Going up the stairs to the reception area, my heart was pounding. No fawning, I kept saying to myself. No fawning. We need so much more from this administration. I had prepped a single ten second line, in case I was able to shake the President's hand.
Thank you, Mr. President. I hope this means someday my marriage will be equal to yours.
I didn't get the chance, and I doubt I would have done anything but grin like an idiot.
We went into the East room, where the President would address us. There were about 100 people there. My people. Just looking around the room made me so proud. We have accomplished something, I thought. We are here.
The President took the stage with the Shepard's and the Byrd family. He spoke the kind of eloquent words we expect of him. At the end, the two families hugged each other, and that really choked me up.
We are all in this together.
It was the first time in history that LGBT people have been addressed POSITIVELY by legislation. That a President signed a bill for us. After the President left the room, I stood for a moment, just stunned by the enormity of it all.
Then, David and I had to go see what we could see. The blue room, the green room... we wandered through, taking pictures, and grabbing a glass of champagne. I said, let's go meet some people.
We talked with Barney Frank- surprise, he lives only a couple blocks from my house. I didn't want to get yelled at so I didn't ask about ENDA. Instead, I went on the Rahm Emmanuel, who was standing by himself. I shook his hand and said, So when are you going to stop with this one man one woman stuff?
What do you mean? he said.
I raised my eyebrows and said, You know what I mean, and it makes your candidate look like he's stuck in the 1990's. It' 2009. C'mon.
Let's get healthcare first, he said.
I said, I don't know if I can wait that long.
And off he scurried.
Now, I was on a roll. We went and talked to Tammy Baldwin. Representative Baldwin is an approachable, wonderful woman. She said, Oh, you all in Massachusetts make us look bad!
And then we talked about ENDA. I knew she wouldn't yell. Hopes are high, but it's not quite time yet.
To my left was Cyndi Lauper. She was chatting away, and I introduced myself. I fawned. Hey, she's not in charge of any legislation. I must say, she is an incredibly gracious woman. Later, as we were being herded out of the White House- party over- a small gathering in front of the restrooms was happening. See, the ladies room in the White House has a small foyer with portraits of the first ladies. Jackie, Eleanor, Lady Bird... it was stunning. So I grabbed Cyndi and said, you gotta see this.
I said to her, I wonder what the men's room is like? C'mon, let's go...
And off we went across the hall. Not nearly as nice. A lot of books on the walls. Very manly. Whatever. So I told all the guys to come to the ladies room, it was much nicer.
I wonder how many groups of people that go through the White House have turned the bathrooms into unisex the way we did. Yes, it's always about the bathroom with me. As a kid, my mother swore that I asked to stop at every restroom in the world just to see it. That someday, I'd write a book about it.
The White House was amazing. I was humbled, honored and yes, fawned.
Now, it's back to work. We must win Maine. We must win a transgender rights bill in MA. We need an inclusive ENDA, the end to DADT.
I believe, though, that we are honestly on our way.