by Chey Scott
"Mom became a U.S. Citizen this morning. That's Dad in the back, walking beside her. They've been married for 30 years. He became a Citizen in March. They were both afraid of what a Trump administration might do. Today, Obama via video welcomed 2,301 individuals immediately after they made an oath to this country. Mom was 11 when she came from Mexico, Dad was 16. They are now 51 and 60, respectively. My father picked almonds and grapes, then he Dj'd at parties playing Michael Jackson. Everyone always went crazy for Michael, he says. Mom sold clothes. Dad, tried buying jeans and he didn't even know how to ask for the right size. He hadn't learned how to say 28 yet. They now own homes across California; my Dad is a real estate broker. He has his own office. He drives clients around Los Angeles in his new Prius. Each and every single time he sells a house he takes a photo of the people and their new home, and he celebrates them, often buying them a bottle of something to enjoy. My dad helps people find their dream homes."Words of encouragement from a 70-year-old white man in Texas:
— Victor Elan Vazquez
"I am a white 70 year old veteran gun owner living in Texas. I drive a red GMC pickup and my favorite music is Texas-Country & Western. I was born in the Little Dixie part of Oklahoma where my family made moonshine and where I learned to cuss so much I make sailors blush. And I am a Roman Catholic. And I have never voted for a Republican and don't see how I ever could. The best boss I ever had was a woman and I think women should be paid the same as men and sometimes more. I think that what a woman does with her body is no business for old white men like me to decide. I think if two folks love and cherish one another no matter the race or sex then let them get married and leave them alone. I don't hate people because of their religion but I intensely dislike and am suspicious of fundamentalist Christians. So there. I just wanted the folks in this group to there are men like me out there even if we are few and in between."The following is excerpted from a story shared by a member of the LGBT community:
— Ron Duckworth
"I come from a small farming community in rural southern Illinois. Culture is a throat swab at the small-town clinic.
The head dragon of the KKK lived out on highway 185 by my grandparent's house - and every year there would be a rally complete with hoods and a burning cross.
My Southern Baptist church, where I had been born and raised, asked me to leave and not come back until I wasn't gay.
I was fearful and disgusted. I felt... misplaced.
When I graduated from high school 26 years ago, I moved away and vowed to never come back. I wanted to change the world, and I thought I had to be in a big city to do that. So I moved to St. Louis where I knew I would be met with an LGBT community.
I met my wife in 2007, and in 2010 we traveled to Iowa to get legally married, as it was one of only 5 states that allowed same sex marriage. Shortly thereafter, my grandfather passed away and his house became available. So… we moved back to Vandalia, IL.
I have no regrets. Because although there are a ridiculous number of Trump signs in yards all over this town, I have learned that in changing the world, that’s where you must go to CHANGE it. Sometimes you have to go into the dark places and shine.That is what we strive to do."
— Summer Osbourne