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Letters to President-elect Obama: Donna Rose

Letters to President-elect Obama: Donna Rose

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Open letters from 26 gay men and lesbians.

Dear Mr. President:

I want to start by congratulating you on this historic achievement. You have waited a lifetime for this moment in time, but our country has waited generations. I'm still pinching myself to make sure it's real.

This historic election has meant so many things to so many people. More than simply a contest of ideology or political doctrine, it has tested deeply held ideals and has transformed the very fabric of our country. It has been a contest pitting Hope against Fear, Change against Status Quo, and Future against Past. After all that has happened in recent years it has renewed my confidence in the American People and in the political process in general. More than once, it has moved me to tears.

I believe to my core in your twin campaign mantras of Hope and Change. I have pledged to do what I can to help you make your vision of a country where all are valued, where each of us has opportunity, and where a renewed vision of America that is committed to integrity and credibility become reality. You cannot do that by yourself, and I have dedicated myself to be one of the many faces that represent the diverse depth and breadth of Americans it will take to achieve it.

I'm confident that it's no secret to you that the hard part starts now. It's the time when words need to become actions, promises need to become realities, and the ideal of a better America for all confronts the harsh practicalities of our day-to-day lives. It's a time when healing needs to begin and a unified vision of a better America in which all can contribute takes center stage.

As a transsexual woman and a single parent, I too know what it's like to overcome hardship. I know what it's like to confront hate and prejudice and ignorance, just as so many of my brothers and sisters do each and every day in schools, workplaces, homes, and streets all across this great country. Our American dream is often simply to live our lives free from harassment and violence, to get and keep jobs, and to find peace and happiness as contributing members of our society. Hope, like courage, is contagious, and your hope has become Hope for me and for others like me. I have never been more confident that the world I will leave to my son and to generations of us that follow will be a better one than when I got here.

In the days and months ahead, please never forget your humble beginnings or simpler times, because those things will keep things in perspective. Please remember your promises and call on us to help you to keep them. Please ensure that those whose voices may not always be heard have champions and that higher ideals like dignity and integrity remain cornerstones of your presidency. And please know that we believe in you and are ready to follow.

Together: Yes. We Can.

Donna RoseTransgender activist

More Letters to the President-elect:Tammy Baldwin, Democratic member of Congress from Wisconsin

Daniel Tammet, author of Born on a Blue Day

Evan Wolfson, Executive director of Freedom to Marry and author of Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry

Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign

Melissa Etheridge, singer-songwriter

Michelangelo Signorile, radio host and author of Queer in America

Tammy Bruce, radio talk-show host and author of The New American Revolution

Kenji Yoshino, professor at New York University School of Law and the author of Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights

Vestal McIntyre, author of You Are Not the One and the forthcoming Lake Overturn

Jarrett Lucas, codirector of the 2008 Soulface Q Equality Ride

Michael Lowenthal, author of Charity Girl and Avoidance

Suzanne Westenhoefer, comedian and star of the documentary A Bottom on Top

Jim Buzinski, CEO and cofounder of Outsports.com

Perez Hilton, blogger, radio host, and television personality

Carole Midgen, former California state senator

Pam Spaulding, Durham, N.C.-based blogger

Paris Barclay, Executive Producer/Director HBO's In Treatment

Lorri L. Jean, CEO, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center

Jeffrey Prang, Mayor of West Hollywood

Jorge Valencia, Executive director and CEO of Point Foundation

Mark Leno, California assemblyman

The Reverend Doctor Troy D. Perry, founder and moderator emeritus, Metropolitan Community Churches\

Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality

Donna Rose, transgender activist

Peter Tatchell, LGBT human rights campaigner and spokesman for OutRage!

Rachel B. Tiven, Executive Director, Immigration Equality

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