By Marisa Richmond
Like millions of Americans, I placed my cell phone on my nightstand beside me when I went to bed last night, instead of leaving it in its customary spot in the kitchen. I did so in the event that “the call” would come in the middle of the night. Well, lo and behold, it did happen at 2:43 a.m., but instead of asking me if I was willing to be his running mate, Senator Obama was simply informing me that he had selected Joe Biden of Delaware instead. While I feel that I am more than qualified to have a limo, mansion, attend funerals (I have been to two the last month alone), and even cast the occasional vote in the Senate, he decided to go with someone else.
Personally, I have always thought Joe Biden was an excellent Senator. I have been especially impressed with his strong record on civil rights, as well as his knowledge on foreign affairs.
This year, I am also concerned with every candidate’s stands on LGBT issues, and again, Joe Biden passes the test. His support of the fully inclusive Hate Crimes bill, along with his historical support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), makes him acceptable. Furthermore, he has long opposed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and he has consistently voted against the Marriage Discrimination Amendment.
Another thing that has struck me about Joe Biden over the years is his commitment to his family and community. While he could easily have found an apartment in the D.C. area, he chose to commute by train (not S.U.V….) from Wilmington every single day so that he could be back with his family. That shows real character on his part. After watching his speech this afternoon in Springfield, I feel confident that he will be both an excellent candidate and an excellent Vice President, and one who is more than able to step into the job should such an unfortunate circumstance occur.
I did get out briefly today to run a few final errands before heading out west tomorrow. This Wednesday would have been my parents’ 56th wedding anniversary. Since I will be in Denver that day, I stopped by the cemetery where their ashes are located. I could not help but think of how excited they both would be if they were alive for this historic moment. When I worked at the 1980 Convention, they were almost as excited as I was, so I know they would be even more so given the special nature of this year’s nominee.
After spending a few minutes with my parents, I made one more stop in the cemetery to say some words to an old friend, Christian Paige. She was brutally murdered in Chicago in March 1996. She was strangled, stabbed 35 times, and then burned by the perpetrator in an attempt to cover his heinous crime. Christian is one of the many people we remember each November at our Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremonies around the world. When she was taken from us so suddenly, I vowed then that I would do whatever I could, for as long as I could, to educate the world so that these sort of hate crimes would finally end. We did get Hate Crimes into the Platform, but making sure people, including elected officials, understand the significance of that plank, and the need for a fully inclusive ENDA, which would show that all people, including transgender ones, have value in society, is part of that pledge I first made to Christian 12 years ago which I reiterated today.
This is my last post from Nashville before I fly to Denver in the morning. From this point, my posts will occur daily from the Democratic National Convention.
When I get in tomorrow, I will meet two old friends (Tim and Debbie) whom I have not seen in at least eight years. They will pick me up at the Tennessee hotel and take me to their girls’ soccer game, before they drop me off at the Colorado Convention Center for our first event, the Friends of New Orleans Party. Last night, Wolf Blitzer said CNN will have coverage of the party, so you just might see me in the background. I will be the one with a cocktail in my hand…
And since I cannot promise that I will always be in a coherent condition when I am able to get on a computer, I cannot promise that future posts won’t have one or two grammatical errors.
Look for me in the Mile High City on CNN, C-SPAN, or whatever network you choose.
I’m off to Denver!!!