Back in January 2015, I was agog over President Obama’s visit to Boise. I waited in line for what seemed like eternity. By the time he jumped onto the podium, I was wedged into a crowd of footsore fans, held in place like a crayon in a brand new box.
I also reported to you some of what the Prez said, and shared with you the intense thrill I felt at standing a stone’s throw from Barack Obama. But that was not enough. I felt compelled to share with The Man, just how important his visit was to me, just how much I respect him.
This was not my first letter to a politician, not even my first letter to a President. I know the drill. The letters (pounds a day of them) get dumped in a mail room in the bowels of the administration where a room full of minions sorts through them, passes a few on to the addressee, but answers most of them with carefully crafted and highly neutral form letters.
Yesterday a special delivery appeared at my door. It came from Washington DC. My form letter. Only it was not a form letter. It is obvious that whoever composed this letter had read my letter. Even if that was a minion, at least it was a minion who could read, which is not true of all of them. The seal and the signature are the real deal.
Below are part of the last two paragraphs of my letter to President Obama. Following that is his reply.
. . .You and Michelle have given America a strong vision of what we can all aspire to be. My god, you actually put your lips around the word transgender—in Idaho, of all places! We are not a bunch of red and blue. We are the sum of all of our parts.
Three days after your appearance, I am still walking on air at having absorbed the same oxygen as you did for 30 minutes on January 21, 2015, in Boise, Idaho. You have changed the landscape of American politics in a way that feels magical to me. My long wait in two-day’s worth of queues was worth every mind-numbing second. Thank you for coming. Thank you for being brave. Thank you for being my President.