Over a decade ago I flew to visit my family and tell them some life changing information about me that would also affect them.
When I got into the passenger’s seat of my Grandma Bensen’s smart car I told her I needed to tell her something that might make her not love me anymore. I told her I am changing my gender. Her reply was ‘Okay, what should I call you?’ I said ‘Drew’, she then said ‘Okay are we still going to breakfast?’ She was 82 at the time. She grew up in South Dakota, took a horse to school in the snow. She made room for me that day to be human with love and dignity.
A few years later I had moved to California, bought an RV and I took her on a 4 week trip to Texas. In the cab of my truck she expressed her views on life about changing, adapting and having a positive attitude. ‘Nobody likes a grumpy old lady’ she would say. We shared some of the same concepts and philosophies on how to live our lives.
We lost my Grandma this year on Mother’s day. She was 94 years old.
What I learned from her and the experiences we shared will not only bring me joy they also help mold me into a better person.
She taught me anyone can change, any person no matter their age, politics or past they can choose to do better. It’s not always easy to change our mind or shift our position but I argue it’s more painful to not grow, learn and adapt. You miss out on life and beautiful experiences. I am grateful for both of our courage to meet each other where we were and who we were, to just love each other.
My grandmother was faced with a moment in that tiny car- disown me or adapt love and accept me. You see, me being Transgender has nothing to do with her or anyone else. It has to do with me. My Grandma was able to look past herself and respect my humanity and because of that she and I had the most rewarding loving relationship and experiences. I am so grateful for her. She helped me be more courageous to speak up and tell my story, help people when I can and to continue to learn and grow.
I am voting for Biden / Harris because I feel they have the same moral compass. They are not perfect but they will continue to learn and grow. I also believe they will stand up for all Americans when it comes to their right to live, right to work and be free. What I am asking for is protection as an American to live freely. I support this because I believe this vote this election is about growth, change and humanity. I am voting for Joe Biden in the name of humanity, democracy and freedom.