We are all Americans. Idahoans. But so often, we’re forced to accept other labels. We claim labels shouldn’t define us, but they do – and they influence how others view and interact with us as well.
When I think about what defines me, I can say that I am a:
- Out gay man
- Community leader
- Candidate for U.S. Senate
When I decided to run for office, a spotlight was put my life. I had to look at organizations that I have worked with, who have been happy with my contributions of time, talent, and resources that were always willing to overlook one of my identities if I did not make a big deal about it. When I decided to enter this race, I had to look long and hard and make some decisions about the sacrifice that I will be making. On top of that, we have to confront the reality that, in our country, some groups that claim certain identities or that are placed into specific label categories are at risk of losing their rights.
Today, I worry that the fall of certain legal precedents could tear my family apart. My ability to provide for my family could be in jeopardy. I’m not the only who has these worries. We’re facing a roll-back of rights and it’s all about what labels we have and who extremists and their allies in leadership positions are targeting and scapegoating.
No one should have to face these decisions.
We should be focused on solving REAL problems for REAL people.