We are not one thing.
When I was in college, I studied Political Science, Philosophy, and Law. And Theatre.
Sounds crazy, I know, but, I loved the arts, and I loved helping people and so a dual major it was.
I can't even remember what semester it was, but there was a semester where I was in a show where I had two sisters. Our father was another character. It was called Three The Hard Way, by Linda Eisenstein.
So there we were, one sister an Italian American, one sister a Puerto Rican American, and a Guyanese American.
Our dad was a Black American.
And we were a family.
Bear with me for a moment, those of you who might be rolling your eyes.
I know were playing roles, it was a show, yes, but we became so much more than that.
For it's almost ten years later, and I would drop anything for these people, should they need it. Throughout that rehearsal process we became sisters. We shed the preconceived notions of our upbringings, and we just loved on one another.
Another friend from this season of my life met her husband while at college. He was from Turkey. He is Muslim. They married, she converted, they have two kids and on the way. She's one of the smartest humans I know. We talk about religion for hours. She continues to use theatre to educate and spread more love.
We are more than one thing.
I am a theatre director and producer and playwright. Many of the artists who've shaped me in my career have been part of the LGBTQ community. They lift me up. They make my world brighter. They make me better at my job.
Through collaboration they become family.
I am the granddaughter of immigrants. My mother's first language was not English. My paternal grandfather is a WWII vet. My maternal grandfather was a rebel soldier fighting the Nazis in WWII. My maternal grandmother has an INSANE STORY about how a Nazi soldier almost shot her on her family farm in the hills of Tuscany.
I am the granddaughter of immigrants. Of a World War II Veteran. Of immigrants who came here searching for a better life. It's a badge I wear with pride.
I am the daughter of two public school teachers. My parents have devoted their life to public service. They are the educators you see in movies. They are the ones who hold up their students to a level of greatness that one can only dream about. They are the adults that inspire hope in future generations.
I am the godmother of the most beautiful little black girl. She's 10. She's an unbelievable snowboarder. She only wants to wear her brother's clothes. She's young. And impressionable. And just wants to love.
My soul sister is a black woman. She is a teacher. A mother. A wife. A daughter. A sister. A friend. She is one of the most unbelievably kind and giving human beings I know. Her husband is a white man. He too is a magnificent human. They make my life better. They have two children who I would walk through fire for.
My other best friend has seen me in my lowest times. We've been there to lift each other up. We've been friends for over twenty years. I know we'll lift each other up for twenty more.
The love of my life is a white man who's half Jewish and Lutheran. He's the greatest human I know. He comes from one of the most beautiful families I know. And they're a colorful quilt of Puerto Ricans and Cubans and Peruvians and Italians and Irishmen.
We are more than one thing.
Some of these people who've shaped me into the woman I am today voted for Clinton. Some of them voted for Trump.
I'll be honest, I'm having a hard time knowing people I love voted for Trump. It cuts me to my core.
Last month I went to Washington D.C. for the first time as an adult. And in between pretending like I was in an episode of The West Wing, I felt hope. I felt pride. I was practically glowing. Today I am bone sad, yes. For Trump was not my choice.
And I'm sad as a woman.
Sad for my friends and loved ones in the LGBTQ community, in the black community, in the Hispanic community, and Muslim community. My heart hurts for them, with them, alongside them.
But that sadness doesn't negate my love of country. For it's the beauty of the USA that we're even able to have this discussion.
I am sad today, and I'll own that. I don't know if I'll ever understand the motivation to vote for him, and I'll own that too.
But I am choosing to move forward. To combat hate. To educate. To leave this world better than I found it. If it's one thing I've learned today, it's that people are sad to their inner core. People are afraid. And I hope anyone who voted for Trump can find compassion in their hearts for those of us who are hurting. For we need to listen to one another. We need to hear one another. Tiny conversations make all the difference. Little moments of love are the first step in healing this divide.