The Two Men who Saved My Life.
I've vlogged about this moment before but nobody seemed to believe me. The Biden campaign sent me this photograph of my encounter with Joe Biden in Durham NC in 2019. I blogged about how I thanked Joe Biden for his work on the Affordable Care Act, because it saved my life and allowed me to have gender affirming surgery 51 years after first identifying as transgender in 1969.
For many of us in those days you could get arrested for wearing woman's' clothes or makeup in public. Most families in the South slapped the shite out of you or worse if you told your parents you where a girl. I remember telling my mom at 4 years old and her going ballistic. In my case I was bullied into being a boy. My older brothers called me F*ggot or F*g, for acting feminine or talking like a girl growing up. So I was basically scared into living as the gender assigned at birth, not the one my brain identified with.
The main reason surgery wasn't covered was because it was considered a pre - existing condition. Gender affirming surgery was 20k to 30k and doctors wanted money up front. With my station in life, that seemed impossible. With additional protections for trans patients, the Affordable Care Act saved my life. With the ACA and inheritance from my father (which my older siblings tried to keep me from receiving) I was able to pay 20% while ACA picked up 80%.
I wanted to thank the former Vice President. I did so in tears, because it saved my life and the emotion of that moment will stay with me forever. I'm a congruent female now and I feel like a new person. I'm free because I made it to the other side. The side of internal peace and unity. Joe Biden and my father gave me peace of mind.
When Joe Biden saw me, he could have just shook my hand and said "you’re welcome kid," then moved on; however, like any father would their child, he reached out to comfort me. It was like my own father (who passed away in 2015) hugging me and letting me know everything was going to be alright.
My dad didn't understand me being trans, but he loved me no matter what and never abandoned me. We did have fights about it later in his life, but we always worked them out.
The last time I saw him before he died, he gave me a big ole' hug and said "I love you sweetheart." He never said that before. We agreed that he would call me his child not son; however, the last time I saw him he called me "sweetheart." It was like he knew his time on this earth wasn't long and he wanted to let me know that in that moment he understood my struggles growing up. He understood what being trans was all about. It was his way of accepting me as his baby girl, not his son. My dad was the greatest man to walk this earth and I'd like to think that he and my mom are proud of me; looking down on me from heaven.
I think that's what makes Joe Biden such a great human being and it's what will make him a great President. He's empathetic, compassionate, tough yet kind. He doesn't judge people and he will bring all communities of Americans' together. No other candidate comes close. Go get em' Joe!
Since writing this blog Joe Biden has become our Democratic Nominee and I'm so pleased.
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Mom, Actress, Activist, Amateur Painter / Artist
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