I am honored and excited to be attending the Democratic National Convention. I am humbled to have been elected by voters in the 15th Congressional District to serve them as an Alternate Delegate for President Obama at the Democratic National Convention, and I am conscious of my presence as one of fourteen LGBT delegates from the Pennsylvania delegation.
In readying to leave for Charlotte I am filled with a series of anticipations.
1. It is not lost on me, or any of the other LGBT delegates, that we will be watching history in the making as we vote on the first-ever major party platform inclusive of marriage equality and nominate the first major party Presidential and Vice Presidential ticket that embraces marriage equality. I anticipate high emotions as my fellow Democrats finally say "I Do" to marriage equality.
2. This is the most inclusive and accessible convention in history. The DNCC delegates include a record number of Transgender delegates (11) including one super delegate, my friend Babs Siperstien of New Jersey. I am proud to be attending this convention, not only in a year of landmark policy change, but in a year where the diversity of the Democratic Party is better represented than ever before.
3. I am proud to be a part of the Pennsylvania Delegation - representing a state whose Democratic Party is fully supportive of marriage equality. At their June State Committee meeting, the State Party voted to support marriage equality -- and encouraged all PA delegates to support marriage equality this week at the Democratic National Convention.
4. I am looking forward to attending my share of receptions and events during the convention. I am particularly excited for events sponsored by the National Stonewall Democrats, EMILY's List, the National Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice, the Human Rights Campaign, and the DNC's LGBT Caucus.
5. Most of all, I am excited to be in the room when we nominate Barack Obama and Joe Biden as the Democratic Nominees for a second term in the White House. During their first term, they repealed "Don't Ask Don't Tell", guaranteed hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples, signed an LGBT-inclusive Hate Crimes Law, ended LGBT discrimination in HUD housing, ended the HIV Travel Ban, and of course, enacted the Affordable Care Act which ended pre-existing condition discrimination against transgender people and people living with HIV/AIDS in healthcare. A second term will bring so many more victories for equal rights for the LGBT community, and there is only one major-party candidate for President who supports LGBT equality and that is President Barack Obama.
I will be blogging throughout the convention, and will try to post once a day. Stay tuned!