As a national event, the eclipse seemed to bring our nation together.
I drove down to Kingstree, SC to partake in the viewing along with millions of others flocking, making the same journey as me, into the zone of totality. It was amazing.
Even though I lived in Mississippi for five years (stationed by the United States Air Force) I was not yet out as transgender and didn’t fully understand the implications of my gender identity & expression and how I might clash with the ideals of southern non-hospitality. This time, this visit, it seemed to be different. I don’t know if it is due to a hostile political climate fostered by DT, local skirmishes between “white supremacists” vs. antifa, the debate over the legitimacy of the confederacy, or maybe that I just fundamentally see things differently now that I am no longer living in secret but this nation feels smaller and more divided then I can ever remember.
I have finally come out as transgender and I feel like I have been reborn. I’m not looking to force my lifestyle choices in your face and it’s totally fine if you don’t support me. All I’m asking is for you to try and understand both sides of this story.
I’m not a left wing liberal or a right leaning conservative. I’m not a registered democrat or republican. I am not a social activist. I’m just here, stuck in this life, and trying to make the most out of every day. I want to bring people together and in order to do so it requires me to understand the views of those who don’t see the world the same as I do.
I am proud of this country. I am proud to be an American. I am proud to have served under the flag and all it represents. This eclipse, a rare and fleeting meteorological event, brought our country together in the midst of unsettling political & social discourse and, in the totality, it was beautiful beyond words; it only lasted 2 minutes. Is it reasonable to even ask if we can we strive for longer?