You were there for us when we needed you most. About three years ago we took our first tentative steps into a community we knew very little about, unsure, more than a little scared. And there you were, waiting for us with open arms and open hearts. We are still in awe of your strength, and your fearless ability to live your lives out loud, never backing down and never compromising. We admire your loving relationships, and you validate ours. You made us feel welcome, like we had a place to belong. You helped us map our future and reassured us that we could indeed move forward together as Carli and Tracy.
We celebrated our first Pride event in June 2016, marching side by side with the first transgender unit in the history of the Indy Pride parade. We choked back tears of joy as we walked, holding hands, hearing nothing but love, support, acceptance, and encouragement all around us. It was a life-changing event for us. The next day we woke up to the news of the Pulse shooting. There was no holding back the tears. The grief was overwhelming. 49 people, simply living their lives out loud, gone out of pure hate. So far in 2017 there have been 27 transgender people murdered in this country. It could be anyone of you, our dear friends. Or our son and his partner. Or us. Yes, we woke up that day and we continue to be “woke” as the cool kids might say.
You, friends, continue to keep us woke about LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, the relentless tragedies that continue to besiege people of color. You care about everyone who struggles to be seen, everyone whose rights are still not a foregone conclusion. Your compassion knows no bounds, and you strive to make the world a better place for everyone. You are quite simply remarkable. Thank you for being there for us, for all of us.
In love, gratitude, and appreciation…………Carli and Tracy