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The Hermodson Family

Because of…

A junior high friend, I learned the true meaning of trust and the important things that can happen when people trust you enough to tell you their deepest secrets;

A pastor, my sister heard and pursued her own calling to become a pastor;

Several high school and college friends, I had positive people who stayed out of trouble (for the most part =)) to hang out with, explore our interests in the arts, and support each other through the “awkward” years;

A cousin, I learned to love a baby so much that I’d do anything for her, and I kept her and her sister in mind when I made my own decision to have a child because I had had such a wonderful experience taking care of them when they were little;

A graduate school (M.A.) roommate, I didn’t have to live alone and I had someone I could talk to after a long day at school;

A couple of graduate school (Ph. D.) friends, I had research partners who explored the issue of discrimination in the state of Colorado in the early 90’s and the lengths people will go to discriminate against a group of people;

A colleague-turned-best friend, I’ve had a listening and supportive ear for things I tell almost no one, and I had someone to come mourn with me in my hospital room when my daughter died and celebrate with me when my son was born;

Several colleagues in my local colleges, I’ve shared good times, had people to talk to about our careers and university politics, had people to go to activities with, organized important events to educate people in our area, mourned the loss of our fellow colleagues and family members (including my own), and had hosts for Erik’s baby shower when he was born;

The literally hundreds of college students I’ve taught over my 20 year career, I have had more interesting and engaging class experiences, learned so much about the richness of life, and have watched our community get great volunteers, families get vital child care support, schools be filled with award winning teachers, our P.R. and advertising firms get real talent, our non- and for-profit organizations hire smart and caring people, and universities get the next generation of enthusiastic and helpful staff and faculty to keep our mission going;

A soldier who died in combat, I’ve witnessed my neighbor really find and develop her writing voice and take up a cause that has inspired me to do the same.

Because of all these people, my life and the lives of countless others have been made complete.  Read through that list again.  Really take in the significant contributions of the people I have mentioned.  They are friends and family.  They are there in the good times and are tremendous support in the bad times.  They teach, share, entertain, influence, care, collaborate, give, trust, encourage, listen and love.

And every last person on that list above also happens to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual.  Because of these people my life is not only complete, but has been made infinitely better.  And it is because of these people that I am voting NO in NOvember in Minnesota, because I do not want to limit the ability of my friends and family members to have the same rights I am afforded simply because I am straight.  It’s the least I can do for the people who have given so much to me over the course of my life.

Please consider doing the same for all the people who have undoubtedly done the same for your life.  Thank you very much for taking the time to listen.

Amy Hermodson

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