OPINION: No election worth denying one’s identity

Diana Graettinger

At a meeting of the Recreation Centers of Sun City candidates forum an individual, instead of demonstrating the honesty of his or her beliefs by addressing their concerns at the candidate’s forum, snuck around the parking lot at night at Marinette Recreation Center and placed offensive flyers on some people’s car windows.

I do not believe that one coward represents the people of Sun City.

Many of us have survived five, six, seven and eight decades and more of life. We all have lived through the civil rights movement and the desegregations of our schools, through the feminist movement and the right of women to stand equal with men, through the Vietnam War, a war that left some of our men broken and bitter and through the gay rights movement, the right of an individual to love whom they choose. Each time we have stood stronger as a nation because we have embraced our diversity and made it part of our life.

We have seen civil disobedience in this country, some peaceful some not, but never have we seen the violence and anger that now permeates our country. Some people don’t settle their differences by going to the ballot box or attending town meetings or candidate’s forums, but by going to churches, schools and synagogues and shooting people that are different from them.

But that is not Sun City. We are a community that is made up of the sum of its parts. We are a hometown community, a microcosm of diversity. African-Americans, Asians, Native Americans, gay, Hispanics, Muslims and other — ladies and gentlemen this is who we are in Sun City.

I am proud of who I am. Yes, I am a gay woman, but I am also a woman of character, of integrity of moral and ethical fortitude. I attend church because the God I worship loves me. Several people have asked me since this incident why I did not leave off of my campaign literature my LGBT affiliation. That would mean I deny who I am, that would mean I am minimizing my whole life, that would scream that I am ashamed of who I am. Well I am not! No campaign, no seat on any board is worth not standing tall and saying I am proud of who I am. I am proud of the woman I have become and I am proud that I have, through my life’s evolution from child to adult, have honored the women who came before me and helped mold my character.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am asking voters to judge me not by the person I may love, but by the leadership qualities that I bring to this campaign. Don’t judge me through a lens of hate, but through a viewfinder of acceptance.

Diana Graettinger

Sun City

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