Fair Wisconsin: How I Got Here

Lately I've been watching a lot of the HBO series Six Feet Under. It's a quirky show about a family who own and live in a funeral home in Los Angeles. Despite its morbid title, most of the series focuses on the day-to-day lives of the characters outside of their funeral home.

I can't help but identify with one of the characters in particular. Nate, the eldest son, is a 30- something outdoorsy type who left home at a young age and returned upon the recent death of his father. Nate never thought he would return home to become a funeral director like his father had been. Nor had he imagined that his life would be so shaped by a career that he never saw himself doing.

Like Nate, I'm finding myself in the midst of a job that I never dreamed I would have. I've always been more of a geeky type-- into science and computers. Social activism wasn't something that I did while growing up or in college. My draw to this campaign came out of the personal connection I have to the issue. As a gay man, I simply could not sit idly by and watch as my fellow citizens wrote me out of our state's constitution.

As it happened, I was planning to take some time off from school anyway, so dedicating myself to this campaign was not only something that I really wanted to do, it was also perfect timing. Much as I love the work that I'm doing with Fair Wisconsin, I do not foresee myself jumping into another political campaign when this one is over. More likely I will return to the path I had originally planned for myself: grad school, post doc, teaching.

The experiences that I've had, and will continue to have as part of this campaign, will shape who I am for the rest of my life. I feel fortunate to play even a small part in the struggle to secure equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation. I look forward to the day when I can look back on my life and tell people, with pride, that I was part of the first team that successfully beat back a constitutional amendment that would limit--not protect--the rights of citizens.

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