Why Seconds Matter

Did you ever see the movie 8 Seconds?

Neither did I.

But I really wanted to. Not just because it starred Luke Perry, and had so much talk of riding and bucking.

(Clearly, I was trying to figure something out in 1994.)

Mostly, though, it was because I was fascinated by time.

How quickly it changes, and how so much history and experience can be compressed into mere seconds and still pack a punch.

Like how much of a wallop President Obama packed into 13 seconds.

***

Even though I’d read a few quotes from his inauguration speech on Facebook, my heart still jumped when I listened to his speech tonight. When he mentioned Stonewall, and Dr. King and so many great leaders in the same breath.

And, yes, there were tears too.

(I’m an emotional Italian. Yes, I know that’s redundant.)

But then he just kept going.

And that’s what struck me. The fact that he didn’t stop with Stonewall.

The fact that his tone has evolved from its more subdued debate volume into a booming declaration.

The fact that, during the next four years, LGBTs stand the greatest chance of having our rights realized than ever before.

The fact that he appealed to everyone.

Not just white people.

Not just rich people.

Not just straight people.

His thematic thread was spun directly from the Constitution–that revered piece of paper that governs so many, and holds within it so much potential.

And I can only hope that, through the efforts of us all, We the People will weave a more perfect and colorful union.

Where the air that we breathe is a little cleaner, the forests a bit thicker.

Where healthcare isn’t a luxury, a preexisting condition a denial of service.

Where the bodies of all aren’t the purview of a phallic few.

Where we are all, first and foremost, people with certain inalienable rights.

And that those rights are conferred upon us all.

Happy Inauguration and MLK Jr. Day, 2013!

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