Blog

We’re All The Same

I’VE WAITED A WEEK TO SIT DOWN AND WRITE…

Now that I’ve found time and space in this chaotic world to sit and do what I want, I’m struggling to find the words that have been swirling around in my mind for weeks. There is a piece of truth that has seemed to be magnified as of late, and I would like to express it to anyone reading this. If I could just find the words…

I’VE SPENT MY LIFE THINKING I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH…

I’m going to be honest. I have self-esteem issues. This isn’t something I readily admit to, but I have realized that in sharing the hard, uncomfortable truths about myself I might help someone else to deal with their own issues. Furthermore, I might be able to take some of the power away from my own feelings of inadequacy and begin to live my life in a state of honest and optimistic self-awareness.

I’VE SPENT MY LIFE LOOKING UP TO INCREDIBLE WOMEN…

While all of my dearest friends could attest to the role my heroes have played in my life, my mom or my wife could give the most adequate description of the love I have for these women. My sister was also an expert on my feelings toward my Divas, but there aren’t cell phones in heaven. When I say my Divas, I am referring to Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland and Whitney Houston. In high school, when all of my friends were listening to Nirvana and 2Pac, I spent hours in my room listening to my Divas and reading everything I could find on them. At that time in my life, I focused mostly on Bette and Babs. I listened to Judy and Whitney at that time, but my adoration for them grew later, when my struggles with addiction began to mirror theirs. I found comfort in knowing that I shared both strengths and weaknesses with the women I loved so much. In high school, I believed I could be as great as any of them. I will say something that I rarely profess; I am a really great singer. I used to down play my ability in this area. It wasn’t until this past year that I began actually telling people I could sing. My Wife didn’t know I could sing until I took her to a karaoke bar. The look on her face when I opened my mouth was priceless. Her reaction was one I had heard all of my life; “what the hell are you doing here?” Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to high school.

I USED TO BELIEVE IN MYSELF…

I had dreams that could reach to the sky when I was a teenager. I was a relatively good kid. I drank at parties, but since I didn’t have many friends, that didn’t happen very often. I was an awkward teenager. Frizzy hair, overweight, terrible clothes. However, I had a voice.  I would spend hours and hours in my room singing along with Barbra and Bette. I didn’t just sing along. I sang the hardest songs with the highest notes until I sounded as much like my Divas as possible. Believe it or not, I came pretty close on even the hardest songs. See, I’d spent years singing in church, singing gospel music that worked and stretched my voice. Those years of training paid off when I got into high school and began doing musical theatre. I was in the chorus of “Annie Get Your Gun” my freshman year. The next year I played the lead role in “Hello, Dolly”. It was one of the best times of my life. I started to believe in myself, and people started telling me how great I was. My theatre director in high school was a fabulous woman named Bettyrae Easley, and she changed my life. She taught me how to dress, and how to wear my hair. She trained me in her home at no cost, and to this day I consider her my second mom. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know why I chose to go to Nashville and get strung out on cocaine instead of going to New York City to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. I don’t know why I stopped singing for so many years. I don’t know why I became an addict so early in my life. I don’t know why I never found my niche or my calling, or why I have struggled so much with following the little dreams I have left. I don’t know why I’m still a bartender or why I’m just now making some headway in finishing my degree. I had so much talent, so much drive and ambition, so much faith in myself and God. Then life happened.

MY STRUGGLE IS NOT UNIQUE…

The reason I have laid bare all of the inconvenient and embarrassing truths of my life, aside from the simple fact that I know only my closest friends are actually reading this right now, is that I think it’s time for us all to be honest with one another. I am taking a step toward being the change that I want to see, and I am doing it here. See, when my life began to unfold, I made bad choices and I missed opportunities. At the same time, my faith in myself and my dreams began to disappear. The necessities of life began to usurp the necessities of faith and hope. With every passing birthday, I grew more detached from my high school self. Listening to my Divas became painful, as they stood as reminders of what I could have been. I gravitated to Judy and Whitney, as I could relate to their personal struggles. Eventually, I chose to return to college, get a degree and try to become a teacher. I decided that if I couldn’t become the next Bette Midler because it was just too late for me, I could at least be like Bettyrae, and maybe save someone like me from my fate. Hold up, though…I’m not eighty years old waiting to die. I’m only 37, and while I might not be the next Bette Midler I certainly have time to BECOME the Courtney Lynn Parks that God created me to be.

PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING…

Do you see how I could easily let the rest of my life go because of my perception? The facts of my life didn’t change from the time I decided to settle for a career and the time I realized my life was far from over. I just had to look at things differently. I think many of us look around at other people and we believe they have it all figured out. We believe that because someone is driving a BMW they have more money than us. We don’t see that they’re in debt, and they’re just praying nothing happens to that car because they won’t have the money to fix it. Speaking of money, as the root of all evil, it bears no significance on happiness or fulfillment. Sure, money can buy fun, and it can come in handy when you want to spoil your kids at Christmas, but what else does it do for anyone? I have realized, as of late, that I have fallen into a trap of believing that other people are better than me because I perceive their life as more put together or more on track than my own. The truth, though, is that we all have our demons. Yes, some are more prevalent and destructive than others, but we all have them. For instance, I spent 13 years believing that Christians were better than me because I was gay. Being raised in church, I believed that God hated me because I was gay. I spent years believing that God loved straight people more, and that I was a mistake. I know now that this was complete crap. There are more people in the church who know nothing about God than there are people outside of the church who really know and love God. My life started to turn around after God filled my heart with His love again. He began to change my perspective. For years I had gone through life believing that because I was an addict, because I am gay, because I didn’t finish high school, because I waited to go to college, because I suck with money, that other people were better than me. I didn’t realize that with every passing day, those thoughts began to take root in my spirit and tangle with the roots of my dreams, my confidence, my love, and my faith. Those destructive roots began to tangle with the Godly roots in my soul, until they nearly killed all of the gifts God had planted in my spirit when I was young. Note that I said nearly. I’m not going to say that I immediately began to believe in myself again. I spent years believing that I was a loser, so the transformation has been a slow process and it continues on today. However, what I want to leave you with is this; do not look to other people to find your worth. We are all born with gifts and a God-given purpose. No two people are alike and while you may find others who are kindred spirits, you won’t find anyone who is just like you. You’re not supposed to. You are unique. You are special. No matter what you’ve gone through in your life, and no matter what you are going through right now, you are a child of God and He has a plan for your life. Yes, you have free will and yes, you can put off that plan as long as you want but just know that all you have to do is make a decision to commit to becoming the person you were created to be and you can change your life. Stop thinking other people have it made and start looking for ways to make it yourself. EVERYONE is struggling with something and just as you might be thinking they are better than you, they are probably thinking you are better than them. Remember, in our society most people present the best version of themselves to the outside world. We hide our flaws, we hide our perceived failures, and often times we lie for the sake of pretense. I believe our world would be a better place if we allowed others to see our reality rather than their perception.

I STILL LOVE BETTE MIDLER…

As I write this, in an ironic twist of fate, Bette Midler is on Broadway in…wait for it…”Hello, Dolly”! I don’t know what it means that this woman I have spent my life looking up to is doing the show I did when my dreams and my faith were still young and untouched by this evil world. Maybe it’s a sign that God is going to restore my broken spirit to that time in my life. I don’t know. What I do know is that while I love my Bette, I am going to look at her as my equal. I am going to start believing in ME, and I hope you will too.

this is me in 1997…circa Hello, Dolly time. Now look at the image of Bette again.

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Twilight Revelations

SOMETIMES MY INSOMNIA IS A GOOD THING…

No matter who you are, where you live, what you do for a living, or what your political or religious beliefs are, we probably have more in common than you know. We all exist in this crazy world at this crazy time; and we are all struggling, whether it be spiritually, emotionally, physically, or financially, to get by. We are all controlled by electronics, whether we want to admit it or not. Especially for those of us who live in cities, we live in a world of constant chatter and noise. The phone, the T.V, Netflix, YouTube, Sirius, even the radio…the noise never stops. Until nighttime. I love the night because it seems as though, for a blessed few hours, that the universe has gone silent. Finally, the twinkling stars are the only light and the distant song of crickets provides the soundtrack to an otherwise silent night. The real reason I love the night, though, is that it is during this time that I hear from God. Yes, God still speaks. He speaks truth into my thoughts, and I know it is Him because the thoughts come from nowhere and they offer more straightforward truth than I could ever muster. He speaks in simple, declarative prose. Last night I couldn’t sleep because God had a message for me. As soon as I heard it, I wrote it down to write about today, and then the sleep that had evaded me finally came and I rested. Here is what I heard…

“IT IS NO LONGER A MATTER OF ASKING GOD WHY HE HASN’T GIVEN YOU MORE. YOU NOW MUST ASK YOURSELF WHY YOU HAVEN’T DONE MORE WITH WHAT HE GAVE YOU.”

I WILL ONLY SPEAK FOR MYSELF…

I am not here to tell anyone what they’ve done or haven’t done with their lives. I am here to honestly tell you what I have and have not done with mine, and with the gifts God gave to me. I can only pray that my testimony will inspire someone out there to follow their dreams before it’s too late and to tell you it’s probably not too late, no matter how old you are. My 37th birthday is in a week, and I am writing this in my college library. No, I am not a professor…(although that is part of what I’m working on)…I am a student. A returning student. I’ll probably have my Bachelors Degree within the next two years. From there, I am working for my Masters, and maybe even my Ph.D. I heard that there is a program at UC Davis where you can skip the Masters program and go right to the Doctoral program. But I’m getting off topic. Let’s go back to God, what He’s trying to tell me, and maybe what He’s trying to tell you.

GOD HAS BLESSED ME WITH GIFTS…

I’ve been singing since I was just two years old. I only took voice lessons to become a better singer in a technical sense, but I was born with a gift. I’ve excelled in English for as long as I can remember. The first two screenplays I’ve written were produced. I’m a good writer, and I love doing it. I started this blog because I love writing, and I felt like God wanted me to expand my sphere so that He could use me. I have notebooks full of stories of supernatural events I have witnessed in my life. As one of my favorite gospel songs goes, “I am greatly blessed, highly favored, imperfect, but forgiven child of God”. This all seems really amazing, doesn’t it? The truth is, though, that my life has truly only been put together for the last couple of years. That’s right. From the age of 17 to 33 I was lost.

WANDERING LIKE THE ISRAELITES…

In the Bible, after Moses leads the children of Israel out of bondage, they begin their journey to the promised land. For forty years, these chosen people wandered in the wilderness in search of the land promised to them by God. A couple of years ago, I took a class on World Religions, and my professor drew an honest analogy from this story. He told us that we now know this journey should have only taken the Children of Israel a few years, but they didn’t take a direct route. They wandered. My professor taught us that their journey is a metaphor for the spiritual journey of many believers now. We commit our lives to God and for a time, we are on fire, and we are on a direct track to our Promised Land. Then we wander, we are distracted by the things of this world. This could be anything from choosing television over the Bible to completely turning away from God for a time. Inevitably, though, we come back just as the prodigal son. (I know I’m mixing metaphors here, but it fit!) Every time we come back, every time we find our way back to the straight and narrow path and we follow it for a time until the cycle repeats itself. That day in class I promised myself that I would stay on that direct path, that I wouldn’t be like the Children of Israel or every other believer in history…I would be the ONE to overcome my flesh and live completely by the Spirit. Guess what I found out? Jesus Christ is the only one who has ever done that, who will ever do that. It wasn’t long after I made this resolution that my little sister died, and as you can imagine…that threw me off my path for a time. So I’m just like you all. Broken and beautiful.

I HAVE TO SIGN OFF FOR NOW…

I have to go for now, but I’m going to post this now and finish later…

Have a blessed day…you are chosen, and you have a gift and a purpose to fulfill. That is your promised land.

 

Back to Me…

FILLING UP PLATES I CAN’T CARRY…

I’ve always had a tendency to over commit. From the most inconsequential plan to meet an acquaintance for drinks to a life-altering vow to change the world, I take it all on. I’ve recently learned that when I have a small square open on my plate, I will attempt to cram it full with a cause I truly believe in. At this point, it is inevitable that something else on my plate will fall off. It will fall off and land in the mountain of other promises, plans, ideas, ventures, and epiphanies that have fallen victim to my tendency to over commit.  Just a few weeks ago, I committed to myself and anyone who reads my posts…(so, my mother)…that I would faithfully post blogs on my site. I did really well for the first couple of weeks, and then it happened. A project came along that I couldn’t resist saying no to. Ironically, the project is the resistance. Indivisible. I have taken on the responsibility of acting as the Media Liaison for the main Sacramento Indivisible group. It’s amazing, and fulfilling, and invigorating, and  encouraging, and I love the work I’m doing. However, I will digress that between school, work, Indivisible, my family, and my music…my blog started to slip off my plate. So here I am, catching this very important endeavor before it disappears in the mountain of forgotten projects.

BIG WORDS, NO IDEAS. NO WORDS, BIG IDEAS…

February 11th is a very important date to me, and I promised myself that I would not allow that date to slip by without writing anything. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what I did. Not because I gave into pressure from another project but because I simply couldn’t find the words to create the phrases that would adequately convey the thoughts in my mind and the feelings in my spirit. I watched the news and cleaned my house as I pondered my plight in the back of my mind . It occurred to me that some people use a lot of impressive words in an attempt to make others believe they have outstanding ideas. Others have outstanding ideas but they can’t find the words to exactly convey them. I belong in the latter group, I hope. It’s been 10 days since February 11th, and now I’m ready to share with you, whoever you are, those words, thoughts, and feelings I just couldn’t quite let out ten days ago.

YOU MIGHT REMEMBER THE DAY…

I do, like it was yesterday. February 11, 2012 was the day Whitney Houston passed away. That day kicked off a series of events that would save my life, and change its course forever. Just a few days after Whitney passed, as I experienced grief in a way I’d never known, I experienced the supernatural for the first time since I was a child. In the middle of the night of the 14th, I remember suddenly feeling a presence in our apartment. I remember becoming so overwhelmed that I slid down the wall I’d been holding myself up against. I cried, and cried. I thought I was crying over Whitney’s passing, but I wasn’t. I cried over the death and resurrection of my own soul. I cried over the events in my life that I’d spent a decade trying to forget. I cried over a scared and lonely teenager, unequipped for life in a strange town. So lonely that she took up the first offer of friendship that came along. So naïve that she accepting the first offer of cocaine that came along. So ingenuous that she let her life’s dream go because other people told her God didn’t love her, that Jesus had abandoned her. So inexperienced that the paying the rent and utilities became too much. So unworldly that she didn’t even know what a lesbian was. Until she realized she was one. I cried for that girl, and for the years of her life that were damaged by her destructive lifestyle. I wept. I remember finally looking up from where I sat, and seeing for the first time. Through my watery eyes, I saw truth for the first time. The truth was that Jesus had loved me all along, and that those people were wrong.

I’m going to publish this, and write a Part II as soon as I can.

Love and light to you all.

 

Do something…WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER…Hello everyone! When I first signed on, I planned on writing a full update of this weeks Indivisible events, but as I began to write I realized the update wasn’t what I wanted to write because I don’t believe it’s what most of you need. Updates are the nuts and bolts of this movement and of course, nuts and bolts are essential to building anything, even momentum for this movement, but sometimes the work is exhausting and the workers need a break; they need to put down the hammer and nails and take a drink of water. Today, I’m here to provide a little water for your weary souls. Let me start by saying that if you’re weary, if you’re fatigued, you’re not alone. We are only three weeks into the Trump era, and many progressive liberals are exhausted by the daily stress of simply existing at this time. I get it. You want to shut the news off, you want to switch off Rachel Maddow and trade in your MSNBC with some mindless nonsense, some housewives of somewhere, just anything BUT reality! I would encourage you to go ahead and DVR Rachel and the MSNBC crew. I would encourage you to turn off the television and read a book, something uplifting and inspiring. If you’re a spiritual person, read a devotional or even your favorite book of the Bible. If you’re not spiritual, read a book written by someone who represents the best of our Country. Read Living History by Hillary Clinton…something to remind you that good people still prevail, that evil will always eventually lose, and that there’s life and existence beyond this divisive, cruel reality we are currently living in. Psychologists, psychiatrists, journalists, and politicians have warned all of us who are opposed to Trump and his agenda that fatigue will set in. They’ve warned us that a strategy of the Trump agenda is to put so many news stories out every day, to so absolutely dominate every news cycle with their divisive, hateful, racist, homophobic, islamaphobic, xenophobic agenda that we cannot and will not think of anything else. Ever. If you’re like me, you probably went through a grieving process through the days following Hillary’s loss. Let me tell you something very personal; something I haven’t even shared with the people in my committee, something that might help you understand what you’re going through. I lost my baby sister to asthma on July 17, 2015. I’ve been struggling through the grief process ever since. I can tell you that if you love America, if you believed in Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, if you believe in democracy and equality for all people, you are grieving right now. Heck, if you’re reading this…you’re grieving right now. You might be coming out of it a little. You might be in the anger stage, which is a good stage for motivation to fight. You might be one of those people who decided to fight on day 1. If you’re one of those, or if today is your first day in the resistance, I applaud you. You’re doing something. You care. The United States of America will survive the Trump Era because of people like YOU! ONCE YOU’VE RESTED…DO SOMETHING I’m currently a college student, and tonight as I struggled to motivate myself to do homework, my partner opened up a video for me to watch on YouTube. The video was of a woman named Tanya DeMello, and the video was titled “Here’s How You Get A Job at the UN”. At first, I was irritated because…let’s face it…I’m not looking for a job at the UN. I was looking for motivation to finish my homework, and I was coming up dry. The last thing I needed was a distraction. Oh, how wrong I was! The video was less about how to get a job at the UN and more about what to do when people around you are in need. We in the resistance might not be helping victims of hurricane Katrina, but we are fighting against an administration that wants to completely dismantle the democracy of the United States, and then sell it off for parts. This woman, Ms. DeMello, narrowed her direction down to three simple actions. First, do something that you can do, that you love to do. We all have different strengths, and no matter what your strength is, we could use you in Indivisible! We have committees working on Media Communications, Actions and Events, Intelligence Gathering, and Elections. We have members with talents ranging from graphic design, to writing, to organizing. No matter what you like to do, or what you’re great at, you will find you a place with us where you will be around people of like minds and open hearts who are committed to the resistance! Secondly, Contribute in your own way. There are no rules with Indivisible, no minimum time requirement, no monetary demands and no one demanding anything of you. The resistance is completely voluntary, and we only want you to do what you want to do when you want to do it. Third, make sincere contributions. Don’t settle for a job you don’t care about because you feel like you have to do a particular thing. If there is a job open, only volunteer for it if you WANT to. Your best work at this time will come from your heart. We are all in this for the long haul, for at least four years and probably longer. We want you to find a place with us where you can shine, where your gifts and abilities are used to conserve the democracy of the United States and the liberties of our fellow citizens. A WORD OF ADVICE FROM MOTHER TERESA… Ms. DeMello concluded her remarks with a beautiful quote from one of the most inspirational women to ever live, Mother Teresa. “Don’t try to do great things. Do small things with great love”. If you’re like me, you want to change the world and you want to do it NOW! For many years, I waited for that grand opportunity to turn everything upside down and inside out and create a utopian society in which the poor are rich, and the rich are humbled, and every child is fed, and the cures for cancer and AIDS are released to the public, and there’s no more pollution, and there’s no more war and well, you get it. Unfortunately, that dream of mine isn’t going to come true any time soon. However, I have found a place where I can use my God-given talents to affect change. I have found people who, like me, want to change the world, and we are doing it together, one day at a time. I want to tell you all that the Indivisible Sacramento group believes in resisting in the spirit of love, equality, peace, and truth. We will not go out and engage in riotous, non-peaceful protests. We will not threaten the safety of any elected official, and we will not engage in divisive, argumentative, harmful debates. We with Indivisible Sacramento believe in democracy, unity, equality, peace, truth, and love. We believe in a world where these elements will prevail, and we will work until we see this spirit rise up and again prevail in the United States of America.

Things That Keep Me Up At Night

WHEN MY HAMSTER AND I ARE THE ONLY ONES AWAKE IN THE HOUSE….

I’ve always been a night owl. In fact, just until this past year, it was common for me to stay awake and do my best work-creative or academic-into the wee hours of morning. At some point I got it in my head that I needed to be a morning person, so I began the torturously sleep-deprived task of changing my schedule. What in the hell was I thinking? Since I made that incredibly misguided decision I’ve done less writing and more laying awake well into the night thinking about the fact that I would have to forego my writing the next day in order to get a few much needed hours of sleep. Well, it stops tonight. It’s 3:30 am here in Sacramento, and for the last few hours as my Wife has slept soundly next to me, I’ve been haunted by thoughts and sentences. I’ve been watching the hours tick by, knowing that the later it gets, the less a chance there is that I will actually get up with the damned alarm in the morning and write so I finally decided to just do it old school; the way I did before I decided I needed to grow up and become a morning person. So here I sit with my trusty laptop and my crazy hamster. Good morning, Sacramento.

I DON’T KNOW HOW ELOQUENT I CAN BE ABOUT THIS…

As is my norm, I watched Rachel Maddow tonight…good Lord, that seems like it was days ago…and as is HER norm, she delivered a provocative, intelligent hour of investigative reporting. She reported on a day in Texas when hundreds of Muslim-Americans gather at the TEXAS capitol…braver souls than I…for a day filled with information on and the experience of American civics. Sounds amazing, right? Well, this Muslim-American civics day happened for 6 years in a row before it was interrupted by protesters. Many of them carried anti-Muslim signs, one which read “I serve a RISEN Lord and Savior, Mohammed is Dead”. Apparently, that slogan rushed through the crowd of Bible belters like a holy fire, because soon the protesters were chanting “Mohammed is dead”. While these very peaceful people were enjoying their ONE DAY at the Capitol, a deranged looking woman grabbed the microphone from a Muslim woman who was addressing the audience and started shouting things like “I claim this ground for Jesus Christ in the name of God”…blah, blah…blah, blah, blah. Here’s the thing, I am not being blasphemous or disrespectful of Jesus Christ. I love Jesus, He is my Lord and Savior. That’s why I really try to act like Him and the only people Jesus denounced were the fanatic, self-righteous Jewish leaders. So, I imagine that since He is the same yesterday, today, and forever that He probably isn’t bothered by the Muslims but I’m pretty sure He didn’t like His name being used in the spread of bigotry and hatred.

THIS IS WHY WE AREN’T SUPPOSED TO JUDGE ANYONE…

Imagine a world where those who believe in Jesus strive more to show people than tell people about their faith. If your heart was truly set on bringing people to Christ, would you do so by attacking them, or loving them? Think about it this way…does a salesman curse at his customer and still expect to sell anything? I wasn’t introduced to God through hate, but it sure turned me away from Him. Even with sticky subjects like abortion, if Christians would simply pay attention to a couple of Jesus’ key lines they’d probably be bringing more people TO Christ than turning them away. Here they are…”Judge not, lest ye be judged” and “Only my Father is the judge”. There you have it…Jesus Christ won’t even judge sinners, and we are all sinners. He died for us, but He won’t judge us. If anyone has a right to, He does, and He won’t. The sad part is that the people who will read this already get it and the people who need to read it won’t. Isn’t that always the problem?

An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton

To the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton,
Throughout the days and nights following the election, I have felt compelled to reach out to you. However, every time I resolved to sit down and write this letter I have found myself at a loss for words. You are my hero; you are powerful, knowledgeable, wise, kind, honest, caring and a true patriot of the United States of America in every sense of the title. As I began this letter, I did so with a deep sadness because it should have opened with Dear Madam President. I digress though, that if you were the President, if you had taken the oath of office that was rightfully yours to take, I wouldn’t be writing this letter. I wouldn’t be losing sleep, worrying about the detrimental actions of a crazed dictator. If the highest office in the land hadn’t been stolen through the covert operations of the G.O.P and billionaires with an agenda to circumvent the will of the people, you would be President and I would be sleeping at night. Instead, I am writing to say thank you, to apologize for the appalling mistreatment you’ve endured, and to plead with you to come back into the arena and lead the resistance against the dangerous political regime that is set to destroy America and devastate the lives of the American people.

I am 36 years old, I attend Sacramento City Community College, I’m a bartender, singer and writer, and I am married to a beautiful woman. We both volunteered for your campaign. We traveled to other cities, we knocked on doors, we made phone calls and we celebrated every victory. When Bernie fever took over our college campus, I took it upon myself to tell my fellow students the truth about you, to dispel and quiet the Republican rhetoric they’d simply accepted as fact.  I changed some of their minds, others I did not. The point is, I fought for you as you fought for us. For all of us. So thank you for all of your years of selfless service to the United States of America. Thank you for setting yourself squarely in the line of fire as you fought for what was right and just. Thank you for coming back after Barack Obama won in 2008. I am sure you were tired, and you could have retired. You could have stayed home, enjoyed time with your grandchildren, read books and read the news about other people. Instead you overcame your fatigue, you faced the enormous demons who salivated at the thought of destroying you, you sacrificed time with your family, you sacrificed any free time, and you stepped into a spotlight shadowed by a host of lies created to smear your name and reputation. You are a wise woman, you knew what you were getting yourself into, and you did it anyway because you are a patriot, and every true patriot fights for their country. You are set apart and above even the most honorable of these, though, because you fought for a country that seemed to be fighting against you.

I would like to formerly apologize to you for the disgraceful way you were treated by the G.O.P, their handlers, their candidates, their staffers, their media, and especially their Congressional leadership. Even more than that, however, I would like to apologize to you for the deplorable, contemptible way you were treated by some of the people in your own party and especially the very voters you were fighting to defend. There is no excuse for their disrespect towards you, or for their absolute ignorance of the truth. I heard many arguments against you, and they all came down to either sexism or jealousy. Many men plainly felt immaculated by the idea of a woman in the White House, and many women were simply jealous of your stamina, your power, and your stature. They are now paying the price for their action, or inaction. They are now seeing that while though they may decry the hatred and bigotry of Donald Trump, it was their own hatred and bigotry that allowed him into the highest office in the land. Finally, I apologize that you were not honored by the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington. I did march in San Francisco, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. However, when I heard you were left off of the list of women who inspired the march, I was deeply saddened again. No other name belonged on that list more than yours and I want to tell you, from someone on the ground, that your name, and signs bearing your name, could be seen from every vantage point above the sea of humanity that came out to protest. You DID inspire many of the people who came to march, and you inspired my wife and I.

As you know, a resistance is growing in America, and it is larger than any movement in modern history. Even the Civil Rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was smaller than the Resistance movement sweeping our country now. However, what that movement had that we don’t have is a leader. Hillary, (can I call you Hillary, just this once?) you are the People’s President. Just as Nelson Mandela was the People’s President before he was officially elected, you were elected by the PEOPLE! This Country was built upon the will and sovereignty of the people. The Constitution, as you well know, begins with WE THE PEOPLE, not “I the President”. No other time in history that I am aware of has called for us, the People, to stand and fight for a more perfect union, justice, domestic tranquility, the common defense, general welfare, and the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity than THIS MOMENT! I came to see you speak in San Francisco shortly after you won the primary, and before you came out a beautiful girl performed “One Moment In Time”. The election may have been stolen from you, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have one moment in time to be more than you thought you could be. I can’t even imagine the pain you’ve experienced since the election, or the agony you must have felt watching him win. I cannot and I will not say that I understand what you’ve gone through, because I do not. However, I know about struggle and pain. I know about getting knocked down. For Christmas, all I asked for was a $15.00 poster and do you know what the art on it is? The image on the poster is your profile, all in black. In white writing, it reads “When you’re knocked down, get back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on-Hillary Clinton”. I hung that poster in my bedroom, knowing that the days ahead would be a fight. Now, I am asking you to take your own advice and get up one more time. You may not have put your hand on that Bible of January 20th, but that doens’t mean God didn’t create you and appoint you to lead HIS people-the outcast, the broken, the LGBTQ, the immigrants, the poor, the addicted, the Muslim-RIGHT NOW!! Martin Luther King, Jr. was never elected to high office, but he did more for American people than many who were. Please, come and be our leader. Lead the resistance. Step into your one moment in time, your God given moment to lead His people, to lead your people, through the darkness and into the light.

Whether or not you answer this call, you will always be my hero.

With Respect and Love,

Courtney L. Parks