Thursday, March 22, 2012


Reflections of an activist

Rochester, N.Y.-- The desire to work together to build a better future is why I spend so much time dedicated to progressive causes.

I don't care how steep the hill…. I won't stop until we have a community where every worker can support their family and have some dignity and some retirement security, where every kid gets a fair shot at a great education and a better way of life.

It has been my personal mission to speak truth to power and give a voice to average working Americans—especially LGBT workers. We must frame the debate in our own words and tell our own personal stories. I will not allow others to define me. I am driven by the simple belief that the world as is, just won't do. We all have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be.

I also believe that each of us, no matter our age, our background or our walk of life, each of us has something to contribute to the greatness of our nation.

I'm just trying doing my part. For those who really know me well, they would tell you I come from a place of desperation and fear-- and I wear my battle scars like badges of hope. I like most Americans, live paycheck to paycheck and sometimes fear for the safety of my family. Not long ago, a bullet went through the front of a house in my kid’s neighborhood—striking a 59 year old man sitting in his living room. That easily could have been one of us.

And, I wonder, "If I get sick, what will happen to them?" I also wonder, “What kind of world are we handing over to the next generation? What will it be like for them when I'm gone?” Or, “Will it be a world full of inclusion and opportunity or a world filled with greed, hate, despair and violence?”

I said this a long time ago, and many times to my loved ones, but it is worth repeating: I do not expect to see the extraordinary things I fight for happen in my lifetime. Matters have gone far beyond that. This country of ours is really fractured over our culture wars. I expect some measure of success along the way but I also know that I will fail many times over-- to one day die in defeat. But that does not matter to me. The journey and the fight is worth waging because these things really do matter, and I intend to give the years I have left to that fight, no matter the outcome during my lifetime. 

I would like to publicly thank my family for their love and support and the sacrifices they make every day so I can serve my community. They give me the desire and inspiration to wake up every morning to try and make our world a better place to work, live and play.

-Ove Overmyer

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