As a single mom I know the difficulties of managing someone's whole world yourself. I know how hard long nights can be and the ways you rely on others. I have been the recipient of help from the government, non-profits, family and from neighbors. It is in that, I would like to give back and show that people, in all walks of life, can be valued for who they are no matter the hardship or opportunity they have seen.
When I came out it was, as any gay person knows, terrifying. Some have easier worlds in which to come out to, some of us have harder. I was still married to my husband of 15 years at the time, yet I knew the truth and spoke it.
I met my partner on a soccer field when we were 15 years old. Neither of us had any idea what the future would lay out at that time or the beautiful way in which our paths would finally coincide. We played in band together in high school, did a film post college directed by my ex-husband and reconnected almost 20 years later at a bar in St. Paul. Classic love story, right?
I know what it is to be and feel terrified by marginalization. I lost two teaching jobs due to my sexuality at conservative christian high schools. I tried my best to fly 'under the radar' but we in the LGBTQ community know how hard and demoralizing that can be, and it ultimately was short lived.
"Better out than in..." I believe is a quote by Gimli. :) And that is how I've tried to live my life ever since.
Education is extremely important to me. In my family it was the glue that held the two sides of my family together.
On that front I have a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota. (I thought about Physics but I liked the purity of Math. I have been fortunate that my life has always included both.)
Being fond of the arts, I auditioned for and was accepted to The Juilliard School in NYC. I was in group 31 and am so proud of my education there and the subsequent career I had in Los Angeles... but the lure and love of education kept pulling me back to working with children-
That's when I got my Masters in Education at Augsburg and my Minnesota teaching license and then my Masters in Business Administration quickly thereafter. (two masters degrees, a full time job, a single mom and a puppy didn't mix well- I'm happy to say my dear mix labrador, Oscar Pickles, is doing quite well at the farm just outside of Rochester which adopted him... all else was able to be maintained!)
Learning and teaching together is the greatest reward in life. I try to balance between the two, like a flowing river. They are two ways to find true joy.
I am 1/4 Sami. There are roughly 30,000 Sami living in the United States today. The Sami are indigenous peoples of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, living above the arctic circle for millenia. They are a federally recognized minority in those countries, but not in the United States.
My father was born in North Minneapolis. My great grandparents lived here. To this day, those memories he had with them are the favorite of his youth.
I hope that one day we can go beyond identity politics, to governance of apt leaders, whose only litmus of success is their skill and vision for the future.