My intention when I started this blog was to balance the complex subject of Trisomy 21 with a lighter topic: tennis.
Since the national elections in November, though, the lightness has been harder to find. Fortunately, I see every day in my glorious daughter a lightness of being, a natural spring of optimism, innocence, joy, love.
The novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being was published in 1984. It covered the late ’60s and early ’70s mostly in Prague in the aftermath of the Prague Spring and the subsequent invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union.
I personally did not experience the Prague Spring and the brief period for citizens in the country during that time to enjoy the rediscovered freedoms of speech, travel, and an uncensored press.
I did, though, live near Prague in 1984. Later, as a teacher in Austria, I taught 1984 by George Orwell.
I have read that sales of Orwell’s novel have surged since the Inauguration.
It is a new era in the United States, one where the new occupants of the White House justify their statements by calling them “alternative facts,” where the new administration has already shown a ferocity toward attacking the media and civil rights that is breathtaking — in the sense of I’m more stunned than I imagined I would be and it is only January.
My daughter is six years old. My husband and I moved to a state, one of only three at the time, where we could be legally married before she was born. Then the miracles happened: Supreme Court decisions were made that put us on equal footing with all citizens. For the first time in my life, I felt that I had the same rights and could have the same hopes as my own brother and sister.
The themes of my blog have changed since November. I am a proud gay man, husband, father, and graduate of one of the best journalism schools in this country. Shame on me if I don’t speak my truth.