my four year old daughter asked me if she could draw a picture for america because today is america's birthday. then she asked what freedom is.
i paused . took a big swig of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and sighed.
i told her it meant that everyone has the right to be happy, to make decisions & choices, to wear what they want to wear, to love who they want to love. that as long as they don't hurt anybody, they had the freedom to be themselves.
i wonder what she took from that.
what i really wanted to say was:
it means you can wake up one morning and decide that your happiness is worthy of respect, that your past does not define you but it tells you how far you've come. it means you have the right to be the person you always wanted to be. that you deserve to have someone love you so much that you fall back in love with yourself. it means that knowing who you are might exact its toll, but the price is always worth it in the end. that your desire to hurt other people is more about your pain than your anger and you better get a hold on that shit before it eats you alive. it means that forgiveness does not always look like what you think it is supposed to look like. it means you are free to love whoever you want, regardless of race or gender or class. it means that, if necessary, you can leave. it means you can be a close-minded bigoted asshole who hides behind religion or fear or propaganda and i am allowed to disagree with you. and say it out loud.
and it means that you actually can strive to be happy.
so just fucking do it.
all of my ideas about freedom (and love and happiness and fear and pain) lie somewhere in the middle of where this first video begins and the second video ends.
(fyi - the second video has some adult content in it. if that bothers you, just don't watch it. see? freedom of choice.)