Last year I wrote about the fight for Marriage Equality in Maine and explained how the upcoming vote was not merely an issue of justice but it was also about the state’s character, that tolerance and acceptance of our differences was the state’s core identity. Over the weekend, one of the state’s political sons running for governor–Mike Michaud–publicly conceded his identity as a gay man while also asserting that his sexuality is besides the point, that the state (which has certainly suffered under the leadership of the current governor) needs good leadership.
Michaud’s bravery to be who he is (and he would be the first openly gay governor) despite the fact that it shouldn’t matter at all, that whatever his personal life includes he has already shown his character through the life he lives, is not only inspiring, it is exactly the type of no-nonsense honesty that best characterizes my home state.
So, here we go again, a re-post in honor of Mike Michaud. May his campaign go well; may he always live in a world where he can be true to himself.
In the final episode of the first season of Showtime’s series Homeland, Sgt. Brody (Damien Lewis) takes his family to Gettysburg as he prepares to turn himself into a suicide bomber. Before the battlefield, he tells them the story of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain to justify his actions (in his own mind) before they even know what he’s talking about.
Chamberlain taught himself Ancient Greek, became a Professor at Bowdoin College and led the defense of Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg with an insane bayonet charge against superior numbers. (He was later awarded the Medal of Honor.)
Sickly (and meaningfully for the show), Sgt. Brody tries to claim Chamberlain’s bravery, resourcefulness and patriotism for his planned act of domestic terrorism. (Equipment failure and a change of heart alter his plans.) But his repeated praise of the bravery of a teacher from Maine stuck with me well after the end of the show