Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Mother, the Octogenarian Activist

Below is an article written by David Tuller for The New York Times about his mother, a fiesty woman who just turned 80 years old. She is also a passionate activist for her son and the GLBT community. In part, Mr. Tuller says:

After I came out to her during my college graduation ceremony, she joined Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and started marching in gay pride parades. In 1987, we got arrested at the Supreme Court, along with hundreds of others, while protesting a ruling the court had made the previous year upholding a Georgia sodomy law.

My mother is older now, of course, but she hasn’t yet slowed down. She now lives in Manhattan, still works full-time at a major firm and says the challenge keeps her sharp. She maintains a rigorous exercise regimen; she shops weekly at the local farmers’ market; she devotes time to organizations promoting peace in the Middle East and elsewhere; she donates generously to the causes and candidates she believes in.

In 2006, while stumping door-to-door before the midterm elections, she tripped and broke her wrist in Columbus, Ohio. “I sacrificed my hand in service to my country,” she joked at the time. Undaunted, she signed up again for last year’s presidential campaign, heading to the battleground state of Pennsylvania for more door-to-door campaigning. We spoke or e-mailed most days to discuss and debate the latest polls and speeches.

She hasn’t escaped the wear-and-tear of time. Besides cancer, she has experienced significant hearing loss. She has battled a serious case of glaucoma, now under control. She has suffered through bouts of excruciating back and neck pain. But she has learned how to make lemonade from everything.

“I really think having these passions takes you outside of yourself and animates your life,” she says. “It makes you want to take care of yourself so you can keep on going. I still look forward to the next adventure.”

To read the full article, click here.

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