Watching Biden Own the Debate

Last night I watched the Vice Presidential debate with a very dear friend. It was an amazing experience, seeing Joe Biden, the man I shook hands with 3 weeks ago, on the national stage. It was even more amazing seeing him completely on his game, and completely own the stage.


Last night, Biden stayed absolutely true to everything he said 3 weeks ago when I met him at the Up and Coming LGBT Leaders Summit. Biden has made it incredibly clear he fully believes in equality, that everyone, EVERY AMERICAN, deserves an fair chance, and equal shot. He gave this same message, though more specifically tailored for the audience, at the dinner weeks ago; everyone deserves equality. Just because you are born poor, or born gay, or born with dark skin, or born into a Spanish speaking family, or born transgender, that should not affect the chance you have to make it in America. That message was incredibly clear in Biden’s performance last night.

Ryan did hold his own, and didn’t make any huge mistakes. He looked uncomfortable (and extremely dehydrated, given how often he had to take a sip of water). However, Ryan could not give any specifics, and told the American people “We’ll take care of you, Middle Class. Trust me, we will!”  It was nice to see Ryan move from the position that all abortions should be illegal to it should be allowed in cases of rape/incest/life of the mother. Up till now, Ryan advocated with Todd Aiken  for creating two qualifications of rape: “Legitimate/Forceful rape” and “other rape.” Now he has changed to saying all rape is bad, which is a good step, but less than a month before the election hardly seems like the time to finally take a stance.

Biden was able to clearly line out many of the Obama administration’s accomplishments, rescuing the auto industry, being firm on national security, working WITH the rest of the world, not against them, saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars with the affordable care act, and promoting human rights. He went further to show that he will not force his religious views on other people, like the Republicans are doing. He showed his values, his core, while doing everything he could to convey the message the Obama administration is doing so much for the American people. They are not perfect; even Biden admitted it, but the choice between staying on a track for recovery, fairness, and equality, or going back to the thinking, policies, and advisers of the Bush administration.

More than just his performance, it was really special for me to watch Joe Biden on that national stage. He, unlike many politicians I have met, was true to his values of equality and fairness, whether he was speaking to a group of queer leaders or to thousands of Americans across the country. He didn’t use the same words, as much as I would have loved to hear him say “Gay Rights Are Human Rights” on camera,  I understand that is too politically dangerous to do on that stage. But his message still came across to me, that he believes everyone should be given an equal chance. He is one of the most powerful men in the world right now, he truly believes I as a transsexual LGBT activist, am doing great things to help the nation, and he is doing what he can to push that change for equality forward, to help change the way America thinks about its minorities. I was really blown away watching him, and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to meet with him. Great job!

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