Something I needed to shatter my illusions in my youth was to move to Europe.

I believed what I was taught about American exceptionalism. I believed we were the best, most free, most wonderful society on Earth. I pitied people who were not Americans.

Right up until the day I moved to Germany. What I saw for the five years I lived in Berlin showed me so much.

I traveled all over Europe and saw societies that were as free or more free than the United States, and not just for white people.

That was a long time ago, and in the interim, I’ve become even more disillusioned with America. I don’t know if things have gotten worse for if I’ve become less tolerant of injustice and inequality.

I suspect a bit of both.

I know we certainly have our work cut out for us.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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