Mon, 10 October 2016
My guest today, on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots free podcast interview is with a man who has been on a personal journey, of success and discovery leading him to become the first Hispanic and Gay American to serve in two senior executive roles in the White House.
In 1980, he graduated from Harlingen High School, in deep South Texas, and it seems to me he spent most of his time playing a part to fit in to what the community, and his peers expected a Texas boy to be.
He hunted, fished, played football and baseball and lived the life of someone else, certainly not what he wanted to be: An openly gay man.
It was a difficult time for him as you can imagine, and things didn’t change until he got through to College age.
As he says “Getting to college gave me permission to finally start to be me. It was OK to start to live my little secret. It was accepted and celebrated in so many ways. That was a life-saving experience for me.”
So what do you do when you can finaly start to relax into your own personal power, and live the life that you want?
Well you head to the White House to hug the then vice president Al Gore, and burst into tears on his shoulder.
Well that would be the usual way of doing things, but not the Join Up Dots way of doing things, or our guests, instead he went to New York to try to make it on Broadway, believe it or not, to try to make it as a singer, before returning to school, to study for his law degree, until finally 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue beckoned and his life changed forever.
And now with his book “Little Secret Big Dreams” on the shelves he tells his story, as he overcomes the hurdles of his life to be who he wanted to be.
As he says “I wrote it because I want kids and adults to realize you can come from the Valley and get to the White House. I wrote this for anyone who has ever felt different. The message is to
every kid and ever parent — celebrate who you are. We are, each and every one of us, worthy, unique and special, and we have a place at the table of life.”
So could he have got to where he was today, by missing any off the dots that have made up his life, or did he need every single one to occur?
And did working within the White House, see that the power of change was something that everybody wanted, or was it simply a minefield of red-tape which made that change so difficult to achieve?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Moe Vela.