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As someone who became an American citizen just five years ago, I haven't been more proud of what this country has shown itself capable of in the last few years. The amazing pace of change, despite hiccups, is astonishing and inspiring.

I'm certainly talking about Barack Obama being re-elected as President - and by a significant amount of Electoral College votes to boot - but I'm also talking about the progress we made for LGBT Americans.

We now have our first openly gay U.S Senator in the great Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin.

We have Maryland and Maine approving love and the expansion of the guarantee of equality that this country was founded on. We have Minnesota saying NO to hate.

Growing up gay isn't easy - there were moments when I prayed to God to take it away and make me "normal". Those feelings persisted even after coming out but every year that went by they melted away as I saw support coming from so many great people in my life and even more importantly, from the country as a whole. This election sealed it - I now KNOW the country I love is going to love me back more and more as time goes on and there's no turning back. By all means the fight isn't over, but we're winning.

Also, I'm not a woman but I'm proud to stand up for women's rights. Women are forward thinkers in this society and that has become more than clear to me in this election based on the margins of the overall vote and some specific equality measures I mentioned above. They wouldn't have happened were it not for women showing us their intelligence and love. Let's stand together and keep moving forward!

I'm proud to be an American, I'm proud to be gay, I'm proud to stand up for and with women and minorities - and this election played no small part in that and I felt the need to express that. Thank you.

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