I choked up and cried as I uttered the words, “…It has given me strength and inspiration to show up for my own son Collin who is autistic…” at our 45th Anniversary to an full house of over 500 people last weekend.

You see, I had practiced my speech over and over again. In the beginning, it was difficult to say out loud then it got easier but I could still feel the feels coming. Either way I told myself is that I should not try to “control” my emotions, as I usually do, and trust myself and let them guide me.

Sharing deeply and revealing myself to the many parts of my life is how I’m practicing freedom everyday. I’m not waiting for everyone to be open and vulnerable, I’m going to practice it in the present. I have the privilege to do this as a cis-gender man, among the other privileges I have. Sometimes though it seems the privileged are the least courageous. This is how I practice freedom.