"Everybody's got something": Robin Roberts and Truth in Progress' Marilyn & Gil

Gil-and-MarilynWhat do "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts and Truth in Progress' Marilyn Bennett and Gil Caldwell have in common?

Last evening (July 31, 2014) per usual, I checked out Tavis Smiley's PBS TV program to find out who his guest was. I discovered it was Robin Robert's the Anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America." I watched and listened.

Tavis Smiley

Tavis Smiley with his characteristic and consistent erudite hosting and questioning, quizzed Ms. Roberts about her time at ESPN and her more recent, and more public time on camera at ABC. I  heard from Robin Roberts some of the details about her 2007 bout with breast cancer and her 2012 encounter with bone marrow disease that I had not heard or read before. During the course of the conversation I found myself resonating with the title of Ms. Robert's book,  A book title taken from a phrase Robin Robert's mother, Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts, used to respond to the complaints Robin and her siblings made about this or that.

.robin-robertsThe interview and the book title, brought to my mind and memory, my Co-Partner in Truth in Progress, Marilyn Bennett and myself. Marilyn is a cancer survivor and I am a brain tumor survivor. Why mention this as the two of us and our many TIP friends and supporters have just completed a successful Kickstarter fundraising for our film-in-process, "From Selma to Stonewall - Are We There Yet?"

Of course not to encourage a "pity party" for the two of  us. Marilyn and I are too bold, brave, and bodacious to need that. She and I, although we are miles apart, she in Helena, Montana and I in Asbury Park, New Jersey, are having our own unique and distinctive parties, celebrating the fact that our supporters have made it possible for us to continue our project that focuses on the intersections of heterosexism, racism and religion. But, I share the above, because Marilyn and I are reflections of the words of the mother of Robin Robert's, "Everybody's Got Something." And whatever that "Something" is, we will not allow it to keep us from doing well what we are doing. Nor should you the reader, allow your "Something" to keep you from doing what you do so well.

I wondered how, or if Robin Roberts would mention her girlfriend, Amber Laign in the interview with Tavis Smiley. She did it by mentioning how important it was for "her girlfriend Amber," family and friends to be "present" for her during her health journey. The ease with which Ms. Robert's spoke of her "girlfriend", spoke volumes as we are too slowly, in religion and society, affirming people to love whom they love.

Amber Laign and Robin Roberts

Marilyn and I are committed to doing what we can to rid the world of  heterosexism, racism and prejudicial religion, so that all of us can speak easily and naturally about the ones we love, unhampered by the chains that racism, heterosexism and restrictive religion would impose on us.

Thank you Robin Roberts. Thank you Tavis Smiley.

Gil Caldwell


Read an excerpt from Roberts' book here.