Vanessa Brito and Herb Sosa

Recorded January 27, 2010 Archived January 27, 2010 41:36 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBX006288


Vanessa Brito, 26 and Herb Sosa, 45 talk about their work as LGBTQ advocates, about what motivates them and their role models.

Subject Log / Time Code

Vanessa talks about her spirituality and catholic background. She has read the Bible and taught catechism and does not believe there is any contradiction between her beliefs and her secual orientation.
Herb describes his parents as a big influence in his life and source of encouragement, who made him believe that he could really grow up and become anything he wanted to.
Vanessa talks about her mother as her role mother, though she did not do much or was very proactive, she was there for her daughter, and that made a huge difference.
Vanessa remembers the first time she was recognized as a leader. She was in second grade and was incredibly embarrassed at being put on the spot in front of the whole cafeteria.
Herb talks about what motivated him to create Unity Coalition in 2002. Vanessa discusses what motivates her work in advocacy.


  • Vanessa Brito
  • Herb Sosa

Partnership Type



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00:03 Hi, my name is Eddie red to hold his or sad or herb Sosa. I am 45 years old and on today. Today is January 27th, 2010 and I'm broadcasting from Miami Florida with my dear friend and partner and colleague by sabadito.

00:24 My name is Vanessa Brito. I'm 26 years old. It is January 27th, 2010 in Miami Florida, and I'm here with this if I had to choose one, I'd say my partner-in-crime pretty well anything else I tell you can never know some anyway, you never know someone well enough, so I'm taking this opportunity to also get to know you better today you and I have met through a couple of different channels through ambiente magazine, which is a magazine that and that I'm the editor of the focus is on the Latino Hispanic LGBT community as you know, and also Unity Coalition Coliseum Juanita, which is a non-profit it also focuses on the Latino Hispanic LGBT community and you are a God sent to me in the sense that through emails you just we kind of connected and you had no sense.

01:24 Experience in writing and then it just was like a perfect fit for we're at today obviously is your you're my star reporter or writer in a magazine and also a board member of unity Coalition. But the more I know you the more fascinated I've become and you especially if somebody is older than you who they can appreciate how much you've accomplished in the time so far. Is it in your life? And obviously you have a lot more to accomplish that's very clear. So I would like to start there. I would like to really kind of start tell me a little bit again just your upbringing let's start on and I you said you went to Holmes Braddock High School. I believe here in South Florida. Where you born here. I was going to Miami Beach Heritage. My mom is Portuguese and my dad's from Spain. They they met in Venezuela. Are they both emigrated and there was no political turmoil and both are

02:24 Countries at the time and then they moved from Venezuela here now, you know my 43 and she was born in Venezuela and my mom left Venezuela 8 months pregnant with me and had me, you know shortly thereafter. I'm the baby or 16 years apart very close to my mom and my mom's side of the family. My dad always been very disconnected, you know, even as a kid, I love what is your mom and your sister my sister all my family lives in Miami and why I stayed with live there all our lives, you know, when it's kind of gone back and forth whenever I've moved out and then you know, I have a bad breakup and then I go back to Mom and then I find somebody better and I had another bad breakup, Can you bring up an interesting point early in your career you lived in California and you did some writing over there. You want to tell me a little bit about that.

03:24 I lost my mind for a while and I actually met somebody in California when this is 3 Prop 8 and we fell in love when we got married. I just left I picked up unless Miami from one day to the next I'd been working with the university with FIU for about seven years and I'd finish my Ph.D. And I had everything going and I said, you know, I've done all of this. I like not had a life for as long as I can remember. How old were you I was 25.

04:01 I picked up and I left and I called my office from California the day after I got married and I told him I was never coming back and I miss was to a woman and now we got married and actually just a couple we got married in September and November Prop 8 was on the ballot and it was a presidential election and you know a little bit about that experience. It was the best experience of my life walking into the the courthouse in San Diego and we were the only same sex couple and everybody there was just so happy and supportive and they were I mean, all they wanted to do is come up and smile and they all wanted to be involved and I just felt like it was a real wedding even though they were random people are getting married and I had no idea. I'd never been through that process. I've never been to a courthouse, you know in my life or any any sort of you know,

05:00 You know anything like that and then I felt like I was just like everybody else and usually you think okay. Well, you know your two women they do it here, but at some point now somebody's going to look at you kind of funny and no no questions asked, you know, no questions asked was very very normal. What was your family's reaction was your mom and your sisters reaction when you called him and said Mom I'm married and I didn't girl that way.

05:37 Because I think that would have been too many questions that we have not plan this like I know you were good at that point already and they knew that I wanted to be with this person and at that point didn't really know that I was going to move to San Diego. I didn't know that I was going to move to San Diego. I I literally got there. I never met her in person. Okay. I never met her in person. I got there on September 11th, September 12th. We got married.

06:06 I'm speechless when I went to Tiffany's I'm when I met her we've been talking for like a year already. You are the more I hear the more I realize that but you know what it didn't work out for, you know, obviously when you haven't been living with somebody for being a. Of time and that's how you do it with an Impulse, you know, their character traits of just you don't mess and you realize you cannot live with this person for the rest of your life. And so even after I came back, I'm still married and I won't get we've made a conscious decision the both of us to not get a divorce or separation until property is repealed.

06:49 Very interesting turn into more of a political so the question the question that many opposers to gay marriage, I guess what to ask Alaska Kinder than they probably would what it what would you say are the similarities or the differences between a gay couple. But gay couples getting married and the whole process of the marriage because we don't have the that right is just not ready to be available to a gay couple as it is to a straight couple. For example, I had and I don't have the opportunity here to get married in Miami, but the moment I got to California and I was in love and I can do it. I was going to do it because God knows when it's going to be taken away or if I come back here. She and I can't have anything I mean legal together. So it's almost like it pushes you to take advantage of not think it doesn't that you think twice about it. It's this is the dynamic of which I think that's what people don't understand.

07:49 About you know, the whole marriage equality issue is that if there was equal all across the board people are actually think twice about getting married, but the moment it becomes available in once then, you know in 1/10 of of the funeral for the population people are going to want to do it because I can't wait to get married again, I'm going to do it the right way this time. Tell me what your mom and your sisters reaction was when you when they open the mail to me for so I came back to Miami, you know couple of months later and my mom cried a lot.

08:30 Because I didn't tell her and she was like I would do you think she cried was it because he married a woman or because you married without her and tell her something like that. That was so important. Why didn't I just didn't think she was going to be very supportive of you or her what? Are you more afraid of your reaction or hurry up? I was more.

08:56 Well, I was definitely afraid that she would be you know that she would put it down and tell me that that's not the right thing to do and I would feel terrible. You know, I don't want to disappoint her phone and then I figured if I just send the marriage certificate it said and done we can have the conversation and we both come from Hispanic and European Heritage. So certainly I know the answer to this question, but how did how did your upbringing play into?

09:28 How your parents react or your mom and your sister specifically reacted to you being gay both then and now how would you say that that played into it? And how does it how does it play into your daily life? Is it certainly it's part of who we are Western Europeans for the most part of very religious and Portuguese more than Spaniards, you know spaniels are very liberal. Even then my father when I told him it just took him a while. He was just in denial. He just wouldn't talk about it. But with my mom which is the person that I do with more when I first came out it was more of a

10:08 Make your Heathen I can't you know, you're going to go to hell. I can't believe this is Assassin and this and that and that lasted for about a month which to me was amazing, you know night that come out when I was 15 and rationalized it all my head at that time. And I figured if I'm 15 now for the time she gets over it. I'll be eighteen and then I'll be ready for a real relationship. So then she'll be able to accept the person so I totally planned it out and she got over it fairly quickly. I started dating somebody who was 11 years older than I was right away and she was very accepting not as accepting issues now, but will now that you're past 18, how do you not how does your mom or your family rationalize it? How do you rationalize do you do you believe that being gay and being religious or spiritual can coexist? Of course.

10:57 I mean I still consider myself Catholic. I consider myself a very spiritual person to something here. A lot of gay people say believe that that's exactly like your mom said initially. We're all heathens that we all hate God and we don't get it and there's no way that the two can co-exist. Can you tell me a little bit more about how you sleep at night? I don't even think about I don't think there's anything to think about really I mean, I don't think I've ever thought about it twice, you know, a lot of people ask me why you know, why are you religious and sometimes I say, yes, it depends on what stage of my life I'm in but I've always considered myself Catholic, you know, and I will go to church and I don't feel bad when I'm there and I think it's great and I think everybody should have some sort of Faith. You know, what I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I know I don't have haven't had to rationalize it. You know, I've read the Bible I used to teach, you know, how to kiss them. And as far as I remember, there's never been

11:57 Thing that can possibly deter me from you know, following a certain Faith are at least this this faith in particular, you know, I was raised Methodist, which is not typical for Cubans, but my mom went to an All-American Methodist School in Cuba because quite simply that was the best school that my grandmother could afford for her three kids and it just made sense. And that's obviously the religion that we that we have continued and when I was a teenager teenager, I used to go to church three times a week and there was a transitional time where you know at first my girlfriend was there with me and then my boyfriend was there with me and it was it was challenging to me really just because I was a teenager looking back not because I was a gay teenager necessarily. I just think it was just the age but I couldn't agree with you more. I never ever question my faith and to me

12:49 You know, it really is boils down to a very simple fact, you know my God, certainly I have no doubt is proud of me and the person that I am and it doesn't have really anything to do with who you physically sleep with. It's how you love and how you care for other people and what you do with this life and how it going to making yourself better everyday and to me there's no way that that a God cannot find those things to me in his or her image in an acceptable. That's that's my rationale like a career, you know, there's many different business of religion and then there's face that I mean at the end of the day, there's one common goal, you know, when you go to work the goal is to provide for your family having come to this to that the same thing for religion. The approach is always different, you know, you can be Jewish you could be Arabic you can be there so you can be catholic whatever it is, but

13:50 Then it's at the end of the day. There's one common going that's too anal feel fulfilled in some way or another, you know, and it doesn't matter which approach you take so long as it makes you happy. So I don't think that you know, when you have to start rationalizing that kind of stuff you're probably not taking the right approach, you know, I want to talk a little bit about how we both got to where we are in the sense of of leaders in the community and LGBT community leaders as a side note, but just liters is a whole I can I guess I'll start by

14:26 Tana saying that that I really wholeheartedly believe that my parents had everything to do with it. I'll often joke with them. Now that you know, certainly a grown-up and I always tease them and say, you know, it's wonderful that you always told my sister and I that we could be anything or do anything but you know, the Dirty Little Secret was you know, you really gave us no limitations and it's a double-edged sword. You know, I believed I really could be anything and be anybody and grow up to do anyting Anna and how fortunate I've been that that I've been able to for the most part career-wise and then personally do exactly that I give them full credit for that for at least laying the foundation for that. Obviously, the only little stickling part initially was coming out and I understand that because I raised an adopted son who was 14 when I met him and he was openly gay. He's now 34 and even as a gay parent.

15:25 I wanted the best for him then and quite honestly in and I'm not sure that a lot of people necessarily would understand this but I didn't necessarily if I had the choice of whether he you know, could be or should be gay or not. I probably would have chosen not and not because there's anything absolutely anything wrong with being gay or certainly the life that I have led but nobody wants obstacles for their kids and inquire unquestionably. It is an obstacle. It's not an easy life. And anybody that would question or say. Oh you have the choice, you know wanted you to stop being gay or why don't you do you do that? It's just just doesn't know what they're talking about because it's certainly it's not easy and you know as privileged as my life has been and it really has been it hasn't been easy and the strongest thing that I've had all along and I still do is the support of my family, you know, what like everybody else that you know, the beginning it wasn't always like that but you know for the most part

16:25 I've had the support of my family. I'd like you to elaborate a little bit more about that about your upbringing and you know, you say you came out of 15. I came out at 17 to my family. I'd like to hear a little bit more about what led up to you coming out.

16:43 I think I knew that I was weird. I mean, I always knew that I was weird and different.

16:51 Different things I'm still weird and I'm still different but I didn't know in what way you know, I mean some people end up being like Gothic in high school. I ended up realizing I was gay. And so when I was a kid, I remember that I had you know, I would get upset at somebody like female teachers. They didn't give me attention and it was no reason for the really wasn't you know in retrospect but then as I got older I said, it's like thinking about what we going to what is it about you know, what is it about that particular person that's upsetting me so much. I would resent them not to get angry and then I had two of my family members two of my cousins who are now, I know that they're gay, you know to be another but twenty years older than I am so they were you know, like my my sister that's you know, 16 years older than me they could have raised me and so they would come down there. You know, they did.

17:51 Out of the country and so were they come to visit and I had this like it was almost like lustful relationship with that me and I like I would see them and I want to be around them all the time and I had like this connection to them and there was as chemistry and I would cry when they would leave and I just wanted them to hug me and kiss me and touch me all the time and it's like and I didn't know why it was just it was not normal and because I was obviously struggling with wanting a certain kind of attention and you know, you know that when you're gay and there's somebody else that's gay around you whether or not you've expressed it. There is a connection between two people because you know, even it's an unspoken truth and you know, and you connect and they didn't know themselves that part of them's of their sexual right when they were you know, as I got older, you know, after grad school I decided let's put all the skeletons out of the closet and let's see, you know, what how this conversation is going to start and I just put it out there and I said,

18:51 What why do you think that I reacted this way? Why do you think that I was this way? And how did you feel because I was a kid that was different for them than it was for me, you know and you know and they struggled with the conversation because they had to come out to me and say, you know, it was very uncomfortable for me because I saw a part of you that I didn't even know about myself and now I see in myself and it was almost like talking to a friend how they came out and realizing that I don't I don't know how many people do with family members that are gay and not knowing it and trying to interact with them. But for me, it was almost like dealing with like another partner, you know, I'm talking about my life with them and kind of exploring my sexuality, you know with my family members. If so, you know so different these were two women how much if any

19:51 You see how much of a role as Role Models do you think they played in your life? Do you see any of that? Do you see any of them and you and in the the woman that you've become?

20:02 One of the things especially when I came out I was very adamant about wanting to be very Stern and professional and I wanted to stick to studying in this and it was some it was very a paralleled exactly who they were and their life, you know, they really had no social life. No private life. They wouldn't have relationships with anybody because I didn't want anybody to know and they did exactly what I said, they stuck to school and they start to work, you know their phds both of them just like me. I mean our lives are very similar in that sense. However, I actually executed in my life and I actually did have relationships and I actually did explore that, you know at a younger age, but it was one thing about them that I admired, you know was having knowing that that about themselves and still not letting not letting it deter any part of who they wanted to be, you know.

21:02 I relate to that big is growing up again. My parents were very supported. My mom in particular was very supportive. And I remember that my parents divorced when I was about nine and I have a cousin a male cousin who's about 6 years older than I on my dad's side who came out when he was probably 16 17 and again, I was ten or whatever and you know what that's a lifetime away, you know, is that the one you were that age? Do you know, he was a whole other generation but it's kind of funny because it took me, you know, obviously until I was more into a teenager in and I was dealing with my own sexuality that I realized. Oh, wow. Carlos is gay. Yes. I heard the word gay. I didn't really know what that meant. And I would see him and I know I laughed back I would see him get him like the back of a motorcycle with some like big hairy guy and I would really I thought they were going to hurt him. Little did I realize he wanted them, but I guess one role model for me and then my

22:02 Grandmother, my mother's mother has a cousin much older gentleman who was also very very flamboyant League open and gay which which is very much of that generation. You either got married and had kids and did your stuff quietly and nobody find out or you were very flamboyant and out there. I think that that's a whole other thing that I want to explore that we have were I believe in a much better place to be able to express ourselves in in in our generation and in the future than this and then past Generations were but to go back to me. Those were my only if you want to call him Role Models growing up and the only difficulty that I had coming out I had no issues personally with being attracted to other men. I had no issues even with my emotions of it. I would almost say

22:51 That it was it was almost scary looking back how it was so not an issue for me. So not an issue for me. The only thing that was an issue for me personally is those were the only two men that I identified as gay and quite honestly they were so out there that I couldn't relate because not to try to make myself some more Macho or anything. It's just that wasn't the man. I wanted to be that didn't fit into my plan of being a gay man. Again. It wasn't a criticism of them is just I couldn't see myself unlike what you just said about your your two family members. I couldn't really see myself in them. Even the sexuality part. It was so out there for me at that point where they were they were at that I really couldn't really obviously the older I got the more, you know, it got a long and then and obviously they're they're important people in my life to this day.

23:48 But you know, I think I want to explore that a little bit about first of all of role models and how important they are in really for any young person, but certainly in the LGBT the lesbian gay bisexual transgender Community how important role models are important you feel that they are how important they were for you coming out and what you would do or are doing to help the Next Generation to the kids that are coming out now models to begin with you. No Role Models don't have to be in a Bonnie from YouTube who spends millions of dollars saving the world. It could be somebody like my mom home.

24:38 Cuz know who didn't really do much, you know, she was there though, and she was very supportive female role model in your life, but it's not you know, it's not somebody who's very proactive. It's just somebody who doesn't Role Models can also be people who don't put you down and support whatever it is that you're going to do so long as it makes you happy, you know, and

25:16 I remember when I was a kid, you know, my mom still to this day doesn't know what I do for a living to just regular get it but she walks around and she's very proud and she talks about, you know, her daughter. The doctor has no idea what I do, but she's very proud and that that to me is a role model somebody who it doesn't be guardless of anything.

25:39 It doesn't matter. So how important do you think that is for a teenager coming out or whatever it is it is it just as important for a header for a straight kid is it isn't a kid or or are there other interesting Dynamics? Do you think that come with being a gay teenager as it relates to its important for both in different capacities, you know because for somebody who's gay who doesn't have that support system not even from one person. I mean what can happen it hurts their self-esteem and they actually sometimes resent the fact that they're gay. They don't even understand why they're gay, you know, they end up being, you know, very unhappy for years until they finally come to terms with it or you know, even if you're straight if you don't have a support system, then what happens there are things about I mean, we have individual traits that we need to exude.

26:39 When were teenagers and we act on you know, and we don't have somebody supporting us that understand where that's coming from. It's only going to break us down and it's going to push us back. You know where you have a growth process kind of gets installed a little bit and also it's important for both in different ways. So I want to hear about the little girl and when was when was the first time that you liked this question that you were a leader. I want to know the first time that you were in a classroom or in a play or in a playground or somewhere where you really can look back in kind of laugh at yourself and say yeah, that's they should have known then not the gay part. But but the leadership part because you definitely I mean, you know, you're very modest about it. But but you're a Pied Piper which is about one incredible quality and we'll get more into some of the projects that that you have and are doing and will do in the future, but the best I think it's just a beautiful brilliant quality about you that

27:39 All the text books and all the degrees in the world. Don't teach you do you remember the first time that you took charge a really funny story because I was always very I'd never talk to anybody had no friends. I was right to myself as like a fat chubby little lesbian girl. There's no way yeah for the record. You are a hot as a woman. All right, so I can't picture that but that's fine. I would die. I would spend on the end of the cafeteria table because I just didn't want to talk to anybody and if people would cheat on my test. Do you know you go to private school public school?

28:29 I was Joe Hall Elementary. Where is that? What the did you or did they always call you Vanessa? Did you have a nickname or to go by another name? Like like my name until high school because my dad was always herb Sosa. I was known as George Sosa hold his so fat. I mean even in my report cards and everything and it wasn't until High School which yes, you'll forever use. This is against against me as a joke. I got a Volkswagen Bug by pure coincidence the nickname Herbie the Love Bug suck and Herb so so I came out from that but it was pure coincidence that my name was Eddie Vedder, which is roughly Herbert Herbert, but that was kind of I guess make my nickname if you want to call that but did they always know you were you always known as Vanessa?

29:29 At cuz then it's like I don't understand I Vani Rani Emma is just very different. You know, you say that and you wonder what they're talking about. But yeah, I was in second grade. I was sitting at the end of the cafeteria table by myself. Probably eating everybody else's lunch and the way I didn't realize I don't think any of us as kids realized that the teachers were always watching you and try not to reward, you know, the kids for being good and well behaved and less than that and I remember like the whole cafeteria just went silent and let you know they came up with a microphone and they were talking about you know, the best and most well-behaved kids and you know, these people are the ones you need to look up to and of course, like I was one of them and they call my name and I start crying because I can't go up and in front of anybody in public and I need no problems with the Publix dinosaur the little green.

30:29 I still have it. It was my first-ever like piece of recognition that somebody said you are the person that people have to look up to right and I still have it and I still remember the little dinosaur and I love it. And that's kind of the the recognition is still feel the same way every single time no matter how small or how big, you know, I still feel the same way. What were you like as a kid? Did you have a lot of friends? Where you at going? Where you shy where you introverted? How did you see yourself?

31:03 I saw myself as normal. I thought you know being introverted and I having friends and I was just very quiet I was very much into school. That's what made me happy and you know, it really did make me happy. So since I was happy, I didn't think anything was really wrong was anything wrong other people thought there was something wrong, you know, my mom would tell me to go outside and talk to people and you know, my teachers would tell her I had no friends, but they love me anyway, see I always had I can't say I did have friends but I was always very quiet very shy acceptance cool interesting ly enough in school. I used to have a lot of report cards that said that I know have to calm down and keep my hands to myself and not talk so much. But for the most part, I think I think of myself as a relatively quiet almost introverted kid trouble for it to still do know. You're absolutely right. But but I find it interesting because in that process I don't like the word introverted, but I guess that

32:03 In that process and also I was an only child for the most part until I was almost Aiden or 9 when my sister was born. So I think that had a lot to do with it too. I mean, I was very much into models. I had like a model City in my room where I had like buildings and the whole urban planning historic preservation, you know passions that I have architecture design art Universe signs were all there. I mean, I had a big square board in the corner of my room bigger than my bed that had model buildings like a little McDonald's in a built them all would make sense that eventually I went to work for me, you know Federated Department Stores design department stores. It just all the signs were there, but those were my my Playmates. I guess I didn't have friends, but I really didn't

32:53 I would I really just was like I wasn't above the other kids but I just found them boring. I really was more stimulated being around my family and my friends at my adult friends and then let me know when people would come over. I found them interesting. I didn't find the kids. So I think that has everything to do with me. I guess in the end the person I became I don't really I can't really say that I ever felt that I was a leader. I got you know act leads here and there but just average height really wasn't until high school. If for some reason I kind of blossomed and I I went to Miami Senior High School, which is a beautiful architectural e a beautiful school and I think that you know, I had great teachers which also had everything to do with it. I had an openly lesbian art teacher who became almost like a like a big sister in a lot of ways

33:51 I had an openly gay male art teacher. I had a Drama teacher again all the signs were there but people that to this day. I actually I have as friends now as adults, they're my friends and I think that had everything to do with it because they allowed me to not just expressed by my creative side, but really be comfortable with being a leader and be comfortable taking out of a crowd and I think that that more than anything has has molded me into I guess when I don't get to call myself a community leader, but but I am and I like to explore a little bit more about that. Let me start by saying, you know Unity Coalition is an organization that I helped found in 2002. I was born out of several friends of mine that were also involved in different things. I was director of the Miami Design preservation league and they tell her to trust what you're both historic preservation organizations in South, Florida. So I was a leader in

34:50 But since I was saving buildings, I have never saved lives as as as I would like to think I do now, but we became involved when the 2002 challenge to the human rights ordinance in Miami-Dade came around there was a need to address the Latino Community. There was nobody doing that Unity Coalition was born as an organization and then fast forward. It's now 2010 in the organization serves a lot of other roles, but certainly political and social empowerment and leadership as how I like to describe it for your vital part of that. Now being on the board you you took an extremely active role that I really want to touch on not so much the project but what it entailed and what came out of it. We just unfortunately had just recently they the Haitian earthquake the massive earthquake with over 250,000 people that have perished and obviously it's it's a law.

35:50 Turn process but you and I really almost without thinking just talked about it the day the earthquake happened and said my God, this is terrible where we going to do. Well, let's make a collection and it really went from hour to hour it just get mushrooming and mushroom and you'd call me and say oh my God, I can't believe I just got a call from the Haitian Embassy and oh my God. No, I got a call from the UN and now I got a call from you know with all these different things. I'd like to I'd like you to tell me a little bit about the process of taking that leadership because more often than not I find that organizations much larger than us an individual's much more experienced than you and I don't seem to be able to take those challenges or or take those risks and I admire you for that and I'd like you to give me so I guess words of wisdom of What Makes You Different? Why why were you able to make this particular Haitian earthquake relief effort a huge success in the sense that there's over three

36:50 Containers of medical supplies that have already been shipped there, you know countless volunteers that keep calling you doctors and nurses to pull this off. What what makes you so special what makes you able to have done this one much larger organizations have been paralyzed. I think that from from when we first started, you know, I think consistencies is a big same consistency and and repetition of what your mission really is plus it's got to be genuine. You know what I think and times like these there's a lot of people that and an organization's do it without a genuine purpose and people pick up on that. I think what we did was very out of the blue.

37:35 We did it was very authentic. We didn't expect to get credit for anything. I still don't expect to get credit for anyting. That's not why I'm doing it, but I am very consistent and I am constantly informing people of look you health and this is what happened. You know, you you gave me $10 and least $10 did this this is not or you gave me medical supplies and you know X in Ojo Sue and Mary were the ones that you know, we're able to live because of what you were able to do when you make it personal to someone, you know, then is when people start to realize that you are making a difference and doesn't matter how big or how small the organization as I've noticed that you know, I've worked with many organizations in the last couple weeks, which I'm not going to mention, you know that are people that are trained to do this kind of stuff and I'll start by giving you my answer to make it easy for you. I've often been asked what motivates me to to be a leader or to step out in Indiana when I could easily just go about my business.

38:35 Do my business and make money and you know, not not put myself out there and I thought long and hard about that answer and I think for me where I'm at in my life today, what what make what motivates me to help others is quite simply because I know that I have had a privileged life in the sense of all you got to do is look around you and realize it no matter what obstacles you went through your life is probably much better. And because I know that I have no choice but to get back and then and I do that proudly and I hope to continue to do that the rest of my life what motivates you you know, I've been very lucky but I've always but I've also been very unfortunate in certain ways and if I can help anyone avoid feeling some of the things that I have felt in my life, whether it was discouraged hurt physically incapacitated, you know, whatever it is unhappy and he knows suicide or whatever it is if I can have

39:35 One person not feel that way then. I'm happy when I go to sleep at night. That's what I think about. I don't think about, you know, the fancy five-star restaurant that I went to for dinner, I think about the person smile in somebody's face when I said something or I gave them something or they got something but you know, that's what it's about, I'm committing you right now to a date in Washington DC in 2044 will be all that. I'm Walkers, and we're going to go to the library Congress and listen to this interview. Thank you. Thank you. Thank

40:13 If you had to pick one what Annie maybe get some baby different tomorrow, what is the most important thing you've done in your life?

40:36 Probably help my mom. She's sick. So I take care of her. That's why the most important thing I've done.

40:42 I would say that the most important thing or the thing I am proudest of is.

40:49 It's being a good at being a good man. It's being a good son. It's being a good father. It's being a good brother and being a good nephew. And that really is what I am proudest up. I am proudest of the man that I would like to think that I am in the man that I would like to think that every day. I try to be better at and I hope I Jenny I don't do it.

41:10 I don't do it for credit or or words for somebody to say look out. What a great person he is. I really do it to inspire in to motivate other people and obviously myself but that that to me is my greatest accomplishment is it's what I put out there every day and hopefully somebody sees that and says, wow, you know, I'd like to be like that.