In life, we grow from our shortcomings and our mistakes, and I believe that we carry these experiences and become better people from life's trials and tribulations. The research into my past does reveal mistakes that I made — mistakes from my past, and I own them.
The events noted by the letter writer are based on fact, but I do have to clarify some of the points.
First of all, the poor economy forced me out of one of my jobs in the past two years; the lack of protections for the LGBT workforce allowed another job to end. In addition, I pled guilty to a charge of purchasing alcohol for a person under 21, and there was drug paraphernalia in plain sight though it was not owned by me. I paid my debt to society through community service and fines. The bankruptcy filing in 2004 took place while I was married, when my wife and I overextended ourselves. We followed the legal process to save our house and keep a home for our two daughters.
I have learned immensely from spending more than your means, and I can bring that experience to City Council. I ask the letter writer and all citizens of Asheville to reflect on all our journeys that have led us to where we are today. I think we will all realize that we are better people for overcoming life's obstacles, and we all have a lot to teach each other in this community we call Asheville.
I would like to thank the Mountain Xpress for giving me the opportunity to clarify the events of my past, and I am looking at the present and future issues that are at hand and facing the citizens of Asheville.
— TJ Thomasson