I can't believe I am admitting this, but after all the months of A Note to My Kid posts - somehow I missed the fact that you were the co-founder of this site.
I have reposted and supported this site because I believe it in it, but I didn't realize you had a hand in it. Good for you. I have found the posts so inspiring. This site is what the world needs right now.
Recently, Washington State made a big step in the passing of the gay marriage movement. And I am proud.
If I were to look back on the experiences that made me so supportive of the rights of everyone - no matter who they love - I can clearly identify the most early experiences (pre-1998)...
1.) Mr. McCune the admired fourth grade teacher at my school (I was in third grade) who suddenly became ill with a "new unknown disease" -- AIDS as it turned out. The school was horrified to lose such an amazing teacher. He decided to leave while he was still healthy with his partner and go fulfill his dreams, which included traveling to Africa, etc. Everything was disclosed, his partner, his disease. His farewell was full of love and support; there was so much love at his goodbye celebration. Two years later, he returned and tried to substitute at another school. By this time, vicious rumors and fear had spread about the disease. There was a huge backlash and parents were withdrawing their children from his class. Such a shame because Mr. McCune was an amazing teacher. It was such a shift from our tearful goodbye. I knew it was wrong...even at 13.
2.) "Ellen"...I remember loving this sitcom, and when she came out on her show I remember being horrified when advertisers began backing out - especially Volvo. I drove a Volvo at the time (my 16th birthday present) - and I remember feeling shame that this company pulled their support for the show -- boo! I felt so much pride for her - for being brave enough to step forward. I was a teenager, but it didn't matter. She gave my generation fuel for the fire yet to come.
3.) My dear friend Patrick came out to me in college. Quite the ladies man - I should have been surprised. But I wasn't because when he told me there are an honestly about his statement that left me proud. There is nothing more appealing than someone you love expressing who they are and that they found the trust in you to express it.
My point is...no matter how my banker mind leans toward conservative fiscal matters, I will always support gay rights no matter what. I believe in love, with boy or girl - it doesn't matter.
I have known you for so long now. I have seen you with boyfriends that didn't deserve you and I have seen you with boyfriends that were simply amazing. And now I see you with your match (even though I haven't met Mike - I can tell - he is your one and only). The point is - that is how love is, no matter who you love - it takes some time to find the person for you...
So a note to my friend, thank you for being brave enough to come out to me at 21. You just reinforced everything I already knew, we all deserve the right to find love. And if you can find it in this crazy world, then anything is possible.
You and I have been through our ups and down; but I love you like a brother and you are forever my friend. Thank you for having a forever impact on my life.