The Cakes and I have worked with Gays and Lesbians our entire careers. I’ve worked with a Trans-gender individual as well.
Reflecting about our gay friends and associates last night while we had our evening cocktail on the porch, I thought about my Mother’s girlhood friend, who spent her entire life in the closet. A childhood friend’s older brother, a successful Doctor, married with children came out late in life. A friend and associate in radio, married to a great woman, he fathered a little girl and remained closeted until he was stricken with AIDS and died. The Gay kid I went to high school with who hung himself the day after graduation.
Then on the brighter side there’s my friend’s successful younger brother, whose partner is called “Auntie Mark” by the kids in the family. Believe me there’s a lot of good stories about good people and acceptance by families. The best thing is my children and their children don’t even “get’ why people would be upset or bothered by GLBT people.
When Cakes was an instructor in the US Airways training department, her mentor was a gay man, he later died of AIDS. Every time she speaks of him she gets tears in her eyes, he was that good of a person and a wonderful influence in her life. One of Cakes best friends in high school was a lesbian, she didn’t really know it at the time, but later she did.
I worked with one of the first women in radio sales in the country, successful, strong and started selling long before women held those jobs. Now over half of the account executives in radio are women. She was a Lesbian.
I worked with a guy who was the leading ground gainer in Massachusetts 4A high school football, he came out at 17 and his Catholic High School teammates gave him their support. I asked him what his school administrators and coaches thought, he said, “I didn’t care, I was tired of pretending to be straight, besides what were they going to do, kick me off the team? I could have gone to any school in the conference and become their worst nightmare.” A number of colleges dropped their interest in him after he came out. He is now married to a retired Navy Blue Angel pilot.
We are so happy for our friends, Bily (he says he got the other L kicked out of him) and Matt, Steve and Anthony. They are great guys, smart, interesting, funny and a delight to be around.
Years and years ago I was having an after work beer with a Gay guy I worked with and out of the blue he said, “You know what’s great about being a young gay guy?” I said, “I have no idea.” He laughed and said, “Nobody says No!”
One last thought, I hope that Gay Salem, ND farmer who tried to hug me so desperately one night in a bar and received an elbow in the ribs for his trouble, found somebody to hug and to hold him in return.