Every day my mind wanders and those ramblings will most likely end up here. First I will examine a topic (from current events to personal reflection) from all sides – left, right and all around. Then I will collect my thoughts and express them here.
As I begin this blog it is one week since the Pulse massacre in Orlando (6.12.16). As a gay man in America, I have seen my country come a long way. I grew up closeted until 1981, the year AIDS broke out, although it wasn’t called that at first (GRID was the first name, Gay Related Immune Deficiency). As I sat among my classmates, I vowed to myself to never hide my true self again. That was my coming out day – June 4, 1981 at 8:00 pm during my high school graduation.
I was still seventeen when I started classes that fall at Rollins College in Winter Park, adjacent to the big city of Orlando. I have strong ties with the city. My first gay bar was the Parliament House on OBT. I still remember sitting with my friends at Southern Nights one June evening and saying we should all wear red shirts when we go to Disney. Orlando didn’t have a pride parade back then, I think the idea caught on.
Thirty-five years later – 49 are killed in a club opened to honor the owner’s own brother who died from AIDS in 1991. Yes, last year we won the right to marry our true loves via Supreme Court decision, but that didn’t change the minds of those who have always hated us, it seems to have empowered them. Called them to arms to fight the assault of the “Gay Agenda.” In times like these the quote from a great man always comes to mind, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” (MLK) I would have thought after 35 years things would have changed. Then again, what was I thinking?