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Tue Jun 21, 2016, 12:34 PM

 

I can pinpoint precisely when I became pro-LGBT. The summer I turned 12.

Of course, the phrase LGBT didn't even exist at the time. And I didn't know much about sex itself- of any kind.

I found this book in my parents' library.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Well_of_Loneliness

I loved the protagonist. I suffered with her- no that's not too strong a word to use. It awoke something in me. Empathy, I suppose, but something more than that.

Granted, that such a book was available to me in the mid sixties, speaks to the fact that my parents weren't homophobic- I was named after a relative who was somewhat famously bi. My parents had close LGBT friends.

But that book made such a huge impression on me. Rereading it recently as an adult, I saw its flaws as a work of literature, but if literature is at least partly the ability to let us see from the perspective of others, it remains a notable work.



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Reply I can pinpoint precisely when I became pro-LGBT. The summer I turned 12. (Original post)
cali Jun 2016 OP
LWolf Jun 2016 #1
cali Jun 2016 #2
HuckleB Jun 2016 #3

Response to cali (Original post)

Tue Jun 21, 2016, 12:40 PM

1. I remember, too. I was also about 12.

A very dear family friend, an "aunt" ( I didn't have actual aunts or uncles or cousins or siblings, but this woman adopted me, and I her, as family) jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. I learned then that she was a lesbian, and simply couldn't cope with her closeted self, or her loneliness. My mom, her friend, had opened our hearts and lives to her. Too many others did not.

She was smart, beautiful, and a gifted artist. She was kind, loving, and fun. And she was gone.

I have carried her in my heart for 4.5 decades now, and have never truly forgiven those who made her feel so desperate to stop the pain as to take that last step.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 21, 2016, 12:46 PM

2. I think that's an age where lasting impressions are made

 

I am so sorry about your "aunt".

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Response to cali (Original post)

Tue Jun 21, 2016, 12:51 PM

3. I honestly never thought about it.

Then I moved to Oregon with my spouse in 1992 (we had just been married), and I opened the paper to see a headline: "Nirvana plays benefit to defeat anti-gay measure."

My first thought: "Shit. What kind of place is this?" And yet I had never thought about it, consciously, until then.

Now, in the years before that, in high school and college, I had friends who I knew were gay, but in that era almost no one talked about it. It was just something that didn't seem to matter to anyone in the group. Now, I have no idea what it must have been like for them. Well, I know it had be hard, and scary. I was a very clueless young man, who still just accepted everyone for some odd reason. I feel like I stumbled into acceptance of others via my cluelessness. Or something...

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