In the 80s my Uncle Randy was living in Texas with his partner, Richie. That is, until someone murdered Richie and burned the house down around him. No one was ever charged or prosecuted.
It was a hate crime, utterly ignored.
Fearing for his life, Uncle Randy fled to llinois, where my amazing parents supported and cared for him until he died of AIDS in 1988.
I didn’t know the full story until many years later. My mom told me I was sobbing uncontrollably at his funeral. I was only ten years old at the time, and not an overly emotional child, so this was unusual. On some level, even as a 5th grader, I must have sensed his strife.
I didn’t need the facts to feel the injustice.
Yesterday I met with the internet sensation, Ash Beckham, an inspiring and hilarious woman whose Ignite Boulder speech went viral about the misuse of the phrase, “That’s so gay”. Over 360,000 views on YouTube, her speech breaks down the idea that words are powerful…using the most hilarious flow chart I’ve ever seen. Please invest 5 minutes of your life and watch this.
Today the Supreme Court began hearing cases on federal and local laws regarding same-sex marriage. Last Thursday, Governor Hickenlooper signed a bill allowing civil unions. On Saturday, the topic began of me performing a civil union (I’m a minister in the state of Colorado) for one of the greatest lesbian couples I know.
The power of words. The power of weddings. It’s not equality yet, but we’ve come a long way. It’s progress.
And that just makes me gay. (happy)