One day I was driving the two of us to some event or other. We came to an intersection and I turned to him and asked, “Where from here? Do we go straight or what?”
Without missing a beat he looked at me and said, “I never go straight. Always forward!” Then he erupted with that magnificent loud and joyous laugh of his.
On my walk to dinner tonight I spotted this piece of campaign advertising lying on the sidewalk and couldn’t help but think of him. It seemed so appropriate today, on National Coming Out Day.
Twenty-three years after I first met Tom there are now so many brave and priceless LGBTQ people in my life. I can’t imagine how impoverished our relationships would be if they had not felt comfortable enough to be themselves. It could not have been easy for any of them, no matter how tightly knit their personal safety nets.
For them and for those who are not yet comfortable with outing themselves: Closeted or not, I support you and thank you for being who you are. It gets better.
Never forget Tom’s words: Always forward!