I’m Proud of My Friends

Waterford baby block

Dear Reader:

Today ends Pride Month and I’m thinking of all the gay men I’ve known, but particularly the first one I met twenty five years ago and the one I met only 8 months ago. Shopping and fashion are part of my DNA and that interest served as the foundation for all of my  friendships with gay men.

Before I had my daughter, I shared a cubicle wall with Carlos. We worked in a high testosterone environment at a Silicon Valley start-up. Neither of us were destined for great success at the company, but we earned enough to dine well and shop well on shared lunch breaks.

One day, I visited him in the hospital during my lunch hour in the middle of a dramatic rain storm. He joked that he always provided plenty of drama. Thankfully, he’s an AID’s survivor. He was my first friend to give me a gift when I announced my pregnancy. The tiny crystal baby block came with a note: “Here’s your girl’s first piece of Waterford.”

He really went above and beyond throughout my pregnancy accompanying me to maternity shops to apply his critical eye to my selections. One day about seven months along, I came into work with a new purchase I’d made on my own. I’ll never forget his reaction…uh, open mouth, “That’s a whole lotta denim!” I’ve got the pictures in my photo album and, of course, he was right. Every time I look at that dress now, I can hear his voice.

I haven’t seen Carlos in years, but he was the first of several gay friends. I feel so fortunate to have made another close friend when I moved eight months ago. One of my neighbors has become particularly dear to me. He and his partner go out of their way to help everyone on the street. They are the guys who take out and bring in the trash bins of elderly widows. They can be found on the street often walking their tiny dog and they’re always ready with a pleasant greeting. When their trees give them too much fruit, they leave bags of lemons and oranges on their neighbors’ doorsteps.

One night, early in our friendship, my friend shared that he’d always known he was gay. He remembered watching the Donny and Marie Show with his buddies. While they appreciated the attributes of Marie Osmond, he found himself admiring Donny. Well, we had that in common!

“But, I wouldn’t have chosen to be this way,” he concluded.

I haven’t been able to get that moment out of my mind. It is so sad to me that someone I find simply wonderful would want to change an integral part of himself. It is, of course, understandable. I do hope for continued progress and acceptance of those in the LBGTQ community. If only everyone had friends as good as mine, society would surely change.

Michele

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “I’m Proud of My Friends

  1. Thank you Michele for your support of the LGBTQ community and for keeping that pink floral ribbon rose. You are special.

  2. Thank you for this column. Like you, I have had many good friends who are gay. I hope we have now reached a point where people can be valued for who they are rather than just for their sexual orientation.

  3. So sweet, Michele. Thank you for putting such a lovely representation of the LGBTQ community into words.😌❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

  4. Thank you Michele you express so well my thoughts.It was nice to hear from you again, for some problems in my computer I have not had notes from the Pink Shed lately.Love Marietta

    1. My friend is content with his life now. But he’s 50 years old. Hopefully, things have changed enough to make the journey of life less challenging today. Your daughter is fortunate to have an enlightened supportive mom (or “mum” as you say!)!

  5. Oh my sweet friend, I loved your recent post. We need more caring & wonderful people like you on earth. It would be such a different planet. Love you to the moon and back!

    HVL

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