The GLBT community needs a lot more poignant stories like this one. Some excerpts:
"And then I met a woman: a teacher on campus, who helped me see beauty in the whole world. At 28, for the first time, I was loved and knew love, for myself, for the person I really was.
"But while glorying in my never-before-experienced happiness, I knew it had to be hidden. She was married. Often, the only way to see her was with her husband. I was also dating her brother, and we all would sometimes go dancing.
"That relationship ended after a few years, when my loved one's husband intervened. I didn't see her until years later, when I stood in line at her book signing at USC. She was alone, cordial; she asked about my mother. But no, she couldn't join me for coffee afterward."
Yes, this is who we are, and we're not going to hide in shame in anymore. We're going to demand our rights to equality like anyone else would, and no amount of Republican huffing & puffing, conservative pontificating & demonizing is going to stop us.
"Finally, after almost nine years since my beloved partner's death, I am able to do what I could never have braved in earlier years: pre-sent myself herewith to the world as a lesbian, along with all the women who ask to be judged by the full facet of our characters.
"Why am I now able to speak the unspoken? A friend at the retirement community where I live recently came out in the local and national newspapers. When I saw her do that, I thought, for heaven's sake, nobody can fire me, I'm 88 years old, my parents are gone.
"Still, I was frightened. It took me several days to put this essay in the mailbox. I owe a lot of credit to people who are comfortable enough in their own skins to say, "This is who I am.""