And for some good news:

Supreme Court rules in favor of LGBTQ employment rights.

Yes, transgender and sexual orientation employment rights are protected under the 1964 civil rights act. (Article compliments of Joe.My.God)

H.A.P.P.Y. Radio – Edwin Star – 1979

Freedom

Thought provoking:

True freedom carries with it respect of differences. In public accommodation I must respect the freedom of others to live a different life than my own.

I practiced as a Respiratory Therapist in public medical accommodation for 20 years. In that practice I not only was required to respect different cultures, customs, politics and  religions but wished to appreciate what made us human. What makes us human is differences, as well as commonalities. Humanity is empathy. Humanity is understanding. Humanity is having different experiences. Humanity is having different beliefs. Humanity is enriching each other.

I currently sell real estate. Selling real estate is a public accommodation. In this field I am required by law to respect all races, religions, beliefs, politics, sexes, sexualities, colors, practices, disabilities, abilities, politics and professions. I, by law, cannot discriminate. I also do not wish to discriminate nor exclude. I sell property to all and I relish all.

Understanding begins with me. Respect begins with me. Empathy begins with me.

I don’t have to live the life of the one I don’t agree with. I live the life I choose. I let others live their life and respect that they believe differently. I respect they have a different life experience than I do. In public accommodation I serve them.

Join me. Be human. Start right where you are.

In public accommodation enrich the canvas that is the art of humanity.

Thank you Edith

Edith Windsor 6/20/1929-9/12/2017

Edith is a hero of mine. Edith will be missed but never forgotten. It was her Supreme Court Case that struck down the Defense of Marriage act in 2013 thus causing the federal government to recognize my legal marriage in California from 2008.

I read that a quote of hers was “Don’t Postpone Joy”. I haven’t been able to personally verify this quote as hers, but I think it fitting.

Thank you Edith for helping humanity get just a little better one step at a time.

Marriage, it’s legal.

My last post went up minutes before the U.S. Supreme Court validated our relationships nationwide.

Congratulations to all!

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We, a married couple, in front of U.S. Supreme Court in April 2015 just before our 25th anniversary. Today that court validated all Gay and Lesbian relationships as equal and validated us for who we are, who we love.

And what about marriage?

Growing up I never dreamed that I would marry. In fact when I came out to my parents at age 16 my mother cried. She said she was crying not that I was gay, but that I would never be married, have a life long love or children. The children part didn’t bother me but the life long love and equal partner did.

I was gay and if that meant I would never marry then I was going to have to learn to live a single life. I would hope to meet a partner one day that would stay with me. We would live a life together without a legal contract. We would be subject to others making health care decisions for us. Others having rights to what we had built together if something happened. We would have to make our wishes known and protect what we could through trusts, contracts and wills. We could love but we would be different. We would never be able to marry or be recognized equally and legally.

Today I live a life that was never even on my radar. We have been together 25 years. We were able to marry here in California in 2008. In 2013 our marriage was recognized nationally. We now can make healthcare decisions for the other should we need to and our estate that we built together is ours. We are equal. Our life, ourselves to its core at the deepest level, is validated. It means more to me than I could ever begin to conceive that day when my mother cried.

I write this as we wait for the decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Many couples like ourselves wait to see if they too can be recognized as we are…Equal & Validated. I sit in anticipation that hopefully my brothers and sisters, who like me were born with a same sex attraction, will all finally be able to choose to marry if they wish.

Love, it’s a four letter word, a good one.

I was a single man

Twenty five years ago today I was on vacation in Key West. I was there with my roommate Scott and a good friend named Bobby. We were staying at Alexander’s Guest House on Fleming Street. I was in room number 2, a wonderful room on the front of the 1880s Victorian house that was Alexander’s.

That week we spent our days lounging in the sun, recovering from the night before,  roaming the quaint streets, eating and shopping. At night we were always out on the town in and out of the numerous bars of Duval street. Every night ending up at The Copa, a converted 1920’s Art Deco movie palace that was now (1990) one of the hottest discos in the states.

At that time in my life I frequented Key West. All through the late 1980’s I made the trek to Key West about 4 times per year. So much so the doorman at The Copa asked me if  I had a place there. The Copa was a special place for me. In my world I made it the disco that I had fantasized about in the late 1970’s that I was too young to experience. As the seasons changed The Copa did as well. There was always a new theme, new dance hit premiers, guest DJs, guest performers, as well as never ending loops of porn at the balcony bar. Yes the movie palace had a balcony which was now a place to catch a moment away and watch the dance floor below.

Yes I was Lola from Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana”. Twenty five years ago tonight I did not know that Rico was about to enter my life. The difference between Lola and I is that my Rico wasn’t killed, and I’m not still on that barstool with faded feathers in my hair and unfortunately The Copa burned to the ground a few years later.

On that Saturday Night 25 years ago, with my traveling companions Scott & Bobby in tow, we made our way into The Copa probably around our usual 11:30 pm as the crescendo was building. Somewhere after midnight with the energy building the whole place went black and silent. Unusual for this club. Suddenly, with the first thump of a song, cobalt blue pin spotlights hit dancers on the boxes, bars and old stage. This unfamiliar tune that was pumping through the speakers into our bones was entrancing. The dancers started to move, but they were posing not actually dancing. Then the video hit the big screen, yes it may have had a dance floor but it was a movie theatre before and the big screen was still there. It was the premier of Madonna’s Vogue. The freaking place exploded.

We danced the night away, drank more than our fair share and each found a gentleman to take back to our rooms to “keep us warm”. After all the next day was Sunday, we were in Key West on vacation, we were in our twenties, gay, single and we didn’t have to do anything until time for Tea Dance the next afternoon.

Sunday came. I can’t tell you much about the day other than I’m sure we shared our stories from the night before and raved about the experience of Madonna’s Vogue premier. Sunday afternoon we made our way to La Te Da ( La Terazza De Marti’) for afternoon Tea Dance, a Key West must. From there we would go to Tea By The Sea at Atlantic Shores and onto Duval Street and The Copa for yet another night of three single guys on vacation debauchery. Little did I know my world was about to change.

I drifted away from Scott and Bobby at Tea Dance. I wanted quiet to think. I made my way to the top of La Te Da. A widows walk about four stories up. A small observation deck where you could watch the dance floor below. I chose to look out the other side, over Key West Victorian rooftops to the Sea. I became calm. I made a decision. I decided that I didn’t need another man, a relationship to make me whole. I let go of the pain from the break up six months before. I made peace. I decided that my own happiness and security was up to me, not someone else. I felt calm.

At that very moment that I made peace within me I heard a voice from beside me say hello. I had no way of knowing that the face I was about to look into was my soul mates face. I had no way of knowing that when I turned to respond that I would soon be moving 3000 miles to live with that man. I had no way of knowing that I would fall in love with him, I just turned said hello and a conversation started.

Today that man is my better half, my legal husband. Legal husband? In 1990 that was not even a fantasy. We have a home, six dogs, a wonderful family on both sides that loves us and supports us. We have careers, retirement plans, investment properties and most of all we love each other, care for each other, support each other and we laugh… A lot.

Twenty Five years ago, two young men who met at Tea Dance.

Twenty Five years ago, two young men who met at Tea Dance.

Last week in front of The Supreme Court of The United States, two legally married men about to celebrate 25 years together.

Last week in front of The Supreme Court of The United States, two legally married men about to celebrate 25 years together.

Happy Anniversary babe! I’m so glad you said hello.