Holidays with ‘family’Bill's Briefs, Latest Issue Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017
Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs
Concerned with the welfare of our feathered friends on Thanksgiving Day, I ventured to a nearby store famous for its empathy and compassion. I was assured my free-range guest of honor, Abigail, spent the day frolicking in the fields before drifting off later to a final sleep surrounded by family and friends. Except for perhaps sweet “Gabby” we all had a day of thanks and togetherness. The holiday season has begun and we seniors have to take charge of these special days more than in years past.
Events used to be taken care of by/with others. Many are now gone and it is too much trouble. The day comes and goes without much, if any, participation. Some prefer it that way. Fine. But if this Turkey Day was depressing or you pretended it was just another day, don’t let December’s festivities be a repeat.
I remind you again that as our circle of friends ages and thins out, our LGBT family remains to fill the gap. Sundry celebrations approach so plan something now. Don’t wait for the phone to ring (Did it ring for Thanksgiving?). Call others to share a meal, include a few you’ve recently met to enlarge your circle. Can’t cook? Potluck. A small apartment? Eat out. Can’t treat? Go Dutch. No excuses. It’s the companionship that’s important. Choose the restaurant or vote between no more than two. Honor the occasion by swapping personal remembrances of the day. A reading of seasonal cards can be fun. Everyone brings one serious, one funny and, if no nuns are present one naughty. Mix them up, then choose, like presents under the tree of yesteryear. Simple, but the day will be remembered as fun, shared and, hey, even holy. Give it a try.
Thanks to those who served silently
Recently a thrill passed through me (no, not that kind) as I attended the announcement of this year’s ten new additions to the LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor at The Center. I never thought to see a public event honoring LGBT members who had served in the armed forces.
Seniors, especially the older ones, can imagine their struggle to serve our nation while under the daily threat of dishonorable discharge even jail should their true selves be exposed. There are thousands who endured “service in silence” including many who to this day continue the silence.
These ten service members, however, after their terms of duty, refused to keep silent and not only came out, but worked and thrived in the LGBT world to make it a safe environment as well as a powerful voice. More importantly, they did it here in San Diego in a variety of fields culminating in a series of accomplishments affecting our community.
Their stories about “back then” brought back many unpleasant memories. It is a different world now with bumps still in the road to be sure, but to openly serve our country as our true selves is empowering. It was a special night with a wonderfully large audience giving them our respect and thanks.
Sincere gratitude to the sponsoring duo Benjamin Dillingham III and Bridget Wilson by whose efforts we were able to honor: Robert Bettinger, Justin Brent, Roger Greenseth, Nichole (Nic) Herrera (U.S. Army); Zander Keig (U.S. Coast Guard); Wayne E. Dietz Jr., Robert J. Leyh, Judith A Litzenberger, John Lockhart and Craig A. Morgan (U.S. Navy). Their inspiring personal stories prompted standing ovations. Put it on your calendar for next year.
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