I'm back from my conference trip to Florida, and there are so many things I want to write about. I have a post about Key West, and how I want to go back for at least a week so I can channel Jimmy Buffett. I have a post about Disney and getting in touch with your inner child. I have a post about common courtesy, especially as it relates to traveling. And then there's a post about the guy I met. Fear not, faithful readers, as these posts will be forthcoming. But there's a post that must come first.
Today, October 11th, is National Coming Out Day. I always try to take a moment on this date to ponder the person I once was and who I have become since I came out of the closet. I have now been out of the closet longer than I was in it. I realized the other day while sitting on a panel, and it's an odd feeling, to be sure. I'm so much happier now than I was when I was still living the lie. I feel I've made a diffence, and am happy about who I have become.
I ponder a vision of the future, when the countless people who live in fear of their lives because they love someone of the same sex can be honest about who they are. A world where all can marry, and children are protected no matter what shape, size, color, or chromosomal makeup their family might have. That vision of tomorrow gives me hope, and that hope makes me work even harder today.
And today I always take a moment to mourn. Tomorrow will be another anniversary. At 12:53am on October 12th, Matt died in a Fort Collins hospital. UW President Phil Dubois called to tell me around 5 am. I will cry. I will think about the pain and struggle over the last 9 years. I will think about positive change and discussion over that same period.
I will, once again, renew a promise I made 9 years ago. I will keep pushing. Keep working. Keep speaking. Doing. Fighting. Helping. Teaching. Living. I remember you today, Matt. And tomorrow. And the day after that. And each day after.