For the first time in my life, this Fourth of July I feel like an equal citizen of this country, the United States of America.
For all of my life (73 years) I have played by the rules. I went to school and graduated.
After high school I joined the Army to fulfill my obligation as a citizen of this country to volunteer three years of my life in defense of this country, the United States of America.
After my three year service obligation was completed in January of 1963 I left the service because I knew I was gay and I didn't want to live a life of fear of being found out and being discharged from the Army as an "undesirable."
I would have applied for a job at the National Security Agency, where I worked for two and a half years (in the closet) while I was in the Army. I could have easily converted my status from Army soldier to civilian government worker at a nice GS rating. But I didn't because at the National Security Agency, I had a top secret clearance and back in the Dark Ages of the Sixties, gays were considered blackmail material. Thus I left a potentially lucrative career as a government service worker. Just think, if I had stayed in the closet and had a longtime secure career as a government worker, I could be one of those "Washington D.C. gays" who dominate the Rehoboth Beach social scene. I would belong to "the club." But alas, I digress of "would've, could've".
Instead I got a job. I won't bore you with the details of all my jobs but suffice it to say I had a mildly successful career first at a hotel, then thirty-seven years in bank operations and now the past seventeen years in the hotel business (again). What comes around goes around.
All these years I've worked I've paid my taxes. I've been a good citizen. I've paid more than my share of school real estate taxes and income tax to subsidize straight couples and their kids, so they could enjoy the Good Life.
Now this year, for the first time in history, gay marriage is the law of the land.
For the first time in my life, my seventy-three year journey survival as a gay man, I am now an equal citizen of this country. Know what I say?
Better late than never.
Happy Fourth to everyone!
|Me and Bill's "official" 51st anniversary photo - a Selfie!|