Saturday, July 04, 2015

Fourth of July, 2015



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!

17 comments:

  1. No citizen should be left behind or feel like he/she doesn't belong to this great country. I am happy for you Ron and Bill, and everybody else who gave their time, youth, knowledge and even life to make the US an even better country, regardless if they are straight, gay, trans-gender, christian, atheist, asian, african american… Happy Independence day!

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    1. Nadege,
      That was my patriotic spell. Bill and I always fly the flag, not just on patriotic holidays. It's interesting but whatever neighborhood we have lived in, once we put the flag up everyday several nearby neighbors also did the same. I know our country is imperfect but it is the BEST in the rest of the world for freedom of the individual. Well, maybe Norway and Denmark have an edge (smile).
      Ron

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  2. Ron - I love the USA! Happy July 4th. It is a privilege and a lottery win to be living there.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      I won the "lottery" in more ways than one!
      Ron

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  3. A great video, Ron, and food for thought on this Independence Day. Our nation gained its independence long ago. Unfortunately, it took a little longer for some of our citizens to acquire it.

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    1. Jon,
      No matter what discrimination I have encountered in my life because of being gay or from a lower socioeconomic class, I have always believed in this country. The events of the past few weeks have proven me right. Still a long way to go though. Still a lot of people in this country who are mad because they are losing their power over others through fear and intimidation. This is truly the best time of my life. Too bad it's ending soon.
      Ron

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  4. Quite right to feel proud at how far you and society (well, the parts of it that matters) have come, Ron. Now if only the rest of the world would follow suit. It WILL happen, though most of it of course, not in our lifetimes.

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    1. Ray,
      Now if we can just get the Muslim world out of the 10th century and to enter modern times, now that would be progress!
      Ron

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    2. Ah well, Ron. Now you're REALLY talking!

      Btw: Re my non-playing of videos. Now I don't have a choice of whether I dare risk it or not. I just can't play ANY even if I wanted to. Adobe's crashed for good, seemingly, and nothing I do like unloading an entire new programme doesn'r work. So from now on no videos on this thing. It's all falling to pieces bit by bit - just like we are!

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  5. I can't remember if I have already left a comment and you haven't published it OR I forgot to do so.
    I am getting old. Either way I send you hearty warm fuzzies.

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    1. Thank you Dr. Spo and a very happy birthday to you!

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  6. I sure like your video and the birdsong accompaniment. I have followed your blog long enough to have learned of, appreciated, your efforts to amplify the ripples of equality and civil rights. You were never "less than" and will always be an integral part of the equality that is yet to be. My compliments and admiration.

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    1. Thank you Geo. I never thought myself "less than", even in the old dark days of the 50's. My only problem was others who treated me as "less than". All of us are equal. It is our responsibility what we do with our lives without harming others.
      Ron

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  7. Happy Independence Day, guys! :)

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    1. Thank you Fit Studs!
      Ron

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  8. A bit late, but HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Thanks Jay. Right back at you!
      Ron

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