April 16th, 2012

Paul Neyron rose 2

out to university event

It wasn't the first time I'd literally left the house in days, but it had been a while since I'd gone out anywhere in the car.  I had a note on my calendar that it was the university GLBT association awards ceremony, so I texted S. to see if it was something appropriate for alums to go to.  He said yes, that I should come.

I saw a few alums and students I knew from a couple of years ago when I was volunteering at [university] regularly.  I saw S. down in front and said, "Kiss from a distance."  I didn't think he'd want to get too near me.  Quite the contrary, he wanted me to sit next to him.  I thought that all the GLBT association executive board members would be sitting together, but apparently they were sitting anywhere in the little theater the event was being held in.

The present executive board went up to the stage and then next year's executive board was introduced.  Several of them were the same people, just in different offices.  There were awards for students, for faculty and staff, and for community members.  There's a Bayard Rustin award -- I think it's money towards books, and the students write an essay for consideration for it, plus what they're involved in.  There's now a Barbara Gittings/Frank Kameny award in memory of those gay and lesbian rights pioneers.  They came to [university] to speak, Barbara Gittings more than once.  Well, she lived in Philadelphia for quite some time, then in Wilmington, Delaware.  It was certainly an honor to have them come to [university].  I attended the event in which both of them were there, along with Kay Tobin Lahusen and Lili Vincenz.  I said to all four of them, "Thank you for everything you've done for us."

J.H., the mentor of the organization, who is going to a different position in the university than she held, got the faculty/staff Gittings/Kameny award.  She's counseled and mentored students, and guided the organization, for many years.  I'm glad she was recognized for all her work and dedication.  She's very modest about everything she's done, and said she accepted the award humbly.

Among what was going on with the awards, it sounds like there's a lot of activity working for trans* awareness and rights on campus.  They talked about how active B. was in raising knowledge about transitioning students, and B. won an award.  The person I'd originally known as J.(male name) and who's just going by J now also won an award.  It's faculty and staff involved with it, too, but it sounds like the students are doing a lot in that area, which I think is great.

After the awards, there were quesadillas for a little dinner.  S. and I went on the line for food, and S. said he'd grab a seat on a couch for us.  I just hope he doesn't get sick from being near me, though I have been on antibiotics for a while now.  He clearly thinks we should sit together and hang out together at whatever university GLBT event I attend.  I find it touching.

He caught me up on his news about schoolwork and interships he's applying for, and what he might do for summer jobs.  There's a part-time summer job he's thinking of in [borough].  Since he wants to live with M. for the summer, it would mean commuting back to [borough] from [neighboring county] a couple of days a week.

I had someone there take a couple of pictures of S. and me together.  They turned out well.  Now I have pictures of me with my secret love child.  I'm happy about that.  There was going to be a Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus performance, but I decided I was a little tired.  S. was leaving to write a paper.  There were several other people I knew that I could have sat with, so that wasn't really the deciding factor.  I said hi to a couple of other alums who were there.

So I felt involved with the GLBT community.  Mostly it's having S. as my secret love child, but I did feel involved.

(Added later: The awards theme this year was marriage equality, and the slideshow was of same-sex couples getting married.  I said to S., "Isn't that illegal in Pennsylvania?" and he laughed.  I would have heard about it if Pennsylania had marriage equality laws.  As far as I know, same-sex marriages are not illegal as in specifically written in as against the law in Pennsylvania, though they are in some states.  They're not legal either.  I'm sure there's at least a small movement dedicated to marriage equality in Pennsylvania.  I just haven't heard of it.  There are a lot of things I haven't heard of, though.)