Bob German, Kentucky
Pride – 1995! I’ve posted this picture before. It’s from the Pride march back in 1995. Yes 1995!! Shut up.
I’m marching this evening as a guest of one of our largest corporations in town. A friend works their. I believe the company is a sponsor. Back in 1995 there was NO way I’d ever thought this was possible.
My gay journey was complicated. And in stages.
The last part of this Journey was golf. I had come out in all areas of my life except at the golf course. In fact, for many years I had given up golf so as not to deal with it.
In 1999 I joined Valhalla Golf Club. I semi went back into the closet. Changing pronouns to “us” to “we” instead of him or my boyfriend or partner (never her).
Slowly I stopped that.
Then in 2002 our house was featured in the Courier – Journal. There we were.
I went to the course that Saturday morning. People were like nice article. I saw you in the paper. Stuff like that. I was sure some were saying things behind my back. Once the bag-room attendant said “ hello Mr. Gayman”. I let it slide.
I didn’t say much. I just was. Over time we got invited to weddings. Golf trips. Dinners. “ bob and friend” the invitations read.
These mostly straight white republicans changed their attitudes. At one wedding the kids of my golf buddy came up to me and thanked me for helping their dad change his attitudes. Once on a golf trip I hit a really bad shot and they tossed me a pink golf ball as a mulligan. We all laughed.
Pride is about pride. Pride in being who you are. No shame. Not everyone will get the acceptance in life I’ve experienced. I’m very blessed.
I’ll be marching for the young kid who thinks he can’t. That kid might even be myself!