In December 1975 I purchased the novel THE FRONT RUNNER by Patricia Nell Warren and read it on a very long bus trip from Tupelo, Mississippi to Denver, Colorado. As a college senior, it was the first Gay themed book I had ever read. And, for the first time ever, I admitted to myself that I might be GAY! That was my very first step in coming out.
Over the next two years I read other Gay themed novels, biographies and books. In 1977 I went to my first Gay bar in Pensacola, Florida. I still only thought I only might be Gay.
In June 1979 I visited New York City for the first time. While walking around Mid-Town Manhattan that first afternoon, I decided I wanted to live in New York. After my visit to Greenwich Village I was absolutely sure that I would move to New York. For the first time that summer, I finally said: I AM GAY!
In December 1979 I moved from rural Iowa to Queens, New York. After the short adjustment of living in New York rather than the Mid-West, I met Peter in April 1980 and within a few months we became serious about a relationship and counted that month as our anniversary. For the next 27+ years we were a couple. My work assignments in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut required quite a balance of time and place. For some of those years we needed two places to live, however, most weekends and all holidays were together.
Sadly, on July 2, 2007 Peter passed away following a sudden heart attack while running on his lunch break. At age 50, he had been a marathon runner since 1980 and was in good health. I was devastated. The support and love of his family, my family and a core group of friends and co-workers were of great help to me.
In December 2008 I made contact with Charlie on MATCH.COM. I was not looking for a serious relationship but was looking for companionship. Well, by April 2009 we were a couple. Some 10+ years later we are happy and together. Life goes on.