Birthday, death day, ressurection day (When I was new to homophobia)

Zella Ziona was 21 years old when she was killed on October 15th 2015.
For Lisa and me it was a happy day. It was the first time we celebrated her birthday together. We had a wonderful day full of laughter, tenderness and the simple joy of having found each other and being so absolutely in love.
Marc Pourner was 28 years old when he was killed on November 14th 2015.
For Lisa and me it was a busy day. We were more than just a little excited. Just a day before, on the 13th we got our marriage license. In the middle of Texas. Lisa who has lived here all her life could barely believe it. For her it was a miracle. Our wedding was scheduled for November 19th and there was still so much to do. We were in a bubble of delirious happiness.

Now, in March 2016 I have been in this country for six months. In this time at least two people who identified somewhere on the LGBT spectrum were killed in hate crimes in the United States. Dozens more were severely injured, many tortured, beaten bloody, suffering from broken bones or severe burns or even brain damage. Hundreds more were verbally assaulted, intimidated and bullied for being who they are.

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Just the way you are…

It was like that nightmare where you are strolling through a shopping mall, window shopping for living room furniture, sipping an Orange Julius and suddenly look down and realize that you are naked as the day you were born. All the dream people are looking at you with wide eyes and slack jaws and you have to decide if you are going to run out of the mall with all of your hidden glories jiggling around or stroll on through the Food Court speaking with a fake French accent and acting as if they’re all just a bunch of backwards Americans who wouldn’t know a minimalist fashion statement from a hole in the ground.

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Be the stranger!

Many years ago during a holiday in Switzerland I met a stranger. I sat at the Lake Geneva, looked out at the great fountain and enjoyed the sun. It wasn’t the best day. I wasn’t sure what to do with my life. Back then I was only 20 years old and all I knew was that I felt a calling but until then I had no idea what it was. Suddenly a young man sat down next to me. He looked middle eastern and English was certainly not his first language. He introduced himself as Yusuf and began to talk.

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