It has been such a long time since we have spoken, probably my fault, as email addresses and phone numbers have changed and I have not kept pace.
I was shocked, horrified and saddened by what has happened in Orlando over the weekend and I desperately hope you were tucked up in bed in Tampa and did not go across to Orlando for Gay Pride weekend.
Orlando has always been special to me; it is where I first met you way back in 1990. I remember talking to you at the bar in Parliament House. At the time; the preeminent Gay nightclub in the City. I did not quite believe this young, tall, slim, blonde guy from North Carolina could possibly be interested in spending time with an “old fart” like myself, visiting from Australia.
I had only intended to spend 4 days in Orlando attending the conference and then head to Hawaii for a week’s holiday on the way home.
You changed all that, I finished up staying in Orlando for the next 8 days. I remember the evening we were at the bar on the beach in Clearwater, watching the sun set over the Gulf and then racing across Florida to see the moon Rise over the Pacific.
The sadness I feel for what has happened in Orlando is a sadness for the young people heading out for a night of clubbing and fun, perhaps; hoping they could find romance in the way we did.
Instead; they found horror and carnage fueled by hatred and bigotry!
Kev; you and I had some great times together when you came to live in Australia for a period and I dared to hope you would stay after the play ended.
Our parting was not sweet at the time but it has been great to have caught up with you a few times since, when I have been in the States and to have shared old stories with you.
I desperately hope you are safe and that no friends of yours were involved in the horrible events of Saturday night.
We think we have come so far with acceptance, not realizing, we are only one step removed from bigotry and hatred. Then; along comes a madman full of hatred and we are forced to admit we are still in dangerous territory.
Kev we parted bitterly as lovers but found each other later as friends again. It is so sad, I am writing this now, in the desperate hope you are still safe and sound.
My thoughts are with you, as your State and Country comes to grips with this shocking tragedy and; hatred is once again laid bare, in all its horrible nakedness.
Thank you for the time we had.