Reply To: How have your attitudes changed?

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Bob and I attended the first legal gay marriage in the world (the government of Ontario was forced to recognize it by the courts two years after it happened). As I walked out of the Church, I said to Bob “I will never marry again but I am in favour of it for those who want it.” Well, now I have served as official witness at five gay weddings and am now willing if Dongdong gets to the point where the portion of his family he wants to attend are actually here to go ahead with it.

That is one way my attitude has changed.

I loved being free to associate with men after my marriage ended. I admit to being explorative with Bob’s knowledge and encouragement but at 57 alot less like a teenager than I might have been 40 years prior.

One issue I have discussed with two ministers – one gay and one a friend of 40 years is the transgender issue. The gay minister and I both have said we have difficulty understanding how people can feel the need to change gender identity but both agree with the need to accord transgendered people ALL rights others have. We know the struggle gays and lesbians have had and assume it is even more difficult for someone transforming. I shared that with the Minister I meet with regularly (40 years since he baptized my youngest son and the last couple my wife and I went out with before our marriage ended). He was struggling and shared stories of ministers who were becoming female and he supported for ordination while still being skeptical. Clearly he at 78 was struggling but trying to be accepting and understood my position of according them ALL rights others have.

My best childhood friend died of AIDS and I have been to Africa 3 times to work on projects (double blind study) of an AIDS supplement. I am so glad I was not active while the AIDS crisis was at its peak but I view my work with AIDS patients to be a bit of a ministry.

I think as I get older, I realize sex is not everything – having close male friends is. I have lost several close male friends in the last 4 years and it hurts but I still have three or four I see for coffee or a meal. One is not even gay but that male companionship is something I missed so much when I was married.