And You Didn’t Know He Was Gay?

By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA

Our son’s partner sent us two photographs depicting our son when he was about eleven years old. He captioned them: “And you didn’t know he was gay?” At the time of the photographs, our boy was enrolled in the  Recreational Department’s dance and gymnastics class. On one picture he is a colorful little pirate complete with green do-rag, one hand on cocked hip, the other raised high as if with a sword. In the other, he is a harlequin jester with a Mardi Gras mask, purple tights, and that large round jester collar that looks like a bib. He is caught in mid-stride of a jaunty dance step. Emphatically and categorically, we did not know he was gay! It never crossed our minds. Read the rest of this entry »

A Trans Comes Out; We Are Still Astonished

By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA

The doorbell rings. We open the door and there stands the man we were expecting, right on time. We have known him for years. We call only him when we have a specific job to do for he is the consummate craftsman, the best at what he does on the east side of the bay and probably the other side as well, but he doesn’t go there. He inherited the business from his father and has been honing what he does since he was about ten years old. Now, nearing sixty, evidence of a hard working life shows in his deeply grooved face, the calloused hands with crooked fingers, and our knowledge of his knee and shoulder operations. Read the rest of this entry »

Finally! Our Three Children Each Have Their (Legal) Valentine

By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA

We hadn’t really intended to be silent for so long, but we were. Schedules got full, one thing let to another, and before we realized it we were out of cyberspace for months. We’ll rectify that situation here and now with this.

Early November, a phone call: “Mom, Francis and I have a Christmas present for you, but we need your help to put it together. We are getting married in San Francisco City Hall on Francis’ birthday!” Our East Coast son made marriage arrangements online for January 3 and wanted us to verify a few things and help with the logistics. Read the rest of this entry »

Was That The Cracking Of A Rock We heard?

By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA

This is what Pope Francis said while talking to reporters on a flight back to Rome: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” (He spoke Italian but used the English word “gay.”) His predecessors judged. Pope Benedict wrote that homosexuality is “a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil.” And Pope John Paul labeled homosexuality “an ideology of evil.” Read the rest of this entry »

A Student Asks: How Can API Families Become Accepting Of Their LGBT Children?

By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA

A high school in our town requires its senior students to complete and present a community based exit project. The student selects the topic, formulates an essential question, and then goes out into the community to find a consultant who’ll help answer the essential question. The consultant acts as a mentor for the student during the project.

Belinda mentored her third student this year. The student is a young lady who emigrated from China three years ago and her essential question was: How can the family bond of the Asian and Pacific Islander collectivist cultures become more accepting of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth? Read the rest of this entry »

What Was It Like To Be LGBT In The 1950s?

By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA

During  a recent meeting, a participant introduced us to the Pye/Harris Legacy Project. Ed Pye and Bob Harris were a loving couple for fifty-eight years. Their life together ended in 2005 when Mr. Harris died. Mr. Pye passed away in 2012 but not before he co-founded the PHLP to continue their lifetime of working and giving. One area of interest to the PHLP is “equal treatment and rights for the gay and lesbian community.”

PHLP plans to make four videos collectively called the “Coming Out Series.” Two have come out already and the person who introduced us to PHLP was kind enough to send us those. You can also watch them on YouTube, just enter the titles Coming Out In the 1950s and Coming Out In the 1960s. Read the rest of this entry »

Much Work Still Confronts Us, But There Is Light At The End Of The Tunnel

By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA

We learned a new word this week: mumpsimus. It means a view stubbornly held in spite of clear evidence that it is wrong. It also can refer to a person who holds such a view. Immediately, we thought how appropriate it would be to use that word for people who are still against same sex marriage despite the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA and Prop. 8. We wondered what the plural of mumpsimus is so we could use it on groups of people. But thinking about the great sentences we could write, we realized that we couldn’t use the word just yet. What exactly did the Supreme Court rule? Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Celebrate Now, Tomorrow Is Time Enough To Reflect

By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA

What an extraordinary week this was. The Supreme Court’s decisions on DOMA and Prop 8 are milestones that will be taught in history books to children who will wonder what the fuss was all about. They are milestones for so many who worked with implacable faith to make what can now happen, happen. Now is a time for celebration, a time for jubilation. Soon enough there will come the realization that this victory was really not quiet what we would have liked, that the court was sharply divided, that much work remains to be done, and that complacency cannot be allowed to take hold of us. But not now.

One of the highlights for us was the majestic language Justice Kennedy used to announce the decision. He read: Read the rest of this entry »

Standing Atop A Mountain, Looking Down On Other Mountains

By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA

Next week is THE week. The Supreme Court reshapes America’s social landscape with decisions about marriage, education, and voting. Did you notice how the media is picking up the pace reporting on what is going to happen? The New York Times’ Supreme Court reporter, Adam Liptak, wrote an article that the court’s decisions would redefine the meaning of legal equality. There are two types of equality, Mr. Liptak writes, formal equality and dynamic equality. Read the rest of this entry »

Public Recognition Of Private Courage

By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA

Tomorrow is our annual Presentation Banquet. Except for those last minute issues that always crop up, all the planning is done, booklets printed, and venue and food arranged. We thought we’d share with you testimonies from the four LGBT persons who are honoring their families. Read the rest of this entry »