All this hoo-hah about gays and coming out and peer pressure suicides and such has me flashing back to a trivial moment in my life, but it's somehow filed in the "remember forever" section of my brain.
Jimmie Meader was one of the leaders of the University of Washington folkdance club when I was a regular in the late 60s-early 70s. He taught lots of dances, led lots of the lines, and in addition to being one of the better dancers he was one of the friendliest people. He used to host "creature feature" nights on Fridays (I think) where were did to old movies what MST2K only lamely attempted to do. He had a great sense of humor. I am only using past tense here because I'm talking about the past, I have no idea today where Jimmie is, or how he is, and hope he is alive and well.
One day Jimmie asks to speak to me alone, and we sit down somewhere, and he says, very cautiously, "I'm gay." I say "So?" because I'm thinking "I know you're wanting to tell me something important so get on with it already".
He looks relieved, which puzzles me a bit, because he's my friend. Why would being gay change that? It made as much sense to me as if he had said "I'm white". Well yeah. Duh!
That's the memory. Jimmie went on to explain why he had to tell me he was gay. He was moving to LA to be with his partner.
Not that it was any big surprise to have him tell me he was gay. He was a dancer without having a dancer's figure. He was a skilled costume maker. He did beautiful embroidery. Which brings me to another story.
One day I am telling my mother about Jimmie's embroidery, and she starts to describe him to me. Turns out they took the same bus to work, she had struck up a conversation with him when she saw the embroidery (she did needlework sometimes too, but on the bus she knitted). They had been friends for months.