Don’t know what group was this at the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall Riots Pride Parade last June 30, but, somewhere in the photo, is the flag of the Philippines. Represent!

Speaking of representing, twenty-five years ago, on June 26, 1994, I read/delivered a speech on behalf of the Philippine LGBTQ movement forming in Manila at about that time, in the Stonewall 25 rally at Central Park in New York City. In front of about 250,000 people. The heady days of yore, and one of my fifteen minutes of fame. In my own mind. That was just a glitch in time, I don’t think anybody noticed.

At the Stonewall 25 Parade with Ron

At the Central Park stage delivering a speech

The other 15 minutes of fame, however, and this time, probably not in my own mind, but based on reality, is this (photograph courtesy of Scott McMorrow Photography) –

Back in 2013, Ron and I were one of the four couples who petitioned the courts to marry early ahead of Illinois marriage equality law that was going to take effect in June of 2014, and were given permission due to health reasons. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman approved a temporary restraining order allowing the marriage on Dec. 9. In effect, we were the first male couple to legally wed in Illinois. (Ron died two months later.) So during the pride parade of 2014, I and other individuals and couples who fought for marriage equality were honored to be on the float of Lambda Legal, the organization that helped us realize our petition.

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