In 1998 I came out to a handful of friends.  It was early April, so early in the month that when Mike called in response to my e-mail he first asked whether I was playing an April Fool’s joke.  The thought had not crossed your mind.  I may have come out on April 1st but refuse to believe that looking back now because of how ridiculous it seems.

In October I visited colleges with my parents.  That month Matthew Shepard was beaten, tortured, and tied to a fence in Wyoming.  During our visit to the University of Michigan, a flag was flying at half-mast.  Another parent on the campus tour asked the guide why.  The guide didn't know, and in my head I assigned it to Matthew.  The cover of Time Magazine announced “The War Over Gays” against a small picture of the boy and a large image of the fence.

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