This weekend, while standing outside of a funeral service for a mutual friend, a gentleman in his mid-80s walked up to me.
"Rob, I really appreciate your work," he said.
I have to admit that I’m always pleasantly surprised when an older person expresses support for HRC Mississippi as Project One America strives to advance equality for LGBT citizens.
I soon discovered why this gentleman was so supportive when his wife of 62 years joined us.
"His younger brother is gay," she said.
Before I could, the man interjected, “And he’s a really good man, too!”
"He’s lucky to have you as a brother" I said. Very quickly he responded, "I’m lucky to have him as a brother!"
Far too often, I hear stories of parents and siblings who are ashamed of their LGBT family members. Yet, here in the exchange a loved one is revealed to be exactly that - one who is loved immensely and a source of sincere pride.
While encounters with my fellow Mississippians are not always pleasant, the good news is that more and more I’m having encounters like this. And for that, well, I guess I’m lucky.
HRC Mississippi is part of HRC’s Project One America, a lasting investment concentrated in the Deep South by making progress on three fronts--changing hearts and minds, advancing enduring legal protections, and building more inclusive institutions for LGBT people from the church pew to the workplace. To learn more, visit www.hrc.org/projectoneamerica