I’ll start by admitting a fault of mine — I have a terrible memory when it comes to milestone events, the details about my history, etc. when it comes to friends and loved ones. Some people remember every nuanced detail…the entirety of each possible answer to who, what, when, where, why, and how. I remember broad strokes and imagery but my emotions about those moments are just as real.
I start with this explanation because I’ve spent about 20 days or so trying to remember how and when Lindsay and I met each other. Only autobiographical in importance, it felt like a meaningful thing I should know and I don’t have a fucking clue. I don’t know what about that moment was special that resulted in us being friends, and I have no idea how I got so lucky. I know it happened about 30 years ago, but the details fail me.
What I do know is that whatever happened to bring her in to my life was providence, salvation, light, love, and grace wrapped up in to the gift of a single person who has and I imagine will always make me feel the comfort of true acceptance without any presence of the bitterness of judgment.
I’ve told the story before so won’t detail it here, but Lindsay was the first person I ever told in my life I was gay. I like to think that the reason was because I saw the soul of who she is and knew she would love me regardless — a capability I believe I still possess in my understanding of others today. In reality, I think it was because she had a “grunge” boyfriend and they were counterculture Kurt Corbain loving people who didn’t seem to judge gay people so I took a leap and decided to tell Lindsay.
All of this is story, however, so I’ll tell you what makes Lindsay one of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the joy of knowing:
- She has always known herself and with age given herself greater space and room to thrive. She has never changed — and I don’t want confusion about what I mean here. She has evolved, grown up, expanded her capacity to love to children and her husband, but who she is and what she represents is constant and built 100% on a foundation of compassion, empathy, understanding, and love. She is, quite literally, an angel on earth.
- She understands her value, appreciates her beauty, and loves her uniqueness and is teaching this to her kids. Sometimes she struggled to see that beauty which landed us, once upon a time, on the Oprah Winfrey show.
- She taught me something which I had once embraced in high school and have since let languish until recently — that being creative and creating things can happen any time, so when you feel inspired, you better have the tools ready at your side to take advantage of the inspiration God is giving to you.
There’s an entire chapter in the book of my life to be written about Lindsay and her impact on my life.
I wonder had she not been so loving when I told her I was gay at the age of 15 whether I would still be alive; whether I would have been brave enough to face coming out at all.
Thankfully, I had Lindsay, who didn’t just “lead” the trend in terms of her acceptance; she expressed God’s love through universal and timeless acceptance and I couldn’t be more thankful for her birthday because it gave me a friend of a lifetime.
Author’s note: I’ve written effusively about Lindsay in the past. While I haven’t really consciously tried to align posts about people I think are awesome to birthdays or any such annual milestones, it just so happens that this week and this month happen to be when many amazing people I love were born. I meant what I said many months ago — it’s not only important to say “I love you” but also to express in words the “why” behind those words.