A Tribute to my Gay Brother and his lover…

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. . β€œIt was 1990. I had buried my last friend but I still had two more death that would push my feelings to my limit. The two men most instrumental in my coming out. My brother Joseph Johnson and his lover Douglas Matson. . Both Joseph and Douglas were very active members of the Metropolitan Community Church. I couldn't imagine burying the two men who mentored me and introduced me to gay life. . They taught me to be proud and vocal. They role modeled what a relationship could be in gay life. They taught me the value of protesting. What could I have done to honor them? . Well, not long before my brother died, he ask me to put a pink triangle on their tombstone. I promised I would without knowing the difficulties it would involve. Joseph and Douglas were buried in a Catholic cemetery which only allowed certain "Christian symbols" engraved in the stone. I just had to fulfil my promise. . Since the Cemetery refused, I couldn't let my promise go unfulfilled and went to the Cemetery officials to plead my case for the pink triangle but I lied. They were adamant that they would not allow the pink triangle. I cued up my tears, sobbing for my loss but more so to get sympathy. . Through my tears, I chastised the cemetery for discounting The Holy Trinity. The Father, the son and the Holy ghost and I persuaded them to make a special allowance for this symbol of the Holy Trinity to whom, I said, my brother and Douglas had a fierce devotion. . They inquired why the triangle needed to be pink marble but I persisted suggesting a devotion to Christ and his birth β€” Pink represents this in the Catholic Church. Three years after my brother's death, Douglas died and when I saw their names side by side with a pink triangle squarely center of the stone, I felt so proud to have fulfilled their last wishes. . For years to come, they will be identified as gay by the image on their stone. Some will recognize what it is and some will not. . I did this for us! Those of us who survived! Forever the pink triangle will honor them as well as honor all of us. . I hope they would be as proud as I am. Cheers to you, Joseph and Douglas, I still miss you.” β€” by Cosgrove Norstatdt

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