Pride Month Edition of Meet Your Neighbor: Randy

“I didn’t hear about Stonewall until after it happened. I remember the riot in ’69, but I’ve never been there. When I heard about the backlash against the police, I was surprised! This was a monumental thing. Before, it was almost impossible for any gay person to have rights, let alone to fight the existing system.

I know what it’s like to be shunned and ridiculed for being Black. Every place that I worked, I was never really confronted for being gay. My color was more of an issue. Sexuality isn’t visible, but with being Black, all you have to do is look!

I only told a few family members that I was gay. I never really talked it over with my parents. Sexual orientation wasn’t really brought up. I also never really had lovers or partners. I’ve always helped the family out – the breadwinner. Family comes first. Marriage and sex is all secondary.

The gay world was everywhere for me. The church and museums and theaters and in my traveling. I’m a happy man and that has nothing to do with being gay. I thank God every day. The way he made me is the way I want to be and I’m happy the way I am. My advice for the younger generation is to live like they have the world in front of them and live life freely, taking on opportunities, and not hiding who you are like we had to years ago.”

- Randy, Queens Center for Gay Seniors Program Participant

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