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The Joys of Our Courageous Family


This post is part of Courage Campaign’s spring fundraising drive, where your dollar will be matched 1-1 by some generous donors, and you have the chance to win some great prizes! Please click here to make a secure — and doubled — contribution today. -Adam

By Rick Jacobs

It’s nearly 1:00AM here in LA on this last Friday of April.  I’ve been focused on our first-ever spring fundraising drive.  It’s not always fun to raise money, but we need to do just that in order to keep doing just this.  But the last 48 hours have filled me with joy.

Yes, I call people to ask for money, but I also get to call and write folks to thank them. I look at every donation that comes in, learning about our members.  They fill in“occupation,” and some of those are damned interesting.  One thing’s for sure: Courage is about storytelling and our members have inspiring, heartful stories.

Tuesday, I spoke with Dr. B for about thirty minutes.  He lives here in the LA area. He’s donated to us a few times, adding up to a pretty nice sum.  He’s a medical doctor, married to a woman, nearly blind and suffering from some spinal challenges that make him less mobile than he’d like to be.  And he’s a cancer survivor.  But what stories!

He cares about equality because he has two gay cousins, one of whom came out in the early 1950s and who, unfortunately, had a rather bad series of experiences which left him less than joyous in his worldview.  The other came out much later, after “living a lie” for decades.  Dr. B wants this all to end. He wants everyone to live and love as who we are, not to suffer the way his relatives did.  And he said he’s up for some treatment that may allow him to go to Europe with his wife for three weeks. I’ll check back in with him and let you know.  Oh, he said he’d be happy to record his Testimony for us.  We’ll share that as well.

Thursday morning, I got to call Annie B, in Dodge City, Kansas to tell her that she’d won the daily drawing for an iPod Touch.  She’s a widow, living “at the end of a country road,” about to move to Seattle if she can arrange it all. Her husband died shortly after they moved to Kansas six years ago to farm and live a quiet life. She’s been there alone ever since.

Why does she care about equality?  Her husband had a cousin who, together with that cousin’s partner, took care of the cousin’s father in his waning years.  They lived and loved as any couple would, except that they could not marry. She could not understand and does not understand why society prevents that.   Her cousin-in-law’s partner has passed away, so part of the reason she wants to move back to Seattle is to be near him.

I asked her to write or record her story, especially after she gets the iPod Touch. She said she would now that I’ve asked, but she had demurred when we asked via email a few months ago. She said, “I started to write my story, but I thought since I was not directly affected, others would have more compelling stories.” Then she thought about that brilliant and sad sermon (by Pastor Martin Niemöller) about Nazi Germany, “Then they came for me and no one was left to speak up.”

So she realized, as we were speaking, that civilization relies on people being civil, which all too often we are not.  She understands that telling her story can change minds and is as powerful as any LGBT story, maybe more so because she is not  superficially directly affected.

And then tonight, I noticed a modest contribiution from an Edward, whose address is California, but he’d written “I live in Cambodia.” I could not resist writing to him.  He lives near Angkor Wat where he has founded and runs a school ( that helps local folks to learn basics but also to get jobs. I could not resist giving him a donation, too.  He promised that he’d send his story, first in writing and then, when he can get to an Internet café with a good connection, by video.  So this gentle man is on the other side of the globe paying attention to Courage Campaign even as he’s paying attention to building lives.

The joy of the Internet is that it provides for lots of connections. The challenge is that they are not easily deepened. This blog that Adam tends so carefully and that you each and all read and build with love and passion is perhaps our most consistent means of expanding those otherwise tenuous online relationships.  We’re gong to use our Testimony project to do even more, but know that there are thousands and thousands of us all over the globe who care about each other, who give what they can and who do even more.

Fundraising is not always fun, but it’s sure a great way to get to know the Courageous family.  And it’s worth every minute.  Thanks for caring. Thanks for being our family. Thanks for your contribution (and chance to win the prizes Adam listed yesterday) and support.


  • 1. Ann S.  |  April 29, 2011 at 3:18 am


  • 2. JonT  |  April 29, 2011 at 3:54 am

  • 3. Ronnie  |  April 29, 2011 at 4:43 am


  • 4. Kathleen  |  April 29, 2011 at 3:19 am

    A beautiful and moving post, Rick.

  • 5. rick jacobs  |  April 29, 2011 at 3:31 am

    Thanks. Even when it gets tough around here, all i have to do is think of the folks here and talk to our members and I feel motivated to do more!

  • 6. Alan E.  |  April 29, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Ooo can one of the prizes be a lunch with Rick? Would be very fitting considering it's one of the NOM prizes (a lunch with Brian). Either way, I'll probably just say hi again on June 13.

  • 7. rick jacobs  |  April 29, 2011 at 3:31 am

    I'd be thrilled to have lunch with folks. Delighted.

  • 8. Kate  |  April 29, 2011 at 4:11 am

    Put me down for the drawing for a lunch with Arisha…..

  • 9. Bob  |  April 29, 2011 at 4:00 am

    amazing stories, encouraging post!!!!

    my heart goes out especially to Annie B. and her thoughts on the poem "And Then They Came"

    thanks for the stories

  • 10. AnonyGrl  |  April 29, 2011 at 4:05 am

    Hey Rick, next time you are in Albany, NY lunch is on me.


    Great post, thank you! I am inspired by this family too!

  • 11. Kate  |  April 29, 2011 at 4:46 am

    Judge Ware info:

    "On June 27, 1997, President Bill Clinton nominated Ware to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, to replace J. Clifford Wallace, who had taken senior status.[3] Ware had a hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in October 1997.[4]

    However, Ware's nomination unraveled amid an embarrassing scandal that ultimately resulted in a judicial reprimand, and Clinton withdrew his nomination of Ware on November 27, 1997.[5] In 1998, Judge Ware was reprimanded by the Judicial Council of the Northern District Court of California for fabricating the story of being the brother of Virgil Ware,[6] a 13 year old black boy shot by teenage racists in Alabama in 1963 on the same day as the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. According to a story Judge Ware had told many audiences, he was riding his bike with his brother Virgil on the handlebars when Virgil was shot and killed by white racists.[7] The incident was a real one, however it happened to a different James Ware, as was discovered when Judge Ware's claim was published in the Alabama papers after he was nominated to the Ninth Circuit by President Bill Clinton. The father of the long-ago slain boy contacted the Alabama courts to report that the California judge was impersonating his own son James Ware who was an employee in a Birmingham power plant. The Alabama courts contacted the California courts, who convened the ethics hearing. Judge Ware was reprimanded but allowed to retain his lifetime appointment as district judge.[8]"

  • 12. Phillip R  |  April 29, 2011 at 5:01 am


    Not quite sure how I feel about that.

  • 13. Ann S.  |  April 29, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Yeah, I'm not sure either. It's definitely . . . odd.

  • 14. Kate  |  April 29, 2011 at 6:18 am

    Indeed. And from a big-time judge………

  • 15. Andrew_SEA  |  April 29, 2011 at 4:46 am

    I don't know about lunch with Rick…

    He is rather handsome – I know I would get distracted.

    (Um – sorry – what were we talking about?)


  • 16. AnonyGrl  |  April 29, 2011 at 5:00 am

    And I would think that would be MORE reason to want to have lunch with him…


  • 17. Rhie  |  April 29, 2011 at 4:48 am


  • 18. Sagesse  |  April 29, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Nice post. Need to read this thoroughly later.

  • 19. AB  |  April 29, 2011 at 5:54 am

    So, Ware was appointed by a Republican, but there was attempt to elevate him by a Democrat (Clinton), and he was elevated by another Democrat (Obama). Maybe that bodes well for us.

    I am still wrestling with the issue of the likelihood of the motion to vacate succeeding. It is, of course, preposterous to me. And the press, and most legal professionals, have panned the motion. But, it is very difficult to predict, and anything can happen. So what are our thoughts? Any predictions? Any enlightened, educated guesses?

  • 20. Ronnie  |  April 29, 2011 at 6:07 am

    Look, more "Do as I say, not as I do" from an anti-gay GOPer……

    Anti-gay, right-wing official busted for drunk driving, pot possession

    Shocked, I tell yah….SHOCKED!!!!!!…. repent…REPENT… spits cosmopolitan on Rhode Island hypocritical lawmaker…..oops…sorry..did the lime wedge hit you in the eye?…does it sting?….hold on let me get you a napkin…oh..noes…wait…there's buffalo sauce on that….STOPPPP!!!!………guffaw….. > ) …..Ronnie

  • 21. Alan E.  |  April 29, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Wheaton College, the "Harvard of Christian colleges," just approved official sanction of their LGBTQ student group! The letter they passed out is a must read.

  • 22. JonT  |  April 29, 2011 at 6:49 am

    Great article.

    'Despite all the ugly and unjust things that are perpetrated in the name of Jesus by many conservative Christians (things that anger and disgust me as a follower of Christ just as much as they anger and disgust my atheist friends), I continue to hold out hope that change is possible.'

    For the WIN!

  • 23. Ray in MA  |  April 29, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Wholeheartedly agree,,, great article…extremenly well wriiten …hits the target.

  • 24. AB  |  April 29, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Super news!!!!

  • 25. Sagesse  |  April 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Ken Cuccinelli Drops Law Firm King & Spalding For Its 'Obsequious Act Of Weakness' On DOMA

    Cuccinelli is a nasty piece of work.

  • 26. StraightGrandmother  |  April 30, 2011 at 1:26 am

    I am not surprised, sadly. Virginia is a very scary place to live if you are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender.

  • 27. Sagesse  |  April 29, 2011 at 9:42 am

    MSNBC's Thomas Roberts Features Married Gay Couple Facing Deportation;…

  • 28. Sagesse  |  April 29, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Rhode Island Catholic Diocese Opposes Gay Unions Bill;…

    "The Catholic Church ends its editorial by calling on lawmakers to abandon civil unions legislation in favor of a constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage."

  • 29. Kathleen  |  April 29, 2011 at 10:02 am


  • 30. Sagesse  |  April 29, 2011 at 9:49 am

    NOM's Brian Brown To Speak At Ruben Diaz's Anti-Gay Marriage Rally;…

  • 31. Kathleen  |  April 29, 2011 at 10:03 am

    It's a Bigot Bash!

  • 32. AB  |  April 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Kathleen, I have a question:
    What do YOU think is going to happen? In your legal opinion, what outcome do you foresee?

  • 33. Ray in MA  |  April 29, 2011 at 9:57 am

    This will be a memorable P8TT topic/post… lots of insight into this small corner of the GLBT cyber world.

  • 34. Sagesse  |  April 29, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Stacey Campfield, Author Of 'Don't Say Gay' Bill: Being Gay Is A Learned Behavior;…

    This law cannot pass.

  • 35. karen in kalifornia  |  April 29, 2011 at 10:28 am

    The anti gay hits keep coming today,
    Anti gay marriage amendment moves out of committee along party lines in Minnesota. Now onto the two houses run by gay hating repugs and then onto the voters in 2012.….

  • 36. Sagesse  |  April 29, 2011 at 10:54 am

    On the same topic.

    Emotional testimony precedes Senate panel vote on same-sex marriage ban

  • 37. StraightGrandmother  |  April 30, 2011 at 4:50 am

    thanks Karen & Sagesee for the links. I read the articles and what touched me was the testimony of the father who's son was killed in Afgahnastan, a gay soldier. I really don't "get" how these legislators sit and listen to this testimony and not be sympathetic. How can they hear from that father who's son gave his life for our country and then they vote to deny him equal civil rights? I honestly do not "get" it. Their hearts must be so hard.

  • 38. Sagesse  |  April 29, 2011 at 10:41 am

    LCR convention draws prominent Republicans

  • 39. Mark M (Seattle)  |  April 29, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    My P8TT family….here is the link to our 'Wedding Album' on Flicker.
    Once we get home from our honeymoon I promise to write a new blog post(click on my name to read the past ones)
    I thought about each and every one of you yesterday, before, during, and after the ceremony.

  • 40. Sheryl Carver  |  April 30, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Yeah, Mark & Robert!

    Very Happy Honeymooning to you!

  • 41. Sagesse  |  April 30, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Great pictures. I'm so happy for you both.

  • 42. Kathleen  |  April 30, 2011 at 1:59 am

    Oh, Mark, I got teary just seeing the pictures. I hope you and Robert have an amazing honeymoon. So happy for you. ((hugs))

  • 43. Ann S.  |  April 30, 2011 at 4:22 am

    Congratulations!!! I'm so very happy for you.

  • 44. Rhie  |  April 30, 2011 at 4:56 am

    Aw! Congratulations!!

  • 45. Ronnie  |  April 30, 2011 at 5:03 am

    Adding to the congratulations of your nuptials…<3…Ronnie

  • 46. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  May 1, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    I've been scanning the weekend posts to find news of your wedding…FOUND it! yay!

  • 47. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  May 1, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    thank you for sharing picts : ) Love the picts….and the "tropical" matching outfits! : D!!!

  • 48. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  May 4, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Am scanning, too.

    Loved the matching outfits!
    And how great that they are not traditional wedding outfits!
    Very nice! Too bad we didn't get to see all the family members in the pictures.

  • 49. The Gog.  |  April 30, 2011 at 12:04 am

    News: NOM had it's 1st circuit appeal hearing on April 5th relating to NOM v. McKee. The decision could come soon.

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