I began selling LGBTQ merchandise while serving on the board of directors of a nonprofit organization. Charged with the task of running the organization’s gift shop, one day I innocently asked, “What if we took the store out to a festival now and then?” Thus began what would become one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, traveling to small to medium sized pride festivals, selling people items that affirm who they are and help them feel more accepted in the world. In my travels, I felt privileged to meet people and hear about their lives. I also witnessed acts of familial support that would have been unimaginable a generation or two earlier. After the relationship with the nonprofit ended, friends encouraged me to continue a mission that had come to have great meaning for me.
By the way, I won’t look anything like this when you see me at an event. I am my own roadie, so the shirt won’t be tucked in, there won’t be a jacket in sight, and I’ll be wearing a baseball cap to absorb sweat and protect my bald head from the sun. Perhaps, though, I’ll have something in which you see a little bit of yourself. See you at an event soon!