Vet and Gay Pioneer
week, Dr. Kameny triumphantly turns 82.
year, when we interviewed Dr. Kameny about his
WWII combat experience, he told of the time
shortly after the end of the war when he was
traveling by train in England. When he
realized that he would be pausing in Newcastle,
he picked up a few bits of coal (in those days
trains ran on coal) and upon arriving at
Newcastle, triumphantly tossed the lumps onto
the track bed; all for the literal pleasure of
being able to say that he had "carried
coals to Newcastle." (For those too
young to get this, not to worry; you have to be
of a certain age.)
his lifetime Dr. Kameny has been able to enjoy
many triumphs large and small. At the AVER
Convention in mid-April, he recounted that the
Smithsonian Institute, in a grand and solemn
ceremony, had recently received the historic
early Gay Rights picket signs that he had kept
in his attic all these decades. He had the
pleasure of saying that, when the signs were
made on his living room floor in the early 60s,
if someone had told them that the Smithsonian
Institute would someday want them they would
have laughed themselves silly.
past week, The Advocate apologized to Dr. Kameny
for having mistakenly reported his death.
How sweet it is for this man, who loves literal
pleasures, to now be able to say, as Samuel
Clemens had before him, "Reports of my
demise have been greatly exaggerated."
Military Equality Alliance community takes great
joy and honor in wishing Dr. Kameny many more
literal pleasures, laughs, and birthdays.