Many readers are often confused regarding my strong affiliation for the gay community, you see I’m married.

I’ve had many dear friends who were not, the reason for this is Texas does not recognize same sex unions.

The problem is, by not affording these couples the same privileges given to heterosexual couples, the gay community are robbed of their ability to cover a partner with health insurance or, to be a decision maker on death and burial of their partner and, are forced to fight their way through probate courts, finally, they must leave Texas and travel to another state for their union to be legally recognized. Truly a tragedy!

Charles Thomason was my dear friend for over thirty years, I helped him through many losses. His partner, Dewitt McKnight struggled with health issues and inadequate coverage until his death. Charles himself became ill upon losing his lifelong partner and, I would lose him from what I believed to be a broken heart.

His astounding skills at riding landed him in Hollywood and, meeting me at the Universal Studios lot where I was at a casting call for Cal Worthington. I’m sure you’ve heard the jingle “If you need a car or truck, go see Cal!” If not, the commercials almost always included a tiger, an elephant or other wild animal casually walking the lot. I worked in commercial and print for over twenty five years and, ironically met my dear friend again, right here in Fort Worth.

Charles and I worked together at Texas Patios off HWY 121 for nearly 13 years. After Dewitt passed, Charles was my escort to numerous charitable events and, was often the entertainment. His dance routines, funny stories and remarkable ability to break into a tap dance dazzled many of our clients at Texas Patios.

Although he desperately wanted to have his ashes strewn in California, his sister decided to bury him at Mount Olivet in the gold medallion of St Christopher I had gifted him one Christmas. I was the last person to see him alive at Harris Hospital and begged him to get treatment for the cancer that would break his spirit and, take his life. He left this earth with the same mischievous grin that I’m certain he had entered with. His style will forever be remembered along with his toupee that was always getting upended in the winds at our parking lot. I’d often asked him to go without it, he for some reason I would never understand didn’t feel fully dressed without it except on our days off, when he would opt for a baseball cap. Charles was a true Southern Gentleman, I miss his smile, his laugh and his spirit.

Tom Anable was my accountant and, the founder of Fairness Fort Worth. Tom dearly loved his mother, his clients and, his community.

These friends created the passion to do everything within my power to support a community that continue to seek acceptance around the world. My belief is that everyone deserves to be treated equally and fairly and, these are the true reasons that I support so many various organizations directly linked to the gay community.

I do so to honor my friends, their friends, their families and the children who continue to be bullied by others who do not or, cannot accept alternative lifestyles.

My hope is that one day we can overcome such reservations and understand that this person is someone’s child, someone’s partner, someone’s parent and most importantly, a child of God.