Michael Petrelis has a report about an encounter openly gay photographer, Bill Wilson, had during a short exchange with Michelle Obama at an event the First Lady held at Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco. Wilson said he felt compelled to voice his concerns about LGBT equality and DOMA if the opportunity presented itself, and it did:
Bill Wilson: My husband and I have been together 23 years. We need to get rid of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Michelle Obama: I agree.
Bill Wilson: We need it done now.
Michelle Obama: It will be.
Bill Wilson: I really want to be able to support him.
Michelle Obama: As well you should!
Bill Wilson: We really do want him to succeed.
Michelle Obama: I’ll tell him. (At this point she leaned over to give me a hug.)
As she stepped away I said, “We were married by the Mayor last year.” Michelle Obama replied “Give your husband a hug from me.”
Kudos to Michelle Obama and Good for Bill Wilson! When the opportunity presents itself, take it! The time for meek and mild half steps towards equality has past. We must step up to any and every opportunity that we in the LGBT community have to show our leaders, as well as our neighbors, that discriminatory laws against equality have consequences that can often wreak havoc on our daily lives. Our pain must be made visible and their silence in the face of bigotry must end. I’ve been reading a lot about Martin Luther King lately and one particular quote of his comes to mind. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Photos by Bill Wilson (L) Fernando and Bill are married by Gavin Newsom (R) Michelle Obama in San Francisco.