Friday, March 11, 2011

In Honor of a Friend

The Reverend Peter J. Gomes was a friend. He was my partner's academic adviser at Harvard Divinity School, then his mentor, and finally a friend to both of us. He not only preached at our wedding, he offered his house for the reception. Peter published many collections of sermons and wrote best-selling books about the Bible, including The Good Book: Reading the Bible with mind and heart, which informed the nonprofit I founded, Our Spirit, to help gay/lesbian youth feel good about themselves despite religious fundamentalists.

Monday February 28th, two hours after Peter died of complications from a stroke, I got the news while in line at a cafe. In honor of Peter I ordered their hardiest red wine. Kent and I went straight to our seats and didn't talk much. Peter was unabashedly himself. So, with the wine and my laptop, I unabashedly - finally after several months - contacted a published author who said she'd help with my agent search when the time was right. My friends had been urging me to hurry up and query. Peter had urged me to get on with it. So, finally, I did.

Thank you, Peter, for friendship. For laughter and cigars on your porch. Thank you for being unabashedly yourself and for helping the rest of us move in that direction.

Photo: Peter toasting Kent (far right) and me at our wedding reception.

More about Peter:  60 Minutes, New Yorker, New York Times