And thusly the journey ends.
What would begin as another step toward self-discovery, a pursuit of a once-dismissed dream, and an opportunity to call attention to our history and evil perpetrated toward homosexuals ends tonight–with a sense that I will never again be the same.
I will not.
My role as death-camp prisoner Horst is but a frail impression of what the men who wore pink triangles during the Holocaust endured at the hands of those filled with bigotry and hate and murder.
The fear. The cruelty. The hunger.
The disrespect for life.
I will forever be haunted by the memory of prisoner number 2202 and men like him.
Yet I am grateful.
Because every time I kiss my partner or hold his hand in public, I will remember how truly, deeply fortunate I am to live in a place in time where I can do so without being imprisoned or killed.
Because every time I encounter bigotry–whether for an LGBTQ person or any person in any society–I will remember how vitally important it is that I speak up and speak out.
Today my friend Jim told us
“If we don’t, as religious people, speak up and speak out, the people who perpetrated the Holocaust win.
The lesson of the Holocaust is:
Live in solidarity with each other so it will not happen again.”
May we all–homosexuals and heterosexuals and everyone in between, people of all races and genders–ensure they never win.
Not here in Texas, the US, or in Russia or in Africa. Not anywhere.
Thank you to the men of the pink triangle. Men like Max and Rudy and Horst.
We have not forgotten you and what love cost you.
We will see you soon.
Etching by gay Holocaust survivor Richard Grune
Prisoner in the Electric Fence. KZ-Gedenkst�tte Neuengamme, Hamburg/UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM #133