We’ve come a LONG WAY baby! #MYINDYPRIDE

This is the headline for this month’s The Word, a mainstay newspaper for the Indianapolis LGBTQ for 25+ years. This is from my frame of reference. I moved to Indy for the first time in July 1990 to take an entry level position at Eli Lilly. It was the era of Brother’s (now Ollie’s), OP’s (now Greg’s), the Metro and Jimmy’s (now the home of the Indiana Arts Council). I was barely 22 years old – the world was my oyster (literally, with my business travel) – and I was out and proud…slowly…everywhere…but work.

As I reflect upon my own journey from those first sometimes terrifying years in my career, worried what would happen at this “conservative, midwestern-values based career-oriented Fortune 100 Company” if they ever found out one of their top recruits was a “known homosexual?” I shuttered to find out…the stress at times was unbearable, wearing a mask and hiding who I was.

In those early years of coming out, I experience the Garage Party, the Grand Masquerade, Bill McKinley and Terry Woods at Jimmy’s Nightclub, the move/expansion of IYG into their current location, the Damien Center, the Bag Ladies, the Horny Hole / Unicorn, the 501, various other clubs that came and went, early Pride (without Corporate tables and national sponsors) and more… (Well, in my version of the past, they were all there then…)

Let’s take a “TBT” walk down memory lane – from then to now.  We’ve come a LONG way baby!


Here’s me, dressed up as a Fairy Godmother for the Grand Masquerade (early 1990’s). This was taken with a dear friend, Ron Meyers – since departed, but an important early mentor of mine. To this day, they are finding fairy dust in the crevices of his downtown condo! 😉


Fast forward, and I’ll be back to Indy Pride tomorrow – riding with the Indiana Men’s Motorcycle Club – also known as bear-backs – I mean, the gay men’s motorcycle club. Here I am, 25+ years later, ready to be out and about again (ah, there’s another fond memory – Bruce Seybert and Out & About!)

Here I am, 25+ years later – ready to head “Out and Proud” again in this month’s gay pride parade.  Look for me with the Gay Men on Bikes!


Remembering our saints…Graham Karwath

At Broadway UMC, we celebrate All Saint’s Day (November 1) by remembering friends and family who died during the prior year. We have a collection of candles and candelabras at the front of the sanctuary that members light in memory of someone.  It’s a beautiful way to keep their stories alive – to keep their memories with us. In doing so, they continue to be a part of our lives.  For me, it also brings to a close that first year of mourning.  While the loss and hole in our hearts never fully heal, I’m finding it’s a lot easier to move on after the “year of firsts.”

Lighting candles on All Saint's Day
Lighting candles on All Saint’s Day
All Saint's Day at Broadway UMC
All Saint’s Day at Broadway UMC


Two years ago, we included my mom and grandmother in our All Saint’s Day celebration. This year, we remembered by friend Graham Karwath.

Remember Our Saints: Graham Karwath
Remember Our Saints: Graham Karwath


Graham was a loyal friend – to me and many others in his life.  He always “had my back,” and helped me through some tough times by listening, caring and telling my story. In turn, the trust we built over the years allowed him to open up about some of the life struggles he faced.

Graham was full of life. He loved music, loved to dance and loved to goof off. He was a hard worker, which was recognized by his co-workers and boss. He was always willing to take an extra shift or work late to help out the team. He was confident, but vulnerable; strong, but like many of us, hurt; full of joy, but knew his time here was limited. Despite his fatal heart condition, he didn’t dwell on his health but chose instead to live in the moment and enjoy life to the fullest.

Another part of our All Saint’s Day service is to list those we remember in the bulletin. The choir then takes those names and weaves them into a hymn of celebration and remembrance. Here is an audio clip of this year’s song.  You’re not forgotten, Graham… (Graham is mentioned at 1:25 in this song of prayer)


(I previously wrote a short version of this post on SoundCloud, but recently realized I hadn’t finished my thoughts…so here is the updated version via by blog…)