When I found OUT that I was not the winner... I went back to play his entry. You Know what? It was a winner! So I sent Sam Sussman the following email, and then he responded. I am glad to also say we bonded,too.
Good Morning Sam,
I was one of the 5 finalist, and I wanted you to know that the best entry won!
Congratulations on your victory, and for your powerful message, and for those who voted for you. I have known for over 40 years, that gay rights,civil rights, human rights and equal rights, are one in the same. Your win reminds me of a Championship softball team that I played on, that won the right to represent San Francisco in the 1978 Gay World Series in New York, only to be kicked "OUT" for having too many "straights" on our roster! I am attaching a Citation given to our team by Mayor Moscone.... That praised our team for its diversity.
I was a friend of Harvey Milk, and Jewish like him too, but did not support him when he ran for City Supervisor...
because I felt Lawyer Terry Hallinan,was better qualified to represent most of the residents, and business owners in our district. There were those within the gay community, that felt I was a traitor in doing so. There will be some, who will not be happy with the OUTcome of this election, because you are straight, I am not one of them. As we get ready to march in Washington, I am reminded that President Eisenhower said " Taking a stance in the middle of the road politically, will open you up to the extremes of both sides of a political issue." Thank you for your courage, your message is a message of HOPE, for the future and NOW.
Here is his response...
Thank you so much for writing to me. Out of the hundreds of emails I've received over the past 10 days, yours is one that touched me like no other. When I first saw your video, it moved me. You have lived the fight that I am just beginning, and suffered unfairly the injustices I hope to prevent future generations from suffering. For that, Jerry, you are a hero to me.
The story about the softball team is really amazing, and its funny that you draw a parallel between that and this contest, and the fact that I'm not gay. It warms my heart to see that despite all the hatred, the bigotry and injustice that has been thrown in your direction, you still have the love and warmth to accept me and my message even though I'm not a gay man.
I envy you, deeply, for knowing Harvey. I wish I could have known such a profound leader as he. You must have amazing stories and experiences with him.
Boy, Jerry, I'd sure like to shake your hand in Washington. Can I call you and meet up with you at some point during the weekend? I know you'll be busy, but if you could give me ten minutes of your time, I'd be honored.
Thanks again, so much, for writing. I'm not sure if you really can know how much it means to me.