a short autobiography
1999 Speech at the Indiana State Capitol
A friend's witness
Nov. 1996 letter for the Chrysler Campaign
by Rhea Murray
My husband Butch, aptly named, is probably more of a bear than a tiger. He is a diesel technician whith massive, wrench-twisting hands. Where I fell flat on my face when I found out our 13 year old son was gay, Butch just lumbered along and said, "Ah, he's a good boy! That's all that matters."
We would drive our son to the nearest community that would offer support for gay teens; it was an hour's drive away. My husband and I would take turns making that hour's drive there, a three hour wait in the parking lot, and then another hour's drive back home. It was at least a 5 hour commitment. He never once complained. He would always ask Bruce to tell him about his meeting on their ride home. However, when he would make one of these journeys, he would always give the gay facilitators and youth a scare. They would see this grizzly Adams type character pull up along side them in his four wheel drive truck, and they would scatter in all directions. "Hell, honey, I am going to have to hang a pink triangle on the front of my truck, so they'll know I am friendly."
Butch good naturedly takes the ribbing from the lesbians he meets. They
When my son and I did the interview for the high school paper, a fellow
Whenever we travel to different cities to do our advocacy work, we always go to the gay bars to let them know that there are parents who are supportive of their gay children. Usually, we are surrounded in a relatively short time. In Washington, D.C a lesbian wept in Butch's arms as she told of her alienation from her father.
Butch's philosophy is very simple and very pure. He said he learned
when he was in Vietnam, that people are people. Everyone loves, needs to
be loved, cries, hurts and bleeds. He may not be much of a tiger, but he
is one hell of a bear with one hell of a big bear's heart. And I am one
hell of a
Copyright, 1996. All rights reserved.
Rhea Murray can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.