Originally uploaded by mylilpip.
I was so lost and so sad in the fall of 1998.
First, there was the day I returned from London to Chicago - October 12, 1998. It was also the day that Matthew Shepard died. I remember because there were so many memorials and I had no clue what was happening. Once my friends explained to me what had happened it saddened me deeply.
Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Mitch caused devastating floods in Central America.
Less than two weeks after that I turned 30 years old. Although I planned to move to New York to continue my career in theatre, I decided to stay in Chicago. I moved into a studio apartment. I was unemployed, lost, and depressed. Special Note: My actual 30th birthday was a really good night. I went to the opening of the musical Ragtime at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago. I was also a special guest at one of the largest and swankiest opening night theatre parties that I had ever attended with great food and an open bar.
I had to get over my depression. I couldn't bring back Matt Shepard. I couldn't turn back the hand of time although I briefly considered lying about my age. What I could do was try to help the flooding victims of Hurricane Mitch. So, I gathered up 2 bags of clothes and a full box of shoes to give the Red Cross. The clothing was a great idea. It did make me feel better for a short while.
I am still waiting to see some sort of follow-up on the national news about Hondurans after the flood. I expect to see some Central American teen wearing some fabulous 90's vintage YMLA shirt (yes, in my early days of fagdom, no shirt was tight enough or shiny enough for me). I have to say that I still miss my shoes. Of all the sacrifices that I have ever made, giving up my Ferragamos, Keds, and Converse All-Stars has to be one of the greatest.
Please continue to donate to victims of the Christmas Tsunami and don't forget those in Somalia.