Tribute to Steve Endean
Wednesday, April 22, 1992
Stephen R. Endean
Human Rights Campaign Fund
Having had a mad crush on you (and a hopeless one, alas) since I first saw your boyish face on television what must have been over a decade ago, I would not have hesitated to join a tribute to you even were you not a great figure of the Gay Rights movement. As it is, I could not possibly stay away. That would be just too incorrect.
I feel particularly compelled to write this letter as someone who has spent much of the past decade laboring in another part of the vineyard -- namely, helping to build the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington and the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses. It has always been clear to me that this "cultural side of the movement," as I like to call the rich variety of efforts to combat invisibility of Gay people in the Arts, rests upon the foundation of political activism by pioneers like you and organizations like GRNL and HRCF that you created to advance our common cause of full enfranchisement for Gay men and Lesbians. The fact that GALA Choruses alone has grown into an international association of more than one hundred choruses from four continents is a living tribute to the crucial groundwork laid by you and others to make the idea of openly Gay groups performing in mainstream venues -- and audiences showing up for them -- a realistic possibility.
Over the years, I have admired your doggedness as a leader through a host of projects and battles and your grit in surviving with your commitment and effectiveness intact through so many ups and downs and so much infighting. Your faithful work, enduring setbacks and frustrations and the pressures of the spotlight, has not only enhanced our civil rights, it has served as an inspiration to others to take up the cause.
Finally, as a chorine who knows about these things, I return to the fact that you are such an adorable man. You will always be one of my favorites. I have just one request to make of you. There are never enough of us good guys to go around. So hang in there, baby.
Co-founder and Publicity Director
Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC