Monday, November 30, 2009
Betty Eicher - Ethyl Elizabeth Eicher 1913 - 1992 My Lesbian 2nd Cousin
Betty Eicher in Miamisburg OH. From the archives of Bill Eicher and Betty Eicher and Mary Parker Brown Dec 24 1884 - May 5 1961.
When I met my second cousin Bill Eicher who was 20 years my senior and the youngest of my parents generation, back in 1984 I was doing my "gay adolescence" as a gay dad, son and husband to Susan. I was struggling with clear boundaries without having a solid role model in my life to respect Susan, and my first son Nate, right after the death of my dad in Jan 1982. I now have a huge level of compassion for the emerging culture of LGBTQ communities throughout the world. Learning about the history of Schwuler Leute "gay people" for 200 years in Berlin Last summer through the connection with Jeremy Minsberg, formerly of St Paul and now in Berlin was a great boon to my understanding of my German heritage and the culture in Germany before the Nazi repression. Living in Minnesota and serving on the Twin Cities Men's Center Board as an openly gay man is the level of comfort I now have of being my authentic self. So grateful for the support of my spiritual sister, Jane Newell, who still grieves the loss of her Stevie, her blood brother Stephen Scott, who took his own life in the year 2000 with an overdose of cocaine, without integrating his true nature as a gay soul as we see it, living a double life, successful suburban school teacher and closeted urban addictive lifestyle. I dedicate my story telling and work to those LGBTQ souls who are here to live authentic lives in whatever culture or setting they are born into. To Stephen Scott, Matt Shepard, Harvey Milk and others, including those who died along side of the Jews, Romany, Jehovah Witnessnesse etc,, wearing the Pink Triangle during the Holocaust of the 20th C. I know I have been coming out at different levels since my introduction to the Program in Human Sexuality at the U of Minnesota Medical School in the early 1970's. Through my work at TCMC and Mankind Project International, I now am learning at a deeper level about being gay from other perspectives including Asian cultures like China and Korea. While cleaning out my files (Thanks China Stevie!) I just discovered a letter I sent to Jonathan Ned Katz at the Advocate in 1989 commenting on his article about Evangeline Whipple's relationship with Rose Cleveland, sister of the President. Happy more of the truth of relationships can make ours more real today too! See http://www.outhistory.org/wiki/Rose_Cleveland_and_Evangeline_Marrs_Simpson_Whipple:_1889-1918