The movement for international LGBT rights is not going to be won overnight. And while meetings in Stockholm or Washington, D.C. are important, the real work is being done by the on-the-ground activists in countries like Uganda, India, Myanmar, Lebanon, and Russia, many of whom risk their lives on a day-to-day basis.
At the end of my first year in college, just when I began to come out to my family and friends, I read about a young man in the United States, Matthew Shepard, who had been brutally murdered for being gay. This shocked me for many reasons -- first, because I identified with a few of Matthew's traits.
When I moved to New York City in 1987, I was an 18-year-old closeted man unsure of what life had in store. A friend of my mother's back in Texas said she knew people who ran a church in the city, and this Southern Baptist boy was looking for something that reminded him of home and was eager to join them.