I am completely overwhelmed by the response the posts about the Birthday Ball have gotten. I want you all to know how much I truly appreciate the kind words and support you have shown Brandon and me. I wish I had time to reply to each of you, but I just can’t keep up. You should at least know that I have read every single comment and reply and I’ve shared them with Brandon, too. I love very much that you’re posting your words for me and everyone else to see.
As for the comments themselves, I do moderate them. The ones I approve are completely untouched–I would never try to change what someone else is trying to say. There were some comments I did not approve, though, because they were filled with hatred and ignorance. My hope in posting this lengthy 4-part blog entry is that people will come to understand a side of DADT that they never heard about in the press or debates, not re-hash the debates all over again. All the tired arguments about religious objections and showers have been heard before, and if people still feel the need to make them, they can do it somewhere else. I’m not going to let a few haters try to destroy the positive energy you’ve all generated through your love and support. (I also happen to believe that if any of those comments made it up on these posts you all would rip them to shreds and I am just trying to save them the public humiliation.)
Just a note on contacting me: I have received dozens of Facebook friend requests, but it’s my personal account and I have always had a pretty strict rule about only being “friends” with people I know or have at least conversed with on more than just a couple occasions. If I don’t approve your friend request, it’s not because I’m ignoring you or being rude, it’s just because we don’t know each other. I do, however, have subscriptions enabled on my profile and my privacy settings are pretty liberal, so if you really want to see my posts there, feel free to subscribe. As for Twitter, I welcome you to follow my tweets, but that’s my personal account, too. I don’t have a staff to keep me up to date on everyone, so please don’t be offended if I don’t always follow back–that’s not really what the system was designed for anyway. If you want to talk to me directly, send me an email to my Facebook account or my personal email address–I can handle those much easier than all the replies to posts on WordPress.
Finally, I’m not sure if it came across in the posts how much strength and courage it took Brandon to get through that evening. It’s been said that Ginger Rogers never received enough credit for doing everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in heels. Not only did Brandon have to deal with the pressures of being the only guy there on a date with a male Marine, but he didn’t know much about the Marine Corps, knew nothing about protocol or the ceremony, and certainly didn’t know anyone who was there. He made it through gracefully (and handsomely, if I may say), and the confidence he portrayed was both calming and inspiring.