Gary & Andy
The holiday season is here, and 2018 is quickly approaching which will be an important milestone year for us, for one big reason. As we reflect on the joys of the season with family and friends, I wanted to take a moment and share something about me, with you, my extended family here in Kansas City. This has been my home for over 25 years now.
Though some of you may already be aware, I felt it important to share the following information with you. My goal is to bring awareness and hope to others, especially the youth who are dealing with issues related to their sexuality. Although I have been out to myself for many years since I was a teenager, it wasn’t until I was around 20 years old, in 1982, when I finally came out to my family and friends. I proceeded to live my life as a gay man, not necessarily out, but not totally hiding either. I have been out to my fellow employees and friends since my arrival in Kansas City. I have always felt, from the time I realized I was gay, that you are born this way.
Okay, onto the milestone that is approaching. February marks Andy and my 20th anniversary of meeting each other. He’s been my rock through some of the most difficult times. In 1999, I was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. I endured some of the most potent forms of chemotherapy known. Andy was there! I battled through the intense treatments for four months. Andy was there! I beat cancer and gained a new perspective on life and love. Andy and I set goals to celebrate, which involved trips to some of our favorite places; Las Vegas, Hawaii, Alaska, and the Caribbean. To symbolize our love, I asked Andy to be my partner for life. On a romantic Caribbean cruise, I surprised him and presented Andy with a ring. He said yes! This was obviously before same-sex marriage.
We have grown a happy fulfilling life here in Kansas City. Andy’s family has embraced me, us from the beginning, and these are the people I have celebrated the holidays with all of these years. Andy reached his academic goals and surpassed them. And, I reached my goal of forecasting the weather in one of the most difficult and dynamic places for predicting weather in the country. Andy shares my passion for dogs too. He’s loved Windy, Stormy, Breezy, and now Sunny The Weather Dog. He’s the one who is with Sunny at night when I’m on the air with you. He’s my other half, the one who makes me whole.
It’s my hope that by sharing a little more about me, others will feel more comfortable to be themselves too. Young people who may be struggling with their sexuality, and their parents who may be trying to process it all as well, I know it is not easy. It can be quite scary. I am hoping to be a good role model for the LGBTQ community.
The pictures are from the night I surprised Andy with the rings, and then one with Sunny as a little Puppy, with Andy holding Sunny, and me holding Stormy.
Thank you for listening and I hope to have your support. If you have any questions, please email me or respond here. Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!