By Timothy D . . . I’d like to share a bright spot of my life and hopefully shine some light on opportunities for others. Two years ago, I saw a group of motorcycle riders escorting bicycle riders for the MS society. They were riding from a suburb of where I live to the Twin Cities, a 150-mile ride. I stopped and talked to a couple of them and asked about helping out. I was welcomed, and the next day I joined them all for breakfast and finished out the ride with them. Not only was it fun, but also, I was happy to be giving back to the community in a good way and helping an organization for a good cause.
This year I helped with the first ride of the year, again that same ride from my area to the Twin Cities. Approximately two months later, I received a call from an organizational leader who said that they unfortunately had to sever their ties with me as far as being a motorcycle escort, but that I could still help in other ways. No specific ways were suggested.
Two weeks ago, my lead boss at one of my two jobs suggested that I help at a local event called the Tribute Fest to help raise money for homeless veterans. I already knew the person who produced the show and said heck, yeah. When the time for the event came, I went down and checked into the situation. Upon getting signed up and getting my shirt, Robert was going to introduce me to who they call the “Mayor” (head of volunteers). As we were trying to find the Mayor, we ran into my long-ago friend and producer, Louis.
I was introduced to him, as Robert did not know we had previously known each other. I knew that my boss had met with Louis the day before and suggested me as a person to help. Louis told Robert, “Yes, I have a place for him, but I need to talk to him first.”
I thought, “Oh here it comes; I’m getting the boot already,” but instead he took me aside and told me that he had received a call from someone inquiring if I was working the event, and that I had shown up on a web site; I believe he was referring to the registration site. Then he said that the past is just that, the past, that I have done my time, and that it should not be held against me. He then proceeded to place me at the rear of the stage where the beer tent and the VIP stage entrance were and said this was my spot. It wasn’t out front where everyone could see me, but it was one of very high importance since I would be dealing with VIPs as well as the band members. I was a bit surprised that I was not assigned to watch the back gate/fence line. He also came by several times and checked on me and fist-bumped with me and shook my hand, thanking me for helping. I also worked there the next day, which ended the three-day event.
What I hope everyone takes from this is that no matter how many times we get told NO, there are people out there who will say YES. We just need to keep trying and never give up. It could be said that I was accepted because I knew Louis beforehand. While that is true, I had not seen nor worked for him for 25 years, and even after he got the call from someone inquiring about my presence at the event, he still gave me a spot.
I hope this brings some hope to all of you in our fight. We will be told NO, but we must still fight on and trust that someday we will be told YES. YES, the registry is going away; YES, we can be seen as regular citizens again; YES, I will rent to you; YES, you have the job; YES, you’ve got the house. Stay positive and positive things will happen; push the negative away and seek and find positive people to make a part of your lives.
Tim is NARSOL’S contact in MN. He lives a positive and fulfilling life as a registered citizen. He likes the outdoors, being a volunteer, community service, and being a part of the movement to end the stigma against those on the registry.