I Will Always Remember. I Will Never Forget!

by Dave Pallone on June 30, 2010

As midnight approaches on this last day of June, I thought I would reflect on the last 20 years.

First, I cannot believe it has been twenty years since the publication of Behind the Mask. It has been, to say the least, a crazy ride. I have lived in so many cities, and along the way have met many people. Some have been thru the moves I have made, some have been on personal travel, and the rest have been while bringing my presentation to a college, university, workplace, or a conference. They have been from all walks of life, all ages, and from all professions. They have been the highlights of my adventure, and they will never be forgotten.

However, what has touched me more than anything, are the letters from the thousands of people who have taken the time to write. From mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, professional athletes, members of the clergy, college students, doctors, and lawyers…thanking me for telling my story. Thanking me, this guy who grew up in the projects of Watertown Massachusetts, for giving them hope…not only for themselves but for their children. I never would have believed it if you told me back when I was young, that this would be my destiny, and at times I still don’t believe it now. To this day, after twenty years, I continue to receive emails and letters of thanks, and it continues to humble me. It is beyond my comprehension, that I have made an impact on the lives of so many people by just telling my story. The letters have been my inspiration to continue my journey, of not only speaking out about injustices on the LGBT community, but to make sure that we never ever give up speaking out. This will always be my mission. I might not always have the bully pulpit to speak from, but I will speak and I will never be silenced. I will never forget those who have attended my presentations, and their tears they have shed or the hugs they have given. I will remember the stories they have told about themselves, and their family, and how the room was so silent that you could hear a pin drop. I will always remember. I will never forget!

Yet, with all these experiences in these last twenty years, there is one that I will never get out of my mind. It will, as it did then, continue to be the one that touched my soul. It will stay with me until my last breath. It is the story of the young man from Central Missouri State University who told me that it was because of me he hadn’t taken his life. I will remember his tears, and the anguish on his face. I will remember that on that evening, my life changed forever…and that my purpose in life was given a new meaning!

I will always remember. I will never forget!

Thanks for reading, and remember,

Never Strike Out!

Peace

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon T June 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Dave,

I think more people than you know have not taken their own lives because they came across you and heard your story. Personally, I know I went through a very dark time many years ago and found a lot of comfort/strength/peace, etc. in coming across you, your story, book, presentation, etc.

We are all blessed to have found you, and it’s an amazing thing you’ve discovered your destiny and fulfilled it so well.

Jon

Jim Stone June 30, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Dave,
I totally agree with Jon. Twenty years ago I was so depressed and miserable and lonely. Your book gave me strength and courage to come out. It was almost as though someone flipped a switch in my life and turned on the lights.
Unfortunately young people are STILL committing suicide because they are gay. These so called “Christian zealots” are still preaching hatred and telling young people that they are going to hell just for being the way they were created. These horrible people have blood on their hands. How many young gay kids have killed themselves or turned to drugs and alcohol or married people of the opposite sex because of their teachings?? There is nothing “Christian” about them. This brings to mind the expression..”beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing…”
I heard a great comment on the radio coming home from work the other day. “If you are Christian then listen to and follow the words of Christ…DO NOT listen to the words of MEN who PRETEND to represent him!” So true!!
Thanks again Dave…YOUR soul is shining!
Jim

Sai September 10, 2010 at 5:33 pm

You are an inspiration to many people for sharing your story!

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