It has been a crazy week since my last post!! My move back to Colorado was hectic, but it is great to be back where I belong..The vibrant city of Denver has added new buildings, and coincidentally my new home has a great view of the city AND Coors Field (the baseball park)!! How ironic..
Well, as I have said, my blog will be mostly dedicated to the letters that I have received over the years. So today’s blog will follow the same route. Below you will find a random letter that I chose from the collection of thousands I have received. I hope you will enjoy reading it, and as always take some time to think about it..
Happy holidays to all, and remember
Never Strike Out!!
Dear Mr. Pallone:
I just finished reading your book ‘Behind the Mask’ and found you life story to be very inspirational. In this time of the Crisis, the Gay community is fortunate to have a positive role model of your caliber. The amount of strength, courage, honesty and compassion you display so willingly towards others is exceptional.
In your afterword you stated some reasons for writing your book. In the early eighties when I was in college at UCLA I really would have benefited from a book like this. I feel as though I went through many parallel situations. Many young men who are questioning their sexuality still won’t go to a gay bookstore or even pick up a gay publication for fear of being branded. Someone can pick up your book, get to know you and feel comfortable with you and not feel threatened about their own sexuality. And if they are questioned about the book they can always claim they were just interested in finding out the truth about the Pete Rose incident! Hopefully, they will then take the courage you so bravely showed and start their own journey.
As a television personality for many years I made a conscious decision to stay in the closet. I used volunteer work and friendship to try to fill the void in my life. At the point that it became unbearable I moved from Los Angeles to New York to start a new life with new friends out of the closet. Six months after my coming out I was offered a job hosting a live weekday television show in Boston for young adults called “Ready to Go!” Although I was not willing to go back in the closet I realized I had to be very discreet due to that old “moral turpitude” clause in all television contracts. Little did I know I would meet the man of my dreams, who is also named Scott. The funny thing is neither of us were looking for a relationship. I had a new show that had me at the studio at 5 a.m. every morning and he was in his first year of law school. Well, almost three years later things couldn’t be better. We have a wonderful relationship home and friends.
One thing that we have found important as a couple is to include straight friends in our life. If people see two very male “macho type” men living together in a normal healthy situation we hope they will see how positive it is. In our own small way we are breaking down stereotypes as you did with your book. We also always try to have an open ear to men who are just coming out or who are entering relationships. In this time of the Crisis its so important for gay men to have support.
You also mentioned a lot of tragedies in your book. Similarly Scott and I have both experienced a lot of tragedy and feel it bonded us right away. Both of Scott’s parents were killed in a car accident. My mother died of breast cancer when I was nine and both my brother and sister were in serious car accidents with brothers, resulting in his death. These tragedies have molded us and made us into the strong gay men we’re proud to be today. Tragedy, as you well know, tends to put things in perspective. I’ve learned that the only thing that really matters in life is the loss of a loved one. Everything else you can change. That is why the little things in life don’t really upset me. If you don’t like the situation you are in you can always change it. the way in which you handled ostracism by your peers was an example of that. No matter what happened you always tried to change the situation and make it better.
I wish you much success and happiness in your life after baseball. I am interested to find out where your life takes you and am sure you will be a great success at whatever you choose to do. If you haven’t read it already I would like to suggest a book that you might enjoy. The title is ‘On Being Gay-Thoughts of Family, Faith, and Love’ and it was written by Brian McKnight. As writers, I thing you share some of the same wisdom, insight and humor. Also, I expect to see your name in the next volume of “Gay Men and Women Who Have Enriched the World’.
I hope I haven’t taken up too much of your time. I’ve never written a fan letter before and have a tendency to ramble. Once again thank you for writing your book and good luck in your good and important work.