Rick and I are an ecosystem, a system, a partnership. We need each other, we love each other, we improve and strengthen each other. We are also two independent people with enough foresight, history, wisdom, and vision to know that it’s OK to do your own thing too. We were blessed to have found a way that our uniqueness has expression in something we both love: Mezzacello.

I am writing this blog after watching the 2019 Columbus Pride Parade. Rick and I are sitting at lunch after watching the parade with several Olde Towne East neighbors on appropriately enough, Gay Street. At the Tip Top having a cocktail and brunch and talking about how much change we have seen in just our lifetimes. My first pride parade was in 1988. Back then there were very few spectators; if you were there, you were the parade. I remember being so nervous and excited! Marching in that parade unsure if the news was going to take my photo and the people at work and school were going to find out I was gay! Gasp! In 1988 Rick was married with four kids and a minister in the Church of Christ.

Fast forward to today with thousands to watching the Fabulous West Family lead a fabulous parade amongst a sea of spectators and everyone happy and free! Such a huge difference! In a moment of reflection, Rick and I both came to the realization that we were very lucky to have found each other, survived heartbreak, disaster, trauma, fortunate that we now live in a time where we can be us; eccentric, independent, married, active, and fulfilled in a town we love. We are also proud that we have grown to see the value and beauty of this partnership. I don’t need Rick to complete me. I need Rick so I can complete me. Respect, love, vision, hard work and dignity.

We have created this urban farm together with independent goals and outcomes that just happen to dovetail beautifully. We are proud that we have the strength, wisdom, and confidence to choose to be “us” together or just do our own thing. We also love living in Columbus, Ohio. Truly one of the greatest cities in America. How far we’ve come and oh the places we have yet to go. Cheers! Happy Pride!

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