So I was supposed to post my newest award: The Awesome Parents Award...but that is going to require a little more set up, and I am feeling extremely lazy today
But there is someone that I have been meaning to love on publicly for some time. His name is Victor Cole, and he is my Everyday Hero.
Let me tell you why.
I met Victor aka Titi five years ago, in the fall of 2006. I was dating a man that played on the gay softball league, and I went with him to a fundraiser at The Saloon in Minneapolis. There I met a number of his friends that played on a team called the Slammers.
These fools were crazy as Hell. I fell in love with them instantly.
Over the next few months I got to know the BNO Crew (Boys Night Out crew), and I began hanging out with them. When the Spring came around, Titi invited me to join the team. I had never played softball in my life, in fact, I was terrified of organized sports (except for volleyball, which I'd grown up playing, and soccer, which I played on the weekends in the summers as an adult). But to play on an actual league brought forth all kinds of childhood terrors.
Joining the team changed my life completely. It changed it for all of the reasons that research says that organized sports are great. But also, I gained a community of queer men (and one fantastic woman), largely queer men of color, that acted like a family (including some dysfunction but what family doesn't have that?). While Ramon was the heart of the family, Titi was the head (with a big old heart to boot).
Let me tell you, I have gone through some things in the last few years. Read this blog and most of it has been written about here. I have been in my own stuff and lost some friends because of it. But Victor, always giving good love and sometimes giving tough love, would find me in my dark places and reflect back to me the love and light that is constantly around me. He has a gift of seeing people as they are and maybe even as they are meant to be. I believe there are times when your community steps in to love you when you can't quite love yourself, and Victor Cole has loved me more than once and held me up when I was stumbling and not able to love myself the way I deserve.
Victor is brilliant. He is an educator. He is a proud Hawaiian that loves his people as he loves his community. He lives the aloha spirit and has carried it with him wherever he has lived. I've heard stories from so many folks that know and love this man. He isn't just a hero to me.
I love him. It's pretty simple. He's offered his love freely, and it has been received with an appreciation that I don't think I will ever adequately be able to communicate.
Thank you, Titi. You are one of my most loved Everyday Heroes.
PS Please don't punch me in the face for posting this blog about you. Thanks in advance.