Thanks for sharing 

I wanted to take a moment and thank you, Gazette, for sharing the J. Simms letter in the June 30 issue. Not because I agree with anything that was said in the letter, but because it is easy to forget just how far the LGBT community has to go to achieve equal rights in this country.

I grew up in the Bay Area, California, and spent the majority of my young adult life in Austin, Texas. As an openly gay male, I couldn't have asked for a better upbringing. I have always lived in cities where the gay community is embraced and rarely came across bigotry. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family where not just my immediate family, but all my extended family, has been open-minded and has supported me in everything I do.

When I was asked to relocate to Oklahoma City in 2005, I was hesitant because I did not know what to expect from a social perspective. I quickly realized that OKC is much more progressive than it is given credit for. I have yet to come across anyone who is outwardly disrespectful to my lifestyle and have made an incredible group of friends, both gay and straight, since relocating.

This is why I want to thank you for including the "Sick of it" letter. It is very easy for me forget there are people who feel this way because I just haven't come across them in my life. I want to thank you for inspiring me to get out in the community and do what I can to support LGBT causes. I want to thank you for giving the LGBT community something to show our straight allies so they can see why we need their support.

Thank you.

"Aaron Barton
Oklahoma City

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Aaron Barton

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