My late husband, whom many of you might have encountered as he was a Kossack, was an identical twin. Tommy, my brother-in-law has a birthday coming up in a few days. Terun, my late husband, died before he could be made a Mason but nevertheless received unprecedented Masonic honors at his funeral--mostly, I suspect, because of his famous Masonic relative, Joseph Brant.
Tonight, in Lodge, we had our annual inspection by the Grand Lodge of Maine. We worked a degree. However, at any meeting of a Lodge, it is asked if any of the brethren know of any sickness or distress. I stood up, and gave my sign, and mentioned that my brother-in-law was coming upon a difficult anniversary, and that I had spoken to him today. Dutifully, a card was passed along for all Brothers present to sign that will be sent to him. The difficult anniversary is his birthday, and Terun and my anniversary.
Among guest brethren present was a Master of a neighboring lodge, and he--like me--is a gay man. I'm not the Master of my lodge, but an officer.
Not a single member of my Lodge cares one whit that I am gay.
At this time of year, I am deeply moved that my brethren not only care, but they "don't care". They "don't care" that I am gay. They just care about me, and about my brother-in-law.