Last year, when the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage I was ecstatic. I sent happy text messages to all my gay and liberal-minded friends! I didn’t want to experience this momentous occasion alone. I even sent texts to folks that I don’t know that well. I was happy and I wanted to celebrate. It was a day to remember.
Fast forward to now – a year later – this weekend – Saturday afternoon. We went to a local pub crawl with some of those same gay and liberal-minded folks we don’t know that well. We went expecting beer and laughs and little else. What I received was astonishing…
Michael is one of those folks I don’t know that well, but when he crawled out of the pub he gave me the biggest grin and warmest embrace. “Susan, I’m so glad you’re here. I talk about you all the time!” I looked at him quizzically, since we only had a couple face-to-face conversations in the few years we had known each other. Sure, we knew a lot of the same people, but why would he be talking about me?
“You probably don’t know this, but I work for Caterpillar. I work with their inclusion/diversity committee. I give presentations to 1000s of Caterpillar employees for LGBT diversity training. During the introduction of my presentation I always talk about YOU. Do you remember that text you sent me when the Supreme Court decided in favor of gay marriage? Your text was the first text I got that day. It meant so much to me! I give your text message as an example of how profound it is to get support from someone outside the community. I share how we barely know each other, yet you took the time to send me a text on that important day. The story always makes an impact. I share what little I know of you from your couple of soapbox sermons. My description of you always makes the audience laugh! I’m preparing for a global LGBT conference in Orlando this fall. I will be telling this story to thousands more from around the world. Your simple text meant so much to me on that day. It’s the perfect example of how easy it is to make a positive impact in the lives of others.”
It was just a text message – sent to thousands of people around the globe.