BY Kerry Eleveld
August 28 2009 1:35 PM ET
Though Mixner is careful to note that he wasn’t Kennedy’s closest confidant, he nonetheless had a strong bond with the senator and attributes his loyalty to the LGBT community -- especially during the AIDS crisis -- to his own experience with saying goodbye to too many loved ones all too soon.
“He understood the concept of, every time you turn around, losing someone close to you -- unexpectedly,” says Mixner. “I think that's part of how he came to be so close to us -- that unbelievable connection he had to us through his own great loss.”
Mixner echoes the seemingly endless stream of stories over the past few days about Kennedy invariably reaching out to people in their lowest moments. “He would always call at just the right time and know exactly what to say and, without fail, make you laugh,” he says.
David Smith of the Human Rights Campaign received one of those treasured phone calls. Two years ago, Smith traveled to Spain to marry his partner and was joined by his family there. Five days after the ceremony, Smith’s father died of a massive stroke. As soon as his plane landed back in the states, Smith’s cell phone rang and Senator Kennedy was on the other end of the line.
- Op-ed: Adopting the T in LGBT
- Schumer Admits Reason He Left Gays Out of Immigration 'Provides Little Comfort'
- Does Expansion of Rights Also Expand Antigay Violence?
- A Reason for Pride: Gay Parents Are Changing the World
- Multiple Attacks on Gay Men in NYC, Hours After Rally
- Op-ed: My Life as a Gay Boy Scout
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Entertainment News Filmmaker Needs Help to Penetrate the South 11 min 30 sec ago
- Commentary NYC Hate Crimes: Why I'm Afraid for First Time in My Life 28 min 50 sec ago
- Women WATCH: Portia de Rossi Spills Ellen's Most Annoying Habit to Jennifer Aniston 51 min 53 sec ago
- Living Well Why Shacking Up Is Good For Your Health 57 min 56 sec ago
- Politics Schumer: The Reason We Excluded Gays Offers 'Little Comfort' 1 hour 54 min ago
- World News PHOTOS: Startling Response to Right-Winger's Suicide in Notre Dame 2 hours 23 min ago
- Crime Does Expansion of Rights Also Expand Antigay Violence? 11:07 AM