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Spreading the

Spreading the


Passing out fliers for his Virginia LGBT activist group at a local street festival, our teen diarist is met with rejection and outright hostility--but he does manage to get through to one individual.

Satre is a junior at Notre Dame Academy, a private Catholic high school in Middleburg, Va., and the founder of the Virginia LGBT activist group Equality Fauquier-Culpeper. He writes weekly journal entries for

In my previous installment I spilled emotion all over my keyboard, expressing my views as a minority in my own faith. Almost instantly I received one of the most inspiring letters signed by "a loving Christian mother," followed shortly by hundreds of others from around the country. I am thankful to say that the letters of acceptance because of faith, regardless of denomination, have far outnumbered the letters full of hatred and rejection in the name of a beautiful religion.

Every time I sit back in deep thought about the events of the past week, it seems that life has spun me around, making me dizzy. Equality Fauquier-Culpeper held its first annual picnic in perfect weather last Saturday. Harris Miller, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, was in attendance along with members of his campaign staff. (Mr. Miller is running against my good friend Sen. George Allen, whom we all remember from my past encounter--you can easily guess how I met Mr. Miller.)

As the afternoon approached Mr. Miller told me he would soon be off to Culpeper for the annual Culpeper Days festival. No sooner had the picnic ended than I decided that Culpeper Days would be a perfect opportunity to distribute information about Equality Fauquier-Culpeper. I jumped in my car and made my way there with a stack of fliers in the trunk.

When I finally arrived in Old Town Culpeper (full of historic structures and the background for the Hush movie set) a sense of family filled the air as the smells of food and festivity mingled around me. Culpeper was bright with activity.

I handed my first flier to a gentleman who smiled at me. By the time I handed out the second flier, the gentleman ran back at me, cussing, making snide remarks, and violently throwing the flier on the ground. The second flier was taken into the hands of a polite gentleman who smiled and called me by name: "Tully, I have been following your story--God can change you."

"Would God change what he created, or was I a mistake?" I asked. No reply.

There was the group that threw my fliers back, the Gideons who laughed, the Klan member who glared, the evangelist who preached, the couple who discarded, the Mormon missionaries who stared, and finally, the woman who pulled money out of her pocket and donated. To me, she represents someone who truly has taken to heart Culpeper's motto: "preserving the past, embracing the future."

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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Tully Satre