I was watching a gentleman singing karaoke last night. He was an older gentleman, still dressed in his business suit, obviously had stopped in on his way home.

Apparently he is a regular and likes to belt out a number at Stonewall. His silver hair brushed his forehead during his performance of Sweet Caroline.

I started thinking about his journey and how he’s finally come to a point in his life where he can get up on stage, attired in a suit and croon into a microphone.

Did he have children? An ex-wife? Did he have a long-term partner he met 30 years ago? What was his story?

He left before I could speak with him. As he stood near the doorway to leave, he surveyed the room and he looked pleased, satisfied even.

Since I couldn’t chase him down the street, I conjured up my own story for him. Perhaps 30 years ago he was happy, yet struggling with his identity and finding like-minded friends in such a different world from today. Life then was more underground and alternative, so it was hard to be completely yourself.

Fast forward to today and we have relative ease in being who we want to be. We can hold hands on the street, we can kiss our boyfriends over a dinner table, we can dance happily with our friends in view of the street. We even have our dads call us up to tell us how much they love us.

Perhaps as he surveyed the room, he thought about how far we’ve come. Either that, or how he was so looking forward to eating his dinner at home with his husband and thinking what a crap bunch of singers we are and to pull our pants up over our bums.

We all have journeys and we all have a story. Some get told to anyone who will listen, others are whispered to trusted confidants. Every story needs air to breathe and life to engage.

I’d like to congratulate Sydney Star Observer for 1000 issues this week, each issue a step in a journey to bring people together — to debate, engage and delight.

A journey starts with just one step — thank you for taking us 1000 miles.

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