From Newsweek's My Turn, by Loraine Barr, titled "The Love That Will Finally Speak Its Name":
It took the death of my dear life partner for me to find the courage to come out of the closet.
Now I write this after living for 44 years with the most loved and loving, giving, understanding and delightful partner imaginable. For all our time together, we were "in the closet."
Finally, after almost nine years since my beloved partner's death, I am able to do what I could never have braved in earlier years: present myself herewith to the world as a lesbian, along with all the women who ask to be judged by the full facet of our characters.
Shall I be haunted for trying to tell my story now, when many might still not wish to address it, or shall I, perhaps, be congratulated?
I hope that she will be congratulated. Loraine is 88 years old. I understand that it took courage, even now, for Loraine to speak out. How sad that she and her partner spent the whole of their lives together in the closet. How sad that because of the hostility still so present in our society, many lesbians and gays feel compelled to keep hidden a vital and joyous connection in their lives.
It's just not right. I'm not talking about Loraine, but about all of us who contribute to making our society hostile to lesbians and gays and, indeed, to anyone who appears different - anyone who can be labeled as outside the norm.