A Word from my Sister

For the first time ever, the pride parade will travel down King Street and through the heart of Charleston, SC. This is a big deal, and I feel honored to be able to ride along on a float. Like many people, I had a gay uncle, a fact that I never knew until I was 16. Not to say I didn’t know; it just wasn’t an issue. Uncle Carr and Alan were family.

Carr was my mothers baby brother and the most amazing man I knew as a small child. His house was full of interesting collections and spectacular furniture. They had the best Christmas parties. Alan spent weeks decorating a tree that reached to the top of their 14 foot ceilings. Each limb was hand wrapped with its own strand of lights. It was a sight to see, and they beamed as their house filled with their friends and family.

Carr passed away the day before my 16th birthday.  Alan passed just a few years later. This year marks 20 years since I have seen his face and held his hand. He missed the premiere of Philadelphia by months, and in doing so missed my realization that he was different. I witnessed a love between these two men with no preconceived notions. The thought that they deserved less was beyond me.

Carr’s death and Philadelphia cemented my place as an advocate for the LGBT community from that day forward. Which brings me back around to why tomorrow is such a big deal. I will be joining my lovely friends from We Are Family on their float tomorrow during the pride parade. I will be just feet away from Rita Taylor, the godmother of gays in Charleston, as she ushers in the first downtown Pride. This is history. This is the right side of history. This is something my uncle never got to see. Gay marriage will be legal throughout the states soon, and we have everything to do with it. Stand tall, stand proud. 

Tomorrow, both of my uncles will be watching me from the clouds as I wave at the onlookers and support my friends and family. Some are out and proud. Some are still closeted and proud. And some still are closeted and scared. I’m coming out for you. Straight but not narrow. So this weekend take time out of your day to hug a gay. Tell them you stand with them and show your own pride.

-Mollie Howey

14 responses to “A Word from my Sister”

  1. Margaret Buckley Avatar
    Margaret Buckley

    Mollie, you were very fortunate to have that uncle in your life. I see what Hugh means when he writes that you are a badass with an amazing heart. I’m sure now that his choice of Molly Fyde as his heroine is not accidental.
    Hugs, and enjoy the parade!

  2. “Straight but not narrow.”

    I think that quote sums up quite amazingly what the attitude of supporting someone’s rights in any facet of life should be. “I am me but I still support you being you.”

    Great letter Molly and thanks for sharing Hugh.

  3. Badass, indeed. Have a blast tomorrow, Mollie.

  4. Beautifully said and hooray for Charleston!

  5. What an awesome blog, and so happy to see this. You and your brother rock, and I’m sure your whole family does too! :) May your pride parade be a very special one!

  6. Tears in my eyes. Good for you!

  7. This made me cry (in a good way, of course). Mollie is a beautiful soul.

  8. Sooo. It runs in the family…..Mollie can write as well. Love it.

  9. Many of you may not be fans of current country music, so let me recommend you give a listen to “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves. Hearing that song the first time made me buy the album the next day. One listen and you’ll understand why I mention it here..

  10. Caroline McIntosh Avatar
    Caroline McIntosh

    thank you so much for those wonderful words, that all put together, paint a picture of an inspiration to you. “Straight but not narrow” should a phrase coined by all of us who support the LGBT community.. Great story.. Have a WONDERFUL time tomorrow and Thank You , Hugh for sharing this with us.. xx

  11. You Rock, Mollie. Thank you. Beautiful words – especially that last paragraph – that brought tears to my eyes. We are out, but not out – my partner is a teacher. We ‘married’ June 29th in Georgia where it is still not legal, but it meant everything to us. We had about 100 people at our ceremony and celebration reception. Someday……

  12. love you, Mollie! Have fun today! I’ll be at the house writing all day, but there with you in spirit!!

  13. […] stumbled upon a tweet from author Hugh Howey the other day, linking an amazingly heart-wrenching article written by his sister.  After reading, I promptly retweeted it, stating that we need more […]

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