- Hipster Guy 1: You know what the first sign should have been that she was a fucking idiot?
- Hipster Guy 2: No, what?
- HG1: We got into an argument over what it meant to turn something to the right.
- HG2: How can you mean that any other way?
- HG1: I know. I told her to turn the dial to the right and she turned it to the left.
- HG2: Which is not the right.
- HG1: Exactly! She said it was because she was facing it and not standing behind it.
- HG2: Definitely an idiot.
- HG1: Yeah, at least she sucks good dick.
When I first met Fred Goldhaber, I wondered who was this hobbit of a man with a wicked sense of humor, a goofy grin, and an amazing spirit and zest for life all in this small package. We laughed, we joked, and shared a great time when I volunteered with the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus.
It wasn’t until he passed away that I found out what a hero this man was to the troubled LGBTQ youth of this world. “Mr. G,” as he was called by his students was, for some time, the only teacher at the Harvey Milk School - the nation’s first school of LGBTQ students.
As the New York Times said in his obituary, “There is no way to know how many of the gay and lesbian youngsters who came under the wing of Mr. G., as he was known, went on to graduate from high school or just found the strength to make their way in the world. But for dozens, at least, he was a hero.”
In this day when the suicides of LGBT youth are topping the headlines and news stories on a regular basis, we need more heroes like Fred Goldhaber. He may have been (or at least seemed) half my height, but I can only hope that one day I can live up to his name, reputation, and legacy.
So here’s to a man who touched man and who left us far too soon.
Happy birthday, Fred.