"What should I expect at the funeral service for a gay man?"
I’m headed to a memorial service for a gay man. Is there anything special I should know ahead of time about what to expect?
There’s nothing technically different about LGBT events marking someone’s death. All such services are about remembering and honoring the deceased, fostering closure, and supporting the survivors. In practice, though, you may find that some LGBT memorials involve a greater sense of celebration of the deceased’s life, and that the service may be more political than you’re accustomed to. It wasn’t uncommon during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic to hear angry references about government inaction or the high cost of treatment, for instance. Nowadays, you may hear about issues like hate crimes, the right to marry, and even bans on same-sex adoption. Not long ago, when I was at a service for a lesbian friend, her surviving partner talked movingly about the need for marriage equality and how such laws would have made a difference in their day-to-day lives.
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