Today is a difficult day for most of us in the LGBT community. It is, as you know, the 1 year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre in Orlando, Florida. We know the outcome. We will be reminded of it for the rest of our lives, every June 12th as we are of other tragic dates in our immediate timeline of life.
I don’t want to be sad today. I want to celebrate my sweet friend Eddie Sotomayor who lost his beautiful, happy, loving life that fateful night.
The picture here is the last time i saw Eddie. I chose this one because of the story and I am gonna share it with you all:
I was in Tampa with the BOTS Tour and Eddie came to see me with Al & Chuck’s Al Ferguson, his friend (and mine), mentor and boss. Now, just know that i NEVER go out after the shows. I mean never, EVER. I LOVE my sleep and without it, my voice goes bye bye very easily and since i sing live, that isn’t good. BUT…..That night the girls all went to a local bar because our old friend (I mean that figuratively but mostly literally) Lady Bunny was in town performing so I thought, “Al and Eddie are here and so is Bun Bun, and WHEN is the next time that THIS motley crew would be together again?” so I actually went out. YES! So, Al and Eddie wait until I changed out of my show clothes and got my luggage on the tour bus then we all went together. We went upstairs into the VIP area, watched Bunny’s show but then as the drunks started reallllllly hitting it hard, that is when i wanted to quit it. Hard. I couldn’t find Al so Eddie being Eddie, he said, “dont worry about Al, I will walk you back to your hotel and I will tell Al you love him and you’ll see him soon.” Sounded like a plan. So we walked back to the hotel, like a 15 minute walk or so, chatting about the next Drag Stars at Sea cruise, his boyfriend, my family (Eddie had a special relationships with my daughters) and my career, etc. Eddie always cared. He always had the kindest words to me ABOUT me that it almost felt unwarranted. I am not good at taking compliments (if you listen to the podcast you know that i am working on this!) but Eddie would never have it and was always throwing them at me so i had no choice but to accept and receive.
That walk was May 15th. That was the last time i got to see Eddie.
This picture is from that night. May 15th.
I am so grateful for May 15th.
Eddie, your love and support meant more to me than you will ever know. The way you made my daughters feel meant more to me than you will ever know. The way you included a very awkward teenage girl who was struggling so desperately and made her know that her opinion mattered and that eating snails was a good thing meant more to me than you will ever know. Your smile meant more to me than you will ever know. YOU meant more to me than you will ever know.
Michelle, David, Lillie and Lola
*for anyone who lost someone on that tragic day a year ago today, i ask that you try to use today for celebrating the life of your loved one and raise their spirits up where they belong. I LOVE YOU