Things are looking up a bit for the gay or lesbian partners of those lost in New York and Washington September 11, but not everyone is here to see it.
The emergency funds made available after Sept. 11 came too late for Mike Lyons of Jersey City, who saw his partner of 18 years, John Keohane, killed by falling debris as the two fled the collapsing towers. Mr. Lyons, unemployed and suffering from multiple sclerosis, was slow to apply for financial assistance, and was running out of money when he committed suicide on March 1.
I tried to interest a number of people in that story back in March, but no one was interested. One reporter replied that he and his employer regarded such a suicide as a sensitive, private matter and so hesitated to report someone's decision to take their own life.
I could not agree with the sentiment even then, and I'm not even a news reporter. I thought such an attitude was really not that different from the media conspiracy of silence when it comes to the private lives of celebrities (if the celebrity is gay).