Douglas Whaley. Law professor, gay rights advocate, atheist, heart transplant recipient, actor, director, novelist, playwright, bridge player, husband, father, cat owner, storyteller. Much humor and, since the writer is a teacher, advice on many topics.
the 1980s when I was heavily involved with gay rights in Columbus, Ohio, I was
invited to be a speaker at a downtown Methodist church where the congregation was
breaking in two over the issue of recognizing LGBT rights—a startling idea
in those days. One of the most
incredible speakers was a young man, openly gay, who was currently in the
seminary studying to be a Methodist minister.
When more or less everyone there pointed out to him that the Methodist
Church condemned homosexuality and certainly would not allow him to be
ordained, he smiled and explained with tremendous sincerity, his voice like an
angel, that “My calling is so strong, so
long felt, so deep, that I know in my heart that God would not call me to take this path if it didn’t lead to
fulfilling my mission within the Church.
I know that before I graduate
the Church will change its mind and open its arms to welcome gay people into
its flock.” He was on the verge of tears
as he said this. It
was very moving. I
In the fall of 2009 I went from clearly dying of heart
disease (atrial fibrillation) to near perfect health. The reason for this dramatic shift was the
heart transplant I received on Monday, November 23, 2009, just days before
Thanksgiving, an event I’ve written much about (see “Related Posts” below).
It is a startling change to go from planning one’s death to
planning one’s life, and as part of that process I hit on the idea of starting
a blog. My joke at the time was that
that beginning a blog is “required by law whenever one experiences a life-altering event.” Since I’m a lawyer some
people thought I was serious.
My blog’s first pitiful post was dated Thursday, December 17th
of that year and was quite short. It did,
however, contain this pithy comment: “The whole experience has been like
From the very beginning I was determined not to make my blog
posts full of idle chitchat about my day or the meals I ate, etc. Instead they quickly evolved into mini-essays