Our fearless leader Keith Chow doesn’t know I’m doing this and hopefully he won’t kill me too badly. I’ve been meaning to share this story because I know Keith’s too humble to do it himself. And since a certain someone celebrated a birthday last week, this seemed only appropriate.

It’s hard for me to fathom but I became a proud member of the Hard N.O.C. around this time last year. It all happened through a chance encounter.

I was a member of a certain comic book forum and the specific topic we were discussing was LGBTQ cons. One of the admins wanted my thoughts on the growing number queer-themed scifi conventions. I shared my positive experiences with Outlantacon, Gaylaxicon, and a few others.

While most of the comments were overall positive, inevitably some homophobes began to comment. They expressed outrage over seeing guys hold hands or, gasp, kiss. You know the same thing cis straight couples do all…of…the…frikkin…time.

Not one to suffer bigots lightly, or at all, I was left with little choice than to channel my patronus, Midnighter, and kick some ass.

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That evening I received an email from Keith. He informed me that he witnessed the exchange on the forum and it made him realize that he had a golden opportunity. He explained that he wanted to represent the perspectives of all people of color including LGBTQs and invited me to become a contributor to the Nerds of Color.

I was truly humbled and honored. Keith’s gesture spoke volumes about his character which is the very definition of a class act.

In just a year’s time, I’ve had some amazing opportunities, worked with some incredible people, and had the opportunity to connect with you fine readers.

So to Keith, because I know you don’t hear this often enough, thank you for making mine and so many others, a Hard N.O.C. Life.

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