KNOWvember Day Eight: Peter
Having spent his career as a professional TV editor and producer, Peter had no problem with me asking him a bunch of random questions. Born in southern Louisiana, Peter is not your typical southern boy. Born into “a more privilege family” Peter is grateful that his parents supported his dream of going west to film school. After graduating he began working on a new TV show, the Golden Girls.
While editing one particular episode – when Rose fears that a blood transfusion she had several years ago my have contained HIV infected blood – Peter was caught off guard when Blanche told Rose, “AIDS is not a bad persons disease.” In shock and relief Peter began to cry in the edit bay.
He and his partner had the disease. And feared all the stigma that went with it. Because one of America’s sweethearts had said that, Peter felt emboldened to come out of the closet. He was tired of the lies and shame that came with his southern upbringing. His plantation, slave-owning heritage was not very open minded to homosexuality. He believes that being the youngest of six children, his parents had been soften (or worn down). Peter was not a bad person.
His long-time partner at the time died from the disease the same year my last friend died. In 1995, just around the time the lifesaving drug “cocktail” made it possible to save the lives of millions, including Peter.
While Peter did many crazy things in his life, both good and really bad, he believes he has evolved through them. Grateful for the privilege and family he was given, Peter takes after his father, a philanthropist and taught him to always give back. Some of the ways Peter gives back is working as an animal rights advocate – something he learned while working with Jacque Cousteau.
Today, he and his partner have five dogs – each one a rescue. Rocket is their 29th one. When I asked him what is the most difficult thing about rescuing dogs, he said “weighing the financial costs of medical treatment. Is a $5,000 surgery necessary if it means I can rescue another dog.”
As we were talking more dogs show up and circle Peter to say hello. They seem to like him, like everyone else. So I think it’s safe to say he is not bad people.
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An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”