NameFranklin Howard Conner 47
Birth6 Aug 1906, Lyndon, VT41,47
Death7 Oct 1962, Lyndon, Caledonia, Vermont47
BurialLyndon Center Cemetery, Lyndon, Caledonia, VT
Notes for Franklin Howard Conner
Franklin was my great-uncle and I man I never met.
As I wrote this an increasing number of states had legalized gay marriage. President Obama was just beginning his second term when he announced his support for gay and lesbian rights, following a tipping point in public opinion, and followed by a sea change of opinion by our elected officials. As I wrote this I wished I could reach into the past and bring Franklin back with me. You see, the “good ‘ole days” weren’t so good for my uncle. The so called greatest generation fought a just war overseas, only to return and go along with the long fought war against people who stood out as different. In my uncle’s case, it was people born inside a trap of shame, hiding, ridicule, harassment, and ugly prejudice due to sexual preference. From what I can tell half a century later, he was a funny, kind, loving and good man - but also a lonely, isolated, and gay man. He killed himself after half a century of life in his world.
The world we live in is far from perfect but for Franklin I think it would be a huge improvement. I can’t tell you with certainty why he killed himself, but I can’t help but wonder if his world was a big part of it, and my world might have saved him.