I am a culinary food scientist who arrived in Baltimore a quarter century ago with little more than my degree in hand. I embarked on a career with local food manufacturers and have lived for more than two decades with my life partner, a health-care administrator with a renowned local medical institution. On our 10th anniversary we were joined in a civil union at an Episcopal church in Vermont.
I helped my partner raise his son, who made us extremely proud by serving this nation honorably in Iraq. I cradled his infant daughter in my arms a few hours after her birth in a Western Maryland maternity ward, and I held that little girl's great-grandfather in my arms just hours before he died at an Eastern Shore hospice.