A loving tribute to flattop/XYZ

  • user warning: Table './exmo_08072012/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:19aefecbd4290f5bbda8495f1f2ca0c4' in /home/exmormon/public_html/d6/drupal/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './exmo_08072012/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>msmom Mar. 2013</p>\n<p>Dear Exmo friends,</p>\n<p>If you have been here for a while you will recall our good friend flattop. He died Monday evening. I just spoke with his partner who gave the OK to let this community know.</p>\n<p>He moved from San Francisco to Boston a few years ago. Our family was privileged to get to know him. He was a kind and engaging person and the world is diminished without him.</p>\n<p>Please send your warm thoughts and prayers to his family at this difficult time. If you would like to comment here, I will make sure that your condolences are conveyed to the handsome french man grieving the loss of his life\'s companion.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>puck<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nIt has been heartening for me to read everyone that remembers Kerry. I thought I\'d offer a bit too.</p>\n<p>He and I emailed quite a bit before he moved to Boston, when I was a lowly undergraduate having a tough time in school and he was excited to embark on a new career path. When he moved to Boston, he lived only about a mile from me, and I saw him and Olivier quite often.</p>\n<p>The more communication broke down between my blood relations and me, the more Kerry was there. When I was sick, and eventually diagnosed with Crohn\'s, he had me over for dinner. I could drop by pretty much any time, and I often did with a pound of coffee or box of tea from Starbucks in hand. We\'d sit on his back deck and drink coffee, as I told him about the boys I\'d met or were dating and he told me stories of his youth.</p>\n<p>When I needed someone to tell me I was worth something, that my parents weren\'t right to abandon me, that I did have a place in the world, Kerry was there. We\'d get a beer or go on walks or sit on the front deck and watch the people pass below. He\'d explain to me why all the doorjams in the neighbourhood were crooked, and then he\'d explain to me that there is love in the world, if not in my life, I just had to see it.</p>\n<p>We graduated at the same time at Harvard, me with my bachelor\'s, him from the graduate school of design. I spotted him before we all marched into the Yard, but he was too far away to talk to. I waved; he didn\'t see me through the thousands of caps and gowns, but he was animatedly talking to a classmate from the GSD and grinning that grin of his that lit up his whole face.</p>\n<p>I moved for law school and work, but I was back in Boston for a few days last fall and he, Olivier, and I managed to have dinner together downtown. Kerry and I met early and walked through Boston common, he chided me for not knowing any latin names for the trees and recited them all for me. I told him about the guy I\'d met the previous year, how sure I was of things, how I finally understood what he meant when he said love would come. He was so supportive and happy for me, and told me to hang onto that feeling. And also to invite him to, what he expected, knowing me, would be a black-tie affair of a wedding. I told him not to move so fast, but he\'d be the first one to know. And he would have been.</p>\n<p>He last emailed me after the recent big snow storm in Boston, sending along some commentary on the 28 inches of snow. The last big snowstorm, on the 26th of December 2010, he had driven through the early settled snow to drop off some christmas cookies we had made together.</p>\n<p>Kerry was more than a friend to me, he was family. He was often the closest thing I ever had to a father, though I don\'t know if he was ever comfortable with that. We did joke about how having \'gay dads\' led me to working for a gay-rights nonprofit. He was, as always, proud of that too.</p>\n<p>I can\'t believe this happened and I still kind of think it must be a cruel prank, because no one that loving, that kind, that wonderful should ever leave life that young. I knew a lot of his background stories, he would tell them to me not only as we became closer, but, I think, to show that things get better. I only wish that life had been better to him.</p>\n<p>the last thing I said to him was \'I miss you!\' and from him to me was a complaint about having to return library books in the rain, with his usual sign-off, \'Love, Kerry.\'<br />\nI hadn\'t yet told him I\'d be back in Boston in April; I was planning to show up at his apartment like I used to as a surprise. I wish I\'d gotten to tell him what a difference he made in my life, how I still need him, and how very much I will miss having him around.<br />\nPuck</p>\n<hr />\n<p>cl2<br />\nMy first thought, \"NO!!!!!!!!!\"<br />\nI have missed him so much on this board. This really threw me. No words.</p>\n<p>Now I\'ve had a moment to collect my thoughts--I came here with huge regrets about my life, my marriage, being married to my gay husband. I definitely saw no happiness for my ex, but I also had a lot of anger left at what he put me through.</p>\n<p>And then I met people like flattop through this site and my attitude towards gays changed dramatically. The gays on this board gave me hope--hope in many things. Something the LDS church stole from me. Flattop was one of the first and I\'ve missed his posting so much. More than anything it has been gays like him who have helped me come to terms with my life.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Surrender Dorothy<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nThank you for letting us know, msmom. I adored flattopSF. He was the first poster here who made me LOL real-time. I was just wondering about him a few days ago and had always hoped he\'d come back to RfM (even though I sometimes wondered if a certain poster was FT-SF with a new board name).</p>\n<p>My condolences to his loved ones.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Jesus Smith<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nKerry and I have been FB friends for a while. I noticed that his FB account went inactive.</p>\n<p>That\'s so unfortunate. Goodbye, Kerry.</p>\n<hr />\nava<br />\nthanks for letting us know<br />\nThis s*cks. My condolences to his friends and family.\n<hr />\nAmIDarkNow?<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nWow. No kidding? That is too bad. I remember him. He had some witty stuff. My sincere condolences. : (\n<hr />\n<p>Cheryl<br />\nOh, no! I\'m heartbroken. How very sad.<br />\nMy best warmest and most healing thoughts go out to his wonderful loving companion and any of his family and friends who are suffering from the loss as I am.</p>\n<p>I knew Flattop well and enjoyed his wit and wisdom and also was privileged to have many chats with O., his best friend and partner.</p>\n<p>Thank you so much for letting us know, msmom. Comfort to you as well as I know you were also fond of him. Take care.</p>\n<p>Love, Cheryl</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Soft Machine<br />\nHow sad. Condolences to his family and friends<br />\nHe contributed a vast amount to this board and was one of my favourite posters when I was first here.</p>\n<p>:-(</p>\n<p>Tom in Paris</p>\n<hr />\nTahoe Girl<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nOh my! He was one of my favorite posters and I so hoped to meet him someday. Flattopsf was the person who opened my eyes to the treatment of gay people by the mormon church, including the hate spewed by SWK in Miracle of Forgiveness.\n<p>I have missed him on this board. Peace to his partner.</p>\n<p>TG</p>\n<hr />\ncricket<br />\nFlattop\'s funny bone - lightning strike of Moroni 2009<br />\nI will certainly miss flattop as well. He started a funny thread after Angel Moroni atop the Oquirrh Hills Temple in SLC was struck by lightning and turn his face black.\n<p>Click here and scroll down until you see the burned image of Moroni and flattops limericks are underneath. RIP flattop.</p>\n<p><a href=\"http://www.salamandersociety.com/blacks/\" title=\"http://www.salamandersociety.com/blacks/\">http://www.salamandersociety.com/blacks/</a></p>\n<hr />\n<p>simplee<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nWishing his loved ones well! I miss his comments and wisdom as well. I\'m so sorry to hear this!</p>\n<hr />\n<p>vulcanrider<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nMan, sorry to hear that. Flattop was one of the first members that I felt I had to read everyday when I found this place. I\'ve missed that sense of humor around here. Hope his partner, friends and family find peace in this trying time.</p>\n<hr />\nRosyjenn<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI was just wondering where he was. So sorry to hear about his passing.\n<hr />\n<p>Brother Of Jerry<br />\nflattopSF was a class act. I thoroughly enjoyed his insightful posts here. He made wherever he was a better place. Peace.&nbsp;</p>\n<hr />\n<p>wine country girl<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nMy love and condolence to Olivier.<br />\nKerry was a wonderful soul.<br />\nMy heart is broken.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Taddlywog<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI am so sad.</p>\n<p>He broadened my world view. He was fun to read and I felt like he took a special interest in helping me unravel so many false beliefs I never questioned. Thanks for everything Kerry!!!!</p>\n<hr />\n<p>michael<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nPlease pass my condolences on to his loved ones.</p>\n<hr />\nSL Cabbie<br />\nOh Wow.... This Tears Me Up....<br />\nI was privileged to meet him on his way back east; four of us had lunch here (Swedeboy, BTC, Flattop, and myself).\n<p>I lined him up with a mechanic to make sure his aging vehicle made the trip, and he sent me a book from the Harvard bookstore on Native American migrations... It\'s dogeared from several readings...</p>\n<hr />\nLaban\'s Head<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI remembers Flattops humor and good sense, and I miss his posts. Sending warm thoughts to all who are hurting at this time.\n<hr />\n<p>WinksWinks<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI\'m glad to have known him, even a little bit, for a little while.<br />\n:(</p>\n<hr />\njpt<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nOh, wow. I enjoyed his posts and the few times I spent with him. A man to admire.\n<hr />\n<p>LCMc<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI have thought of Flattop many time over the past few months wondering how he was doing. So sorry to hear he passed.</p>\n<hr />\nbtc<br />\nThe world is a little less wonderful without this kind,smart man.<br />\nCondolences to his loved ones. It was a joy to know this good, wise man.\n<hr />\n<p>Human<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nHis posts were fun to read and it was always fun to engage with him.</p>\n<p>My condolences,</p>\n<p>Human</p>\n<hr />\ndonnabanta<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI will dearly miss him. Mark and I got to know him and his partner when they lived in SF. He was such a talented and kind person who will be remembered and missed. Please convey my condolences to his family, and thanks for posting this, msmom.\n<hr />\n<p>SusieQ#1<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nMy sincere condolences to his family. It must be a great loss for them personally. Just as it is a loss for the family of RFM.<br />\nHe made a contribution that will be greatly missed.</p>\n<hr />\nsnb<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nThanks for letting us know. He was an insightful thinker and a very nice man.\n<hr />\nmoira<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI am so very sorry to hear this. I loved his posts and will always remember our \"Chicken Soup for the Soul\" lunch at your house and the walk we had afterwards. I am sad today. A terrible loss too soon.\n<hr />\n<p>SoCal Apostate<br />\nDamn! I still owed him a beer...<br />\nand he owed me a stack of keyboards (roughly one per post on a good day).</p>\n<hr />\nDevoted Exmo<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nHe will be sorely missed. . .\n<hr />\n<p>MJ<br />\nWow, I can\'t say how sorry I am to hear this.<br />\nDo you have any idea of the cause? Is there a way to send a card to the family?</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Jersey Girl<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI am so sorry to hear this. I loved his posts and his clever sense of humor. Condolences to his loving partner and family.</p>\n<hr />\nPhantom Shadow<br />\nI am sad to learn this<br />\nAnd thank you, MsMom, for giving us the news. I enjoyed his posts and was delighted to have a chance to meet him in person.\n<p>Another reminder that life is short and I don\'t want to waste the time I have left.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>msmom<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI will post a link to the obituary when I have it - that will have info for remembrances.</p>\n<p>Donna, Mark, and Cheryl - I will be at the SF exmo gathering this Sunday I hope, even if I can\'t make that - perhaps I can catch up with you. I will be in Vacaville from today through March 5.</p>\n<p>Moira - thanks for the reminder of our walk. I had actually invited him to cross country ski at that park. Olivier intercepted my email with the news.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Pil-Latté<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nOh my. He was one of the regulars when I first started posting several years ago. SO sad.</p>\n<p>Please give my condolences to the family.</p>\n<hr />\nDoxi<br />\nHe and I shared the same birthday.<br />\nWhat a sweetie. I adored his writing.\n<hr />\n<p>Hervey Willets<br />\nOne of my favorite posters. I always wanted to meet him in real life.<br />\nSuch a loss for the RFM community as well as his family and friends.</p>\n<hr />\nItzpapalotl<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nHow sad...He had many humorous and insightful posts. My condolences to his partner and family.\n<hr />\nTristan-Powerslave<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI was always hoping that he would come back here. :(\n<hr />\n<p>nealster<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nCondolences to his family.</p>\n<hr />\nInverso<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nOh, this is sad news.\n<p>I came to this board as a scared, closeted man several years ago and flattopSF\'s posts were among those that let me know I could start learning to be myself here, well before I was ready to be open with my friends and family in the real world. My thanks go to him for that gift.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Nightingale<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI too said \"oh noooooooooooo\" when I read this news from msmom. I laughed at so many of flattop\'s posts and loved his spunky attitude. I too had hoped to meet him one day.</p>\n<p>It\'s hard to explain how you can shed tears for someone you have never met. But all of our tears, mine included, are an amazing tribute to a great RfM poster who touched so many of us.</p>\n<p>Thanks for this thread, msmom, although I wish it didn\'t need to exist.</p>\n<p>Condolences to the family and friends of a man who touched me through cyberspace, for whom I wished the best. I missed him when he stopped visiting RfM and wish I could still look forward to his return some day. My thoughts are about the man we knew as \"flattopSF\" and with his partner and family during this sad time.</p>\n<p>Plunk - there went another big fat teardrop onto my keyboard. RIP flattop.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Nightingale<br />\nLovely, Inverso. </p>\n<hr />\n<p>apikoros<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nFly on, Flattop ... fly on! You were definitely one of a kind! Love ya, kid!</p>\n<hr />\n<p>german lurker<br />\nRe: I am sad to learn this<br />\n&gt; Another reminder that life is short and I don\'t want to waste the time I have left.</p>\n<p>That is so true. 2 weeks ago the husband of a friend died at a heart attack at the age of 53. 3 hours ago coming home from work i learned that my old schoolfriend and neighbour for 50 years died yesterday evening suddenly at the age of 54. And now this sad message.<br />\nFirst i was delighted when i saw the name \'flattop\' and thought maybe he will post here again or msmom had some good news from/about him. I had to read the sentence \'he died Monday evening\' twice to realize that he died, too.<br />\nI liked his humour and his posts very much and missed them when he left the board.<br />\nMy condolences to his partner, his friends and his family. Soo sad :-( ...</p>\n<hr />\nCarol Y.<br />\nWhat always impressed me about him was how much he loved his kids.&nbsp;\n<hr />\nknotheadusc<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nOh no. He was very nice to me when some members were raking me over the coals over my husband\'s situation with his very estranged kids. I\'m so sorry for his family and his partner. He was a great friend to this board.\n<hr />\n<p>donbagley<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nBest wishes to his friends and loved ones.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Raptor Jesus<br />\nVery sad.&nbsp;</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Fetal Deity<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nSo sorry to hear this news. My best thoughts go out to his partner and other loved ones!</p>\n<hr />\n<p>fidget<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI heard from someone that xyz and flattop are one and the same. I am so sad.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>GBoy<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI hope and pray that those who love him and know him will be comforted and their hearts will be filled with peace and loving memories of him.</p>\n<hr />\nlibrarykim2<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nSo sad. I loved reading his posts as xyz. He will be missed.\n<hr />\nAdult of god<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nPuck, it\'s nice to hear from you. Early this morning I was thinking about Flattop and wondered if we would hear from you, because you were in Boston together. Thanks for such a lovely reminiscence.\n<hr />\n<p>3X<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nVery sad news. I enjoyed interacting with flattop on RFM, ran into him once or twice out on the web, exchanged a few emails with him, etc.</p>\n<p>Condolences to his friends and family.</p>\n<hr />\net in utah ego<br />\nthanks puck<br />\nyour post has helped me a lot right now.\n<hr />\n<p>scooter<br />\nyeah, I pieced it together a while ago<br />\nimpossible to disguise that voice.</p>\n<p>he is greatly missed.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Xyandro<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI only knew xyz from interaction here, but he was always spot on, and his humor always appreciated. Condolences to his family (especially his partner) and friends.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Heidi GWOTR<br />\nHe was a good man, and will be greatly missed by many here. Rest well, and know that you are loved.&nbsp;</p>\n<hr />\n<p>liminal state<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nRfM should do a special archive of his posts in tribute :)</p>\n<hr />\n<p>summer<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nWhat sad news! The board was (and is) a better place because he was here. My deepest sympathy to his friends and loved ones.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>blueorchid<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI don\'t believe this. I am devastated. I didn\'t read this until now because I had never heard of flattop.</p>\n<p>What honest funny razor sharp wit, all full of heart. I am so sorry I never got to meet him. Love to the partner and family.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Surrender Dorothy<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI sent a note to Susan asking if she could get permission from msmom to add \"XYZ\" to the subject with \"flattop\". I\'m sure there are many people who skipped over this thread because they didn\'t know flattopSF, but they knew XYZ and would want to read the thread. I can\'t stop crying. He was a fantastic person who touched so many lives.</p>\n<hr />\narchytas<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI knew him as \"xyz\", and I enjoyed his company very much.\n<hr />\n<p>Greyfort<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nHe was xyz? :o( Now I\'m sad too.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>ragingphoenix<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI\'m sick to my stomach. I was waiting for a post a while from now about happiness away from here. I didn\'t know Flattop was xyz, so I missed the thread feeling like a newbie who didn\'t want to tread on those who have put in more time.</p>\n<p>I loved reading your posts xyz...</p>\n<p>I have real tears for you, although I only know you through writing...</p>\n<hr />\nStarry not signed in<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI will miss reading xyz posts too. My deepest condolences to his family and partner.\n<hr />\n<p>Bicentennial Ex<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI wish every comfort to his family and miss his presence here. Have saved a few of his posts from the past. He was a keeper.</p>\n<p>BcE</p>\n<hr />\nThe Man in Black<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\n...a glass raised to a man who could say more with a few words than most can say with many.\n<p>Cheers to you xyz.</p>\n<hr />\nlongtallsally<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nFlattop was one of my favorite all-time posters. My condolences to his partner and family.\n<hr />\n<p>kativicky<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI hope that flattop\'s family and friends can find peace,joy, and comfort during this tough time in their lives. flattop, you are loved more that you could have ever imaged.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>sithlord<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nWe will miss you XYZ!! Thank you for helping me when I needed you!</p>\n<hr />\nthingsithink<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nMy condolences to his partner and friends.\n<hr />\nabinadiburns<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nHe helped me cut ties with my toxic family. I was going through a difficult time and he offered some wise advice. This was 2008-2009 when prop 8 happened. This is also the year I married my girlfriend, and was struggling through the first year of grad school.\n<p>His advice freed me up to find family in the gay community and to move forward. He let me know it was okay to choose to no longer be harmed by people who say they love you, but love an organization more.</p>\n<p>I will always have a special place in my heart and memory for FlattopSF. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Mujun<br />\nHere\'s what I posted yesterday on Facebook.<br />\nToday, I am comforted yet haunted by these words from my friend, Kerry Rutz:</p>\n<p>\"I believe that events such as birth or death are transitions. Individuals, and we who are around them, must pass through them alone, each in our own way. For the individual, a nexus or gateway into or out of this existence is opened, and elemental life forces are shaken loose in the process. Others sharing the experience must undergo a different spiritual transformation; either to cling to our loved ones’ memory so much that we also “die” in this existence, or to climb through the pain of loss and return to the joy of life, having become deepened, enriched.\"</p>\n<p>In a tragic irony discovered on Tuesday, Kerry made such a transition in his own way, apparently at his own hand. He was one of the kindest, most giving, fun, engaging, inspiring, intelligent people I\'ve ever met. Everyone I knew who also knew him would say the same.</p>\n<p>The last time I saw him was nearly four years ago, just before he moved to Massachusetts. It was a hard time for me, and Kerry made himself available to help. He welcomed me to his home and listened, then shared great advice and wisdom when I asked for some. He told me all about his inspiring story of arriving at his forties and realizing he needed to do something else with his life. He shared the processes that led him to figure out what that something should be. Kerry went back to school and finished his bachelor\'s degree at Cal, then was accepted into a master\'s program in design at Harvard. He talked to me about how such an individual journey worked within a committed relationship and the agreements he and his partner, Olivier, had made that allowed them both to pursue their dreams and support each other. I remember one gem of wisdom in particular which I\'ve shared with many people since. Kerry said that committed relationships are hard, and there had been times when he wondered if it might make more sense to try again rather than take on the daunting work it takes to redefine, reinvent and stay together. He said, \"But I know I\'m high maintenance, and Olivier was already trained!\"</p>\n<p>Kerry helped so many people. I\'m saddened and sorry that he found himself in a place where nobody could help him. I send my heartfelt sympathy to Olivier and all the many friends who feel this loss. Kerry, I hope that somehow this transition brings you peace.</p>\n<p>Thus spake Mujun.</p>\n<hr />\nMujun<br />\nSide Note to msmom<br />\nI had a computer die on me several years ago, and I think your email address went with it. If you still have mine, could you please contact me? I\'m right on your way Sunday if you\'re going from Vacaville into the city. I don\'t know if I will have the time to go, but would like to connect.\n<hr />\n<p>WinksWinks<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nAnd dammit, now I know I knew him longer than I thought! I knew he must have had a different handle at some point before, but I never figured it out, and I\'m never going to be in the loop enough to get the scoop...</p>\n<hr />\n<p>msmom<br />\nthank you Puck<br />\nI texted the news to the last phone number I had for you. The person whose number it now is texted back condolences but confirmed that you were NOT at that number.</p>\n<p>Email me if you like - I would love to see you again in April and hear about your adventures.</p>\n<p><a href=\"mailto:mksnow@comcast.net\">mksnow@comcast.net</a></p>\n<hr />\n<p>WinksWinks<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nNow I am remembering all the times he and I(and others) fought the good fight together against some nastiness on the board, late at night(to me).<br />\nIt was very good.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>dazed11<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop/XYZ\"<br />\nI am so sad to hear this. He was my favorite poster here. His posts were always so funny and his advice was always the best in almost any thread.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>nickson<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop/XYZ\"<br />\nThat\'s really sad...I had barely gotten to know him and I liked his posts a lot...I was actually wondering where he had been and for about the past month I was hoping he would come back. I really hope that wherever he is whether there is an afterlife or not, I hope he\'s happy.</p>\n<hr />\nforbiddencokedrinker<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop/XYZ\"<br />\nI didn\'t realize he was XYZ, I only really knew him by the second handle. The world is a sadder place without him.\n<hr />\n<p>spicyspirit<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop/XYZ\"<br />\nHis were posts I always read twice or more. A long time lurker knows all the personalities here, and he was incredibly special. When a lurker is feeling a pit in their stomach, you know this loss is gigantic. Kerry, xyz, you made it count while you were here. You did more for humanity than the church could ever claim. The proof is above this post and the stories of you helping others. We can remember you best by striving to be more like you. RIP.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Beth<br />\nHe was one of the sweetest and most kind people I\'ve ever known<br />\nHe was an amazingly talented artist, a brilliant man. A good friend. A dear heart.</p>\n<p>He was always there for me and for so many others. Last year, I saw him in Philadelphia when he was taking one of his students to look at a grad school program at Penn. His student was nervous. Flattop allayed his fears. We walked through the studio where students were working, and Flattop explained to me what I was seeing each student work on. We went to Distrito and drank too much Sangria, or maybe that was me...</p>\n<p>When I was unemployed and very depressed, he asked me to make a sweater for him to help keep me in cash. It only took about a year and a half for me to get it done. He was patient and understood that I had trouble focusing at times. He never allowed me to feel guilt or shame.</p>\n<p>I loved him.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Beth<br />\nHe told me about your kindness. He held you in high regard.&nbsp;</p>\n<hr />\n<p>cludgie<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nSo sorry for the news. Thank you for keeping us posted. Another sad loss for RfM.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Bal<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nHe had a great heart and a great mind, we and the world will miss him.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Adult of god<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nThis is very sad news! I am so sorry to hear this!</p>\n<p>I spent some time trying to locate Flattop\'s signature emoticon and couldn\'t find it in any archives. Maybe somebody here can find it for me. It would be nice to see it once again.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Beth<br />\nOh that was the old one -- here\'s another 8^D&nbsp;</p>\n<hr />\n<p>leroy<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nThis makes me sad. flattop was one of my friends even tho he didn\'t know it. Happy thoughts thru tears.</p>\n<hr />\nSad_Heretic<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI just found out. raced to the board. xyz/flattop was a great poster and a comfort to struggling exmo\'s of all stripes. =-(\n<p>nsHH</p>\n<hr />\nTodd<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nHi, everyone. I haven\'t been here in a long time (went by HR or David).\n<p>Just heard about this from Beth. I never met Kerry in person, but was moved to both laughter and tears many times by his posts, and I\'m certainly moved to tears by this news. I can only offer my most sincere condolences to his loved ones, and hope they know he had a positive impact on the lives of many people.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>sd<br />\nRe: damn...<br />\nanother friend gone. You know you\'ve been on RfM a long time when the number of departed who you remember gets so high.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>looking in<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nHow sad! I loved reading flattop\'s posts. Much sympathy to his partner and his family.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>shannon<br />\nOh no . . .<br />\ndoG damn! (That\'s how he wrote it). I loved that guy!! We corresponded often off board. He was one of my favorite posters and someone who personally got me through the initial withdrawals and chaos of leaving the church.</p>\n<p>Rest in peace flattop. He was such a funny, talented, brilliant, creative guy.</p>\n<p>;o)</p>\n<hr />\nSurrender Dorothy<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nThank you for confirming that, Fidget.\n<p>I suspected that was the case when I read XYZ\'s first post. He made me laugh the same way that FlattopSF had years ago. I figured he had his reasons for the new name and it wasn\'t mine to ask or tell.</p>\n<p>It\'s a double-dip of sadness knowing XYZ will never again grace RfM with his wit and wisdom. I saw his name on a thread the other day and was so happy he was back...until I saw the 2012 date. He could cut through the peripheral detritus and get straight to the heart of the matter with surgical precision but still delivered the humor. I will never forget him.</p>\n<hr />\nbc<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nVery sad to hear - he was someone I considered to be a friend - even if only through this site.\n<hr />\n<p>Beth<br />\nOnce on FB, I posted pictures of my son\'s art assignments<br />\nFlattop praised them. He commiserated with my son about drawing drapes in 2D Design. My son was thrilled to be praised by such a wonderful man.</p>\n<p>I\'m smiling, and I\'m paralyzed. It never occurred to me that there would be a time that I couldn\'t pick up the phone and talk with him for hours.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Beth<br />\nIt\'s too soon. In time, I\'ll check with his partner and Susan I/S<br />\nto see if it\'s okay if I link to some of the things he wrote for my now defunct blog.</p>\n<p>With eloquence and humor, he wrote about being Mormon and gay.</p>\n<hr />\nPapaKen<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nOh my goodness, what sad, sad, sad news. What awful news! I\'m just so devastated.<br />\nPlease tell Olivier that I\'m weeping at the loss, and my hope that he can somehow be comforted.<br />\nKen\n<hr />\n<p>toto<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nWow, another person from my RfM infancy is gone. I loved his contributions on the board and am so incredibly sad he\'s gone. Please send all my sincere condolences to his partner.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Ctus<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI have been here nearly 8 years. I will always remember flat top as 1 of the first posters whose advice I always looked forward to. He was truly a great part of this board, and will be missed.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>CA girl<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI didn\'t know flattop and xyz were one in the same. It\'s like losing two posters I loved to chat with at the same time. That\'s so sad. Hugs to his loved ones. I just don\'t know what to say. He\'ll be greatly missed.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>steve benson<br />\nSo sorry to hear the sad news. Peace to his partner, family and other loved ones.&nbsp;</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Tupperwhere<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI\'m so sad to hear this. I could always count on xyz\'s post to make me laugh or smile. I never met him in person or even knew his real name but he was one of my favs. THAT is how much he affected people with his loving and caring personality. It was just natural to him. Love and Peace to his partner and family. We\'re gonna miss you xyz!</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Friend of a Mo<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI always made a point to read his posts. My condolances to his Partner and family.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>twojedis<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nAll choked up here. :(</p>\n<hr />\n<p>dagny<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI really enjoyed his posts here. He was very intelligent AND funny.</p>\n<p>RIP, flattop. I was lucky to have cyber-known you! Thanks for all the fish.</p>\n<p>Thoughts and concern from me to his partner and family.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Boomer<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nA great loss for this community as well as Flattop\'s family and companion.</p>\n<p>He was a person who did great good in his life, sometimes without even knowing it. For a long time I read his posts about being a gay person and they were interesting but not relevant to me. Then a young relative came out of the closet and I was ready to greet him with open arms and a loving heart, thanks in part to what I\'ve read on this board.</p>\n<p>Rest in peace, Flattop.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>cl2<br />\nDid I read correctly? Flattop and xyz are the same person?<br />\nAfter reading flattop had passed, I was (and have been) hoping that eventually xyz would come back to the board. \"Two\" of my favorite posters of all time.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>robertb<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nOh no. I will miss him. We responded to one anothers posts and occasionally emailed. More than anyone he helped me understand better what it was to be gay and to be a passionate, caring human being. I will miss him.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>paintinginthewin<br />\nI will miss his wonderful voice online<br />\nhe had great things to say every time</p>\n<hr />\net in Utah ego<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nOh no. I loved him dearly. His posts were a high point of my time on this blog.\n<p>The world is a bit more diminshed now.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Not Alice<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nSo many years ago, I posted here for the first time, and FlattopSF was one of the first to answer me. He had great empathy and compassion. I felt close to him, because he was from SF, where I was from, and I felt the brunt of prejudice within the cult, because I was twice-divorced and single.</p>\n<p>XYZ was one of my favorite posters, and I always agreed with whatever he wrote. He was so kind.</p>\n<p>There are so many people, like me, whom he never met, but he helped all is in ways he never knew about.</p>\n<p>My condolences to his family and loved ones.</p>\n<hr />\nadoylelb<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nMy condolences to his partner and family. I really enjoyed his posts on this board and will miss him.\n<hr />\nHelen<br />\nSad. I loved his posts.<br />\nHeartfelt condolences to his partner, his family, his friends and his friends here at RfM who knew him IRL.\n<hr />\n<p>FormerLatterClimber<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nThere are just no words. I never knew him as \"flattop,\" only as XYZ. I\'m so sorry. We really love him here. He was always so full of life. It will never be the same without him. So so sad. We have lost great great man.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>catnip<br />\nWhat a loss for our community!<br />\nHe and I exchanged notes some years back and I told him that he and his partner were welcome to stay with us if they were ever in our area. I\'m so sorry we never got to meet!</p>\n<p>He was definitely one of a kind, and we have all lost a dear friend.</p>\n<p>Hugs and condolences to his partner.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>brigantia<br />\nI am so sorry to read this news. What a sad day. Hugs of condolence to those who loved him and knew him<br />\n(((Olivier)))</p>\n<p>Briggy</p>\n<hr />\nQuoth the Raven Nevermo<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nLoved his posts. Gone too sooon. RIP, job well done (living life and spreading cheer)\n<hr />\n<p>Beth<br />\nRemember how he used to complain about his students not knowing the Latin name for plants and trees?<br />\nYou got off lucky! :-)</p>\n<p>We talked a lot about divorcing our families. We were raised in cults. We were fed bullshit we tried to believe and we tried to conform until we realized it was killing us. And even though we left, the programming runs deep. We knew that we weren’t worthless, but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t *feel* that way because of the tremendous abuse and hatred hurled at us from our families, communities and from the outside world during formative parts of our lives.</p>\n<p>We remembered the people we were becoming before we were molded into people we didn’t want to be. We tried to live as if all the sh[i]t that happened between the people we were becoming naturally, the sh[i]t that was imposed on us, didn’t exist and we could go back and be who we were growing to be and finish that arc. That’s impossible, and we knew it.</p>\n<p>We tried to take all that crap in the middle and put that in some sort of perspective, but that’s impossible because some things will never make sense, and it’s crazy making to try to find some meaning in it all when there’s no meaning to be found.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Cheryl<br />\nWhat a lovely tribute, Puck. Thank you.&nbsp;</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Gazelam<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nSo sorry to hear. I always enjoyed his posts, and we briefly connected as I was leaving Boston and he was coming in. A great person who truly excelled living life on his own terms.</p>\n<hr />\nSandie*<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nFlattopSF was the first gay person that I became close to through emails and his postings here. I learned a great deal about homosexuality from Kerry as their wasn\'t a single question that he did not respond to.\n<p>Kerry, I was just thinking about you this past weekend as I watered the orchid plants. I wanted to send you one when the weather warmed up.</p>\n<p>Bless your heart, Kerry, lover of life to the extreme. We are going to miss you. I already do!</p>\n<p>In love and tears, Cathy</p>\n<hr />\ncludgie<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nPuck, I haven\'t seen you here in ages. Ages. So sorry for this loss to you and to Flattop\'s other loved ones, especially his partner. And thanks for re-appearing here for the moment. I hope you are well.\n<hr />\nbadseed<br />\nDamn. I don\'t really know what to say.<br />\nOther than this sucks. I only knew Flattop through his posts here over the years but feel a huge sense of loss at the news of his passing. Odd how you can feel closer to someone you\'ve never met in person than I often felt to most in my time in the LDS Church.\n<p>Flattop, your wit and wisdom will be missed. May you rest in peace.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>popolvuh<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI only knew him as xyz and he was one of the main reason I hung around here this last year. His humor and charm and sharp but kind words had such an impact on me, especially on particular days when I needed a boost. He was by far the most welcoming person to me in this little online community and I was so grateful for that, it can be tough here on noobs.</p>\n<p>When I read articles and hear stories about the rather suprising and profound way people can connect online, without ever having met in RL, I now know what they mean because that is how I quickly came to feel about xyz and a few others here at RfM. I can\'t count the times I wished I was lucky enough to know him in real life, to hang around together and tell stories and talk about books and debate the state of the world. I envy those of you who did know him and offer my deepest condolences. Its so odd to sit hear at the screen in tears and feel such grief that he is gone, this person I can\'t even picture and whose voice I never heard and whose hand I never shook. I will miss him immensely and never be able to lurk or post here again without thinking of him.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Finally Free!<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nI only knew him as xyz. We had very few direct interactions, but I always look forward to his posts. Everyone here knows why, you knew when his name was on a post it would be a good read. His voice has been missed, the board is different without him here.</p>\n<p>My sympathies to his partner and loved ones.</p>\n<hr />\nLevi<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nPopolvuh, u took the words out of my mouth.\n<hr />\n<p>SpongeBob SquareGarments<br />\nRe: A loving tribute to \"flattop\"<br />\nSorry to hear that. I remember seeing his thoughtful posts many times over the years. He was one of the fellow old-timers from the board. R.I.P.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>\"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org\"</p>\n', created = 1490335701, expire = 1490422101, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:19aefecbd4290f5bbda8495f1f2ca0c4' in /home/exmormon/public_html/d6/drupal/includes/cache.inc on line 112.

msmom Mar. 2013

Dear Exmo friends,

If you have been here for a while you will recall our good friend flattop. He died Monday evening. I just spoke with his partner who gave the OK to let this community know.

He moved from San Francisco to Boston a few years ago. Our family was privileged to get to know him. He was a kind and engaging person and the world is diminished without him.

Please send your warm thoughts and prayers to his family at this difficult time. If you would like to comment here, I will make sure that your condolences are conveyed to the handsome french man grieving the loss of his life's companion.


puck
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
It has been heartening for me to read everyone that remembers Kerry. I thought I'd offer a bit too.

He and I emailed quite a bit before he moved to Boston, when I was a lowly undergraduate having a tough time in school and he was excited to embark on a new career path. When he moved to Boston, he lived only about a mile from me, and I saw him and Olivier quite often.

The more communication broke down between my blood relations and me, the more Kerry was there. When I was sick, and eventually diagnosed with Crohn's, he had me over for dinner. I could drop by pretty much any time, and I often did with a pound of coffee or box of tea from Starbucks in hand. We'd sit on his back deck and drink coffee, as I told him about the boys I'd met or were dating and he told me stories of his youth.

When I needed someone to tell me I was worth something, that my parents weren't right to abandon me, that I did have a place in the world, Kerry was there. We'd get a beer or go on walks or sit on the front deck and watch the people pass below. He'd explain to me why all the doorjams in the neighbourhood were crooked, and then he'd explain to me that there is love in the world, if not in my life, I just had to see it.

We graduated at the same time at Harvard, me with my bachelor's, him from the graduate school of design. I spotted him before we all marched into the Yard, but he was too far away to talk to. I waved; he didn't see me through the thousands of caps and gowns, but he was animatedly talking to a classmate from the GSD and grinning that grin of his that lit up his whole face.

I moved for law school and work, but I was back in Boston for a few days last fall and he, Olivier, and I managed to have dinner together downtown. Kerry and I met early and walked through Boston common, he chided me for not knowing any latin names for the trees and recited them all for me. I told him about the guy I'd met the previous year, how sure I was of things, how I finally understood what he meant when he said love would come. He was so supportive and happy for me, and told me to hang onto that feeling. And also to invite him to, what he expected, knowing me, would be a black-tie affair of a wedding. I told him not to move so fast, but he'd be the first one to know. And he would have been.

He last emailed me after the recent big snow storm in Boston, sending along some commentary on the 28 inches of snow. The last big snowstorm, on the 26th of December 2010, he had driven through the early settled snow to drop off some christmas cookies we had made together.

Kerry was more than a friend to me, he was family. He was often the closest thing I ever had to a father, though I don't know if he was ever comfortable with that. We did joke about how having 'gay dads' led me to working for a gay-rights nonprofit. He was, as always, proud of that too.

I can't believe this happened and I still kind of think it must be a cruel prank, because no one that loving, that kind, that wonderful should ever leave life that young. I knew a lot of his background stories, he would tell them to me not only as we became closer, but, I think, to show that things get better. I only wish that life had been better to him.

the last thing I said to him was 'I miss you!' and from him to me was a complaint about having to return library books in the rain, with his usual sign-off, 'Love, Kerry.'
I hadn't yet told him I'd be back in Boston in April; I was planning to show up at his apartment like I used to as a surprise. I wish I'd gotten to tell him what a difference he made in my life, how I still need him, and how very much I will miss having him around.
Puck


cl2
My first thought, "NO!!!!!!!!!"
I have missed him so much on this board. This really threw me. No words.

Now I've had a moment to collect my thoughts--I came here with huge regrets about my life, my marriage, being married to my gay husband. I definitely saw no happiness for my ex, but I also had a lot of anger left at what he put me through.

And then I met people like flattop through this site and my attitude towards gays changed dramatically. The gays on this board gave me hope--hope in many things. Something the LDS church stole from me. Flattop was one of the first and I've missed his posting so much. More than anything it has been gays like him who have helped me come to terms with my life.


Surrender Dorothy
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Thank you for letting us know, msmom. I adored flattopSF. He was the first poster here who made me LOL real-time. I was just wondering about him a few days ago and had always hoped he'd come back to RfM (even though I sometimes wondered if a certain poster was FT-SF with a new board name).

My condolences to his loved ones.


Jesus Smith
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Kerry and I have been FB friends for a while. I noticed that his FB account went inactive.

That's so unfortunate. Goodbye, Kerry.


ava
thanks for letting us know
This s*cks. My condolences to his friends and family.
AmIDarkNow?
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Wow. No kidding? That is too bad. I remember him. He had some witty stuff. My sincere condolences. : (

Cheryl
Oh, no! I'm heartbroken. How very sad.
My best warmest and most healing thoughts go out to his wonderful loving companion and any of his family and friends who are suffering from the loss as I am.

I knew Flattop well and enjoyed his wit and wisdom and also was privileged to have many chats with O., his best friend and partner.

Thank you so much for letting us know, msmom. Comfort to you as well as I know you were also fond of him. Take care.

Love, Cheryl


Soft Machine
How sad. Condolences to his family and friends
He contributed a vast amount to this board and was one of my favourite posters when I was first here.

:-(

Tom in Paris


Tahoe Girl
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Oh my! He was one of my favorite posters and I so hoped to meet him someday. Flattopsf was the person who opened my eyes to the treatment of gay people by the mormon church, including the hate spewed by SWK in Miracle of Forgiveness.

I have missed him on this board. Peace to his partner.

TG


cricket
Flattop's funny bone - lightning strike of Moroni 2009
I will certainly miss flattop as well. He started a funny thread after Angel Moroni atop the Oquirrh Hills Temple in SLC was struck by lightning and turn his face black.

Click here and scroll down until you see the burned image of Moroni and flattops limericks are underneath. RIP flattop.

http://www.salamandersociety.com/blacks/


simplee
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Wishing his loved ones well! I miss his comments and wisdom as well. I'm so sorry to hear this!


vulcanrider
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Man, sorry to hear that. Flattop was one of the first members that I felt I had to read everyday when I found this place. I've missed that sense of humor around here. Hope his partner, friends and family find peace in this trying time.


Rosyjenn
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I was just wondering where he was. So sorry to hear about his passing.

Brother Of Jerry
flattopSF was a class act. I thoroughly enjoyed his insightful posts here. He made wherever he was a better place. Peace. 


wine country girl
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
My love and condolence to Olivier.
Kerry was a wonderful soul.
My heart is broken.


Taddlywog
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I am so sad.

He broadened my world view. He was fun to read and I felt like he took a special interest in helping me unravel so many false beliefs I never questioned. Thanks for everything Kerry!!!!


michael
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Please pass my condolences on to his loved ones.


SL Cabbie
Oh Wow.... This Tears Me Up....
I was privileged to meet him on his way back east; four of us had lunch here (Swedeboy, BTC, Flattop, and myself).

I lined him up with a mechanic to make sure his aging vehicle made the trip, and he sent me a book from the Harvard bookstore on Native American migrations... It's dogeared from several readings...


Laban's Head
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I remembers Flattops humor and good sense, and I miss his posts. Sending warm thoughts to all who are hurting at this time.

WinksWinks
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I'm glad to have known him, even a little bit, for a little while.
:(


jpt
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Oh, wow. I enjoyed his posts and the few times I spent with him. A man to admire.

LCMc
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I have thought of Flattop many time over the past few months wondering how he was doing. So sorry to hear he passed.


btc
The world is a little less wonderful without this kind,smart man.
Condolences to his loved ones. It was a joy to know this good, wise man.

Human
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
His posts were fun to read and it was always fun to engage with him.

My condolences,

Human


donnabanta
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I will dearly miss him. Mark and I got to know him and his partner when they lived in SF. He was such a talented and kind person who will be remembered and missed. Please convey my condolences to his family, and thanks for posting this, msmom.

SusieQ#1
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
My sincere condolences to his family. It must be a great loss for them personally. Just as it is a loss for the family of RFM.
He made a contribution that will be greatly missed.


snb
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Thanks for letting us know. He was an insightful thinker and a very nice man.
moira
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I am so very sorry to hear this. I loved his posts and will always remember our "Chicken Soup for the Soul" lunch at your house and the walk we had afterwards. I am sad today. A terrible loss too soon.

SoCal Apostate
Damn! I still owed him a beer...
and he owed me a stack of keyboards (roughly one per post on a good day).


Devoted Exmo
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
He will be sorely missed. . .

MJ
Wow, I can't say how sorry I am to hear this.
Do you have any idea of the cause? Is there a way to send a card to the family?


Jersey Girl
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I am so sorry to hear this. I loved his posts and his clever sense of humor. Condolences to his loving partner and family.


Phantom Shadow
I am sad to learn this
And thank you, MsMom, for giving us the news. I enjoyed his posts and was delighted to have a chance to meet him in person.

Another reminder that life is short and I don't want to waste the time I have left.


msmom
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I will post a link to the obituary when I have it - that will have info for remembrances.

Donna, Mark, and Cheryl - I will be at the SF exmo gathering this Sunday I hope, even if I can't make that - perhaps I can catch up with you. I will be in Vacaville from today through March 5.

Moira - thanks for the reminder of our walk. I had actually invited him to cross country ski at that park. Olivier intercepted my email with the news.


Pil-Latté
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Oh my. He was one of the regulars when I first started posting several years ago. SO sad.

Please give my condolences to the family.


Doxi
He and I shared the same birthday.
What a sweetie. I adored his writing.

Hervey Willets
One of my favorite posters. I always wanted to meet him in real life.
Such a loss for the RFM community as well as his family and friends.


Itzpapalotl
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
How sad...He had many humorous and insightful posts. My condolences to his partner and family.
Tristan-Powerslave
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I was always hoping that he would come back here. :(

nealster
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Condolences to his family.


Inverso
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Oh, this is sad news.

I came to this board as a scared, closeted man several years ago and flattopSF's posts were among those that let me know I could start learning to be myself here, well before I was ready to be open with my friends and family in the real world. My thanks go to him for that gift.


Nightingale
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I too said "oh noooooooooooo" when I read this news from msmom. I laughed at so many of flattop's posts and loved his spunky attitude. I too had hoped to meet him one day.

It's hard to explain how you can shed tears for someone you have never met. But all of our tears, mine included, are an amazing tribute to a great RfM poster who touched so many of us.

Thanks for this thread, msmom, although I wish it didn't need to exist.

Condolences to the family and friends of a man who touched me through cyberspace, for whom I wished the best. I missed him when he stopped visiting RfM and wish I could still look forward to his return some day. My thoughts are about the man we knew as "flattopSF" and with his partner and family during this sad time.

Plunk - there went another big fat teardrop onto my keyboard. RIP flattop.


Nightingale
Lovely, Inverso.


apikoros
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Fly on, Flattop ... fly on! You were definitely one of a kind! Love ya, kid!


german lurker
Re: I am sad to learn this
> Another reminder that life is short and I don't want to waste the time I have left.

That is so true. 2 weeks ago the husband of a friend died at a heart attack at the age of 53. 3 hours ago coming home from work i learned that my old schoolfriend and neighbour for 50 years died yesterday evening suddenly at the age of 54. And now this sad message.
First i was delighted when i saw the name 'flattop' and thought maybe he will post here again or msmom had some good news from/about him. I had to read the sentence 'he died Monday evening' twice to realize that he died, too.
I liked his humour and his posts very much and missed them when he left the board.
My condolences to his partner, his friends and his family. Soo sad :-( ...


Carol Y.
What always impressed me about him was how much he loved his kids. 
knotheadusc
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Oh no. He was very nice to me when some members were raking me over the coals over my husband's situation with his very estranged kids. I'm so sorry for his family and his partner. He was a great friend to this board.

donbagley
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Best wishes to his friends and loved ones.


Raptor Jesus
Very sad. 


Fetal Deity
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
So sorry to hear this news. My best thoughts go out to his partner and other loved ones!


fidget
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I heard from someone that xyz and flattop are one and the same. I am so sad.


GBoy
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I hope and pray that those who love him and know him will be comforted and their hearts will be filled with peace and loving memories of him.


librarykim2
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
So sad. I loved reading his posts as xyz. He will be missed.
Adult of god
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Puck, it's nice to hear from you. Early this morning I was thinking about Flattop and wondered if we would hear from you, because you were in Boston together. Thanks for such a lovely reminiscence.

3X
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Very sad news. I enjoyed interacting with flattop on RFM, ran into him once or twice out on the web, exchanged a few emails with him, etc.

Condolences to his friends and family.


et in utah ego
thanks puck
your post has helped me a lot right now.

scooter
yeah, I pieced it together a while ago
impossible to disguise that voice.

he is greatly missed.


Xyandro
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I only knew xyz from interaction here, but he was always spot on, and his humor always appreciated. Condolences to his family (especially his partner) and friends.


Heidi GWOTR
He was a good man, and will be greatly missed by many here. Rest well, and know that you are loved. 


liminal state
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
RfM should do a special archive of his posts in tribute :)


summer
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
What sad news! The board was (and is) a better place because he was here. My deepest sympathy to his friends and loved ones.


blueorchid
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I don't believe this. I am devastated. I didn't read this until now because I had never heard of flattop.

What honest funny razor sharp wit, all full of heart. I am so sorry I never got to meet him. Love to the partner and family.


Surrender Dorothy
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I sent a note to Susan asking if she could get permission from msmom to add "XYZ" to the subject with "flattop". I'm sure there are many people who skipped over this thread because they didn't know flattopSF, but they knew XYZ and would want to read the thread. I can't stop crying. He was a fantastic person who touched so many lives.


archytas
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I knew him as "xyz", and I enjoyed his company very much.

Greyfort
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
He was xyz? :o( Now I'm sad too.


ragingphoenix
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I'm sick to my stomach. I was waiting for a post a while from now about happiness away from here. I didn't know Flattop was xyz, so I missed the thread feeling like a newbie who didn't want to tread on those who have put in more time.

I loved reading your posts xyz...

I have real tears for you, although I only know you through writing...


Starry not signed in
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I will miss reading xyz posts too. My deepest condolences to his family and partner.

Bicentennial Ex
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I wish every comfort to his family and miss his presence here. Have saved a few of his posts from the past. He was a keeper.

BcE


The Man in Black
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
...a glass raised to a man who could say more with a few words than most can say with many.

Cheers to you xyz.


longtallsally
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Flattop was one of my favorite all-time posters. My condolences to his partner and family.

kativicky
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I hope that flattop's family and friends can find peace,joy, and comfort during this tough time in their lives. flattop, you are loved more that you could have ever imaged.


sithlord
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
We will miss you XYZ!! Thank you for helping me when I needed you!


thingsithink
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
My condolences to his partner and friends.
abinadiburns
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
He helped me cut ties with my toxic family. I was going through a difficult time and he offered some wise advice. This was 2008-2009 when prop 8 happened. This is also the year I married my girlfriend, and was struggling through the first year of grad school.

His advice freed me up to find family in the gay community and to move forward. He let me know it was okay to choose to no longer be harmed by people who say they love you, but love an organization more.

I will always have a special place in my heart and memory for FlattopSF. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.


Mujun
Here's what I posted yesterday on Facebook.
Today, I am comforted yet haunted by these words from my friend, Kerry Rutz:

"I believe that events such as birth or death are transitions. Individuals, and we who are around them, must pass through them alone, each in our own way. For the individual, a nexus or gateway into or out of this existence is opened, and elemental life forces are shaken loose in the process. Others sharing the experience must undergo a different spiritual transformation; either to cling to our loved ones’ memory so much that we also “die” in this existence, or to climb through the pain of loss and return to the joy of life, having become deepened, enriched."

In a tragic irony discovered on Tuesday, Kerry made such a transition in his own way, apparently at his own hand. He was one of the kindest, most giving, fun, engaging, inspiring, intelligent people I've ever met. Everyone I knew who also knew him would say the same.

The last time I saw him was nearly four years ago, just before he moved to Massachusetts. It was a hard time for me, and Kerry made himself available to help. He welcomed me to his home and listened, then shared great advice and wisdom when I asked for some. He told me all about his inspiring story of arriving at his forties and realizing he needed to do something else with his life. He shared the processes that led him to figure out what that something should be. Kerry went back to school and finished his bachelor's degree at Cal, then was accepted into a master's program in design at Harvard. He talked to me about how such an individual journey worked within a committed relationship and the agreements he and his partner, Olivier, had made that allowed them both to pursue their dreams and support each other. I remember one gem of wisdom in particular which I've shared with many people since. Kerry said that committed relationships are hard, and there had been times when he wondered if it might make more sense to try again rather than take on the daunting work it takes to redefine, reinvent and stay together. He said, "But I know I'm high maintenance, and Olivier was already trained!"

Kerry helped so many people. I'm saddened and sorry that he found himself in a place where nobody could help him. I send my heartfelt sympathy to Olivier and all the many friends who feel this loss. Kerry, I hope that somehow this transition brings you peace.

Thus spake Mujun.


Mujun
Side Note to msmom
I had a computer die on me several years ago, and I think your email address went with it. If you still have mine, could you please contact me? I'm right on your way Sunday if you're going from Vacaville into the city. I don't know if I will have the time to go, but would like to connect.

WinksWinks
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
And dammit, now I know I knew him longer than I thought! I knew he must have had a different handle at some point before, but I never figured it out, and I'm never going to be in the loop enough to get the scoop...


msmom
thank you Puck
I texted the news to the last phone number I had for you. The person whose number it now is texted back condolences but confirmed that you were NOT at that number.

Email me if you like - I would love to see you again in April and hear about your adventures.

mksnow@comcast.net


WinksWinks
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Now I am remembering all the times he and I(and others) fought the good fight together against some nastiness on the board, late at night(to me).
It was very good.


dazed11
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop/XYZ"
I am so sad to hear this. He was my favorite poster here. His posts were always so funny and his advice was always the best in almost any thread.


nickson
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop/XYZ"
That's really sad...I had barely gotten to know him and I liked his posts a lot...I was actually wondering where he had been and for about the past month I was hoping he would come back. I really hope that wherever he is whether there is an afterlife or not, I hope he's happy.


forbiddencokedrinker
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop/XYZ"
I didn't realize he was XYZ, I only really knew him by the second handle. The world is a sadder place without him.

spicyspirit
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop/XYZ"
His were posts I always read twice or more. A long time lurker knows all the personalities here, and he was incredibly special. When a lurker is feeling a pit in their stomach, you know this loss is gigantic. Kerry, xyz, you made it count while you were here. You did more for humanity than the church could ever claim. The proof is above this post and the stories of you helping others. We can remember you best by striving to be more like you. RIP.


Beth
He was one of the sweetest and most kind people I've ever known
He was an amazingly talented artist, a brilliant man. A good friend. A dear heart.

He was always there for me and for so many others. Last year, I saw him in Philadelphia when he was taking one of his students to look at a grad school program at Penn. His student was nervous. Flattop allayed his fears. We walked through the studio where students were working, and Flattop explained to me what I was seeing each student work on. We went to Distrito and drank too much Sangria, or maybe that was me...

When I was unemployed and very depressed, he asked me to make a sweater for him to help keep me in cash. It only took about a year and a half for me to get it done. He was patient and understood that I had trouble focusing at times. He never allowed me to feel guilt or shame.

I loved him.


Beth
He told me about your kindness. He held you in high regard. 


cludgie
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
So sorry for the news. Thank you for keeping us posted. Another sad loss for RfM.


Bal
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
He had a great heart and a great mind, we and the world will miss him.


Adult of god
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
This is very sad news! I am so sorry to hear this!

I spent some time trying to locate Flattop's signature emoticon and couldn't find it in any archives. Maybe somebody here can find it for me. It would be nice to see it once again.


Beth
Oh that was the old one -- here's another 8^D 


leroy
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
This makes me sad. flattop was one of my friends even tho he didn't know it. Happy thoughts thru tears.


Sad_Heretic
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I just found out. raced to the board. xyz/flattop was a great poster and a comfort to struggling exmo's of all stripes. =-(

nsHH


Todd
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Hi, everyone. I haven't been here in a long time (went by HR or David).

Just heard about this from Beth. I never met Kerry in person, but was moved to both laughter and tears many times by his posts, and I'm certainly moved to tears by this news. I can only offer my most sincere condolences to his loved ones, and hope they know he had a positive impact on the lives of many people.


sd
Re: damn...
another friend gone. You know you've been on RfM a long time when the number of departed who you remember gets so high.


looking in
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
How sad! I loved reading flattop's posts. Much sympathy to his partner and his family.


shannon
Oh no . . .
doG damn! (That's how he wrote it). I loved that guy!! We corresponded often off board. He was one of my favorite posters and someone who personally got me through the initial withdrawals and chaos of leaving the church.

Rest in peace flattop. He was such a funny, talented, brilliant, creative guy.

;o)


Surrender Dorothy
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Thank you for confirming that, Fidget.

I suspected that was the case when I read XYZ's first post. He made me laugh the same way that FlattopSF had years ago. I figured he had his reasons for the new name and it wasn't mine to ask or tell.

It's a double-dip of sadness knowing XYZ will never again grace RfM with his wit and wisdom. I saw his name on a thread the other day and was so happy he was back...until I saw the 2012 date. He could cut through the peripheral detritus and get straight to the heart of the matter with surgical precision but still delivered the humor. I will never forget him.


bc
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Very sad to hear - he was someone I considered to be a friend - even if only through this site.

Beth
Once on FB, I posted pictures of my son's art assignments
Flattop praised them. He commiserated with my son about drawing drapes in 2D Design. My son was thrilled to be praised by such a wonderful man.

I'm smiling, and I'm paralyzed. It never occurred to me that there would be a time that I couldn't pick up the phone and talk with him for hours.


Beth
It's too soon. In time, I'll check with his partner and Susan I/S
to see if it's okay if I link to some of the things he wrote for my now defunct blog.

With eloquence and humor, he wrote about being Mormon and gay.


PapaKen
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Oh my goodness, what sad, sad, sad news. What awful news! I'm just so devastated.
Please tell Olivier that I'm weeping at the loss, and my hope that he can somehow be comforted.
Ken

toto
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Wow, another person from my RfM infancy is gone. I loved his contributions on the board and am so incredibly sad he's gone. Please send all my sincere condolences to his partner.


Ctus
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I have been here nearly 8 years. I will always remember flat top as 1 of the first posters whose advice I always looked forward to. He was truly a great part of this board, and will be missed.


CA girl
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I didn't know flattop and xyz were one in the same. It's like losing two posters I loved to chat with at the same time. That's so sad. Hugs to his loved ones. I just don't know what to say. He'll be greatly missed.


steve benson
So sorry to hear the sad news. Peace to his partner, family and other loved ones. 


Tupperwhere
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I'm so sad to hear this. I could always count on xyz's post to make me laugh or smile. I never met him in person or even knew his real name but he was one of my favs. THAT is how much he affected people with his loving and caring personality. It was just natural to him. Love and Peace to his partner and family. We're gonna miss you xyz!


Friend of a Mo
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I always made a point to read his posts. My condolances to his Partner and family.


twojedis
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
All choked up here. :(


dagny
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I really enjoyed his posts here. He was very intelligent AND funny.

RIP, flattop. I was lucky to have cyber-known you! Thanks for all the fish.

Thoughts and concern from me to his partner and family.


Boomer
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
A great loss for this community as well as Flattop's family and companion.

He was a person who did great good in his life, sometimes without even knowing it. For a long time I read his posts about being a gay person and they were interesting but not relevant to me. Then a young relative came out of the closet and I was ready to greet him with open arms and a loving heart, thanks in part to what I've read on this board.

Rest in peace, Flattop.


cl2
Did I read correctly? Flattop and xyz are the same person?
After reading flattop had passed, I was (and have been) hoping that eventually xyz would come back to the board. "Two" of my favorite posters of all time.


robertb
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Oh no. I will miss him. We responded to one anothers posts and occasionally emailed. More than anyone he helped me understand better what it was to be gay and to be a passionate, caring human being. I will miss him.


paintinginthewin
I will miss his wonderful voice online
he had great things to say every time


et in Utah ego
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Oh no. I loved him dearly. His posts were a high point of my time on this blog.

The world is a bit more diminshed now.


Not Alice
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
So many years ago, I posted here for the first time, and FlattopSF was one of the first to answer me. He had great empathy and compassion. I felt close to him, because he was from SF, where I was from, and I felt the brunt of prejudice within the cult, because I was twice-divorced and single.

XYZ was one of my favorite posters, and I always agreed with whatever he wrote. He was so kind.

There are so many people, like me, whom he never met, but he helped all is in ways he never knew about.

My condolences to his family and loved ones.


adoylelb
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
My condolences to his partner and family. I really enjoyed his posts on this board and will miss him.
Helen
Sad. I loved his posts.
Heartfelt condolences to his partner, his family, his friends and his friends here at RfM who knew him IRL.

FormerLatterClimber
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
There are just no words. I never knew him as "flattop," only as XYZ. I'm so sorry. We really love him here. He was always so full of life. It will never be the same without him. So so sad. We have lost great great man.


catnip
What a loss for our community!
He and I exchanged notes some years back and I told him that he and his partner were welcome to stay with us if they were ever in our area. I'm so sorry we never got to meet!

He was definitely one of a kind, and we have all lost a dear friend.

Hugs and condolences to his partner.


brigantia
I am so sorry to read this news. What a sad day. Hugs of condolence to those who loved him and knew him
(((Olivier)))

Briggy


Quoth the Raven Nevermo
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Loved his posts. Gone too sooon. RIP, job well done (living life and spreading cheer)

Beth
Remember how he used to complain about his students not knowing the Latin name for plants and trees?
You got off lucky! :-)

We talked a lot about divorcing our families. We were raised in cults. We were fed bullshit we tried to believe and we tried to conform until we realized it was killing us. And even though we left, the programming runs deep. We knew that we weren’t worthless, but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t *feel* that way because of the tremendous abuse and hatred hurled at us from our families, communities and from the outside world during formative parts of our lives.

We remembered the people we were becoming before we were molded into people we didn’t want to be. We tried to live as if all the sh[i]t that happened between the people we were becoming naturally, the sh[i]t that was imposed on us, didn’t exist and we could go back and be who we were growing to be and finish that arc. That’s impossible, and we knew it.

We tried to take all that crap in the middle and put that in some sort of perspective, but that’s impossible because some things will never make sense, and it’s crazy making to try to find some meaning in it all when there’s no meaning to be found.


Cheryl
What a lovely tribute, Puck. Thank you. 


Gazelam
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
So sorry to hear. I always enjoyed his posts, and we briefly connected as I was leaving Boston and he was coming in. A great person who truly excelled living life on his own terms.


Sandie*
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
FlattopSF was the first gay person that I became close to through emails and his postings here. I learned a great deal about homosexuality from Kerry as their wasn't a single question that he did not respond to.

Kerry, I was just thinking about you this past weekend as I watered the orchid plants. I wanted to send you one when the weather warmed up.

Bless your heart, Kerry, lover of life to the extreme. We are going to miss you. I already do!

In love and tears, Cathy


cludgie
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Puck, I haven't seen you here in ages. Ages. So sorry for this loss to you and to Flattop's other loved ones, especially his partner. And thanks for re-appearing here for the moment. I hope you are well.
badseed
Damn. I don't really know what to say.
Other than this sucks. I only knew Flattop through his posts here over the years but feel a huge sense of loss at the news of his passing. Odd how you can feel closer to someone you've never met in person than I often felt to most in my time in the LDS Church.

Flattop, your wit and wisdom will be missed. May you rest in peace.


popolvuh
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I only knew him as xyz and he was one of the main reason I hung around here this last year. His humor and charm and sharp but kind words had such an impact on me, especially on particular days when I needed a boost. He was by far the most welcoming person to me in this little online community and I was so grateful for that, it can be tough here on noobs.

When I read articles and hear stories about the rather suprising and profound way people can connect online, without ever having met in RL, I now know what they mean because that is how I quickly came to feel about xyz and a few others here at RfM. I can't count the times I wished I was lucky enough to know him in real life, to hang around together and tell stories and talk about books and debate the state of the world. I envy those of you who did know him and offer my deepest condolences. Its so odd to sit hear at the screen in tears and feel such grief that he is gone, this person I can't even picture and whose voice I never heard and whose hand I never shook. I will miss him immensely and never be able to lurk or post here again without thinking of him.


Finally Free!
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
I only knew him as xyz. We had very few direct interactions, but I always look forward to his posts. Everyone here knows why, you knew when his name was on a post it would be a good read. His voice has been missed, the board is different without him here.

My sympathies to his partner and loved ones.


Levi
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Popolvuh, u took the words out of my mouth.

SpongeBob SquareGarments
Re: A loving tribute to "flattop"
Sorry to hear that. I remember seeing his thoughtful posts many times over the years. He was one of the fellow old-timers from the board. R.I.P.


"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"