Back in 2003 I attended my first Derby party as a Louisville resident. This particular derby happened on May 3, the day before my birthday so I got the tickets as an early birthday present from friends.
The Derby Benefit is a fundraising event for the Fairness Campaign, the local GLBT org here. It's a star-studded affair just like all the other Derby parties that take place in Louisville during Derby Week. It draws its share of national celebs as well straight and gay. You also have gay-friendly celebs popping in to give shout-outs to their GLBT fanbase as well.
In addition to the fun of getting glammed up for my first Derby party, I received a double dose of pleasure when I discovered that The Lady Chablis was there in attendance along with Tammy Faye. Anna Nicole Smith was walking in just as me and my friends were leaving around 10 PM. I got the Lady Chablis to autograph my copy of her book Hiding My Candy and after chatting with Chablis for a few minutes, started talking moments later to Tammy Faye.
Aftwr remarking how she wished she was my height (a sentiment also shared by the 5'3" Lady Chablis) we talked about our faith. She said something to me that she later shared with the assembled partygoers when she went up to the mic to speak.
"God loves you, too. Never let anyone tell you that He doesn't."
I thought about that when I heard the news Sunday that Tammy Faye lost this round battling an unrelenting foe in cancer. She's beat it back twice but this time it was not to be.
Tammy Faye came across to me as a warm, funny and caring person. She's more Christian than many peeps who claim they are. She talks the talk and walks the walk. She's a class act that's definitely gonna be missed.