Richard Leitsch (who preferred the name Dick) was born in Louisville, Kentucky on May 11, 1935. In interviews he has described that, despite his strong Roman Catholic upbringing, he began developing crushes on his school-boy friends even in his elementary years and began having gay sex as early as high school. At one point, when he shared the fact that he was gay with his parents and family members, he was, unusual for the time, quickly embraced with family support.
We don’t know who that “boy” truly was, even today, but it may have been Howard and my artist friend Tommy Langian-Schmidt, the skinny boy in a stripped T-shirt in several of the photographs of the day. Thomas for years sent us small Christmas presents of saint-like figures which he surrounded in glitter and other pasted-on decorations. I loved them, and when I read a piece about Stonewall in 2016 from The Washington Post, I suddenly realized that even if I had not been there that day, I had been there in spirit, night after night, probably eyeing that young boy who, as he reports, loved the place because: