© John O’Brien
One doesn’t need to raise their voice to be noticed, nor crack their whip to make an impression.
I met Daniel in my hometown Tromsø, in northern Norway, during Arctic Pride week, where he was a part of The Arctic Pilot. I work in Tromsø Domkirke (Cathedral), and met Daniel at the Rainbow Mass, a mass celebrating God, love and diversity. My heart was filled with joy and happiness as I saw Daniel and all his fellow leather brothers entering the church. It was impossible not to notice his warm smile and eyes, even though the church was filled with people. After the mass he asked me for a picture and lent me his hat. He didn’t say much, but still made a deep impression. I’m sad that he is no longer with us, but I will remember him with joy. His way of proudly expressing himself, both in the parade and in the church is an inspiration. The power of self-acceptance and embracing life and love is important and can save many lives. Sadly, the coronavirus took Daniel’s life, but his memory will live forever.
I have lit a candle for Daniel in the church, thanking God for the blessed moment with Daniel, me and him standing in the church, next to the rainbow falling down from the altar. R.I.P., Daniel.