Chuck Roppel Shares His Love of the LGBTQ Community
Horizons Legacy donor Chuck Roppel says he's had a ringside seat to the political and social evolution of the LGBTQ community in San Francisco since moving here in 1974, when gays were just starting to gain political clout. His longtime roommate, Bill Cook, was a political wonk who worked for Mayor George Moscone, and dated Dianne Feinstein's chief of staff, so the house was always abuzz with the energy of politics and movement building. Chuck still lives in the Victorian house where Moscone's staffers and supporters gathered to grieve on the night he was assassinated along with Harvey Milk. But it wasn't the political scene that made him fall in love with this city.
When Chuck moved to San Francisco from Louisville, Kentucky, he called his new home "the city of yes" for all the opportunity to be one's true self.
"I had spent the first 30 years of my life full of shame because every single source of authority in my life not only disapproved, but considered being gay despicable," Chuck recalls. "This community was a gift."
Just days after the historic 2015 Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, Chuck and his partner, Stephan, marched in the jubilant Pride Parade with the 10,000-strong Apple contingent. A former Pride marshal, he reflected back to the early days of the Pride Celebration – back to a time when it was scary to go.
"As we marched down Market Street, I looked behind me and could hardly believe my eyes," Chuck says. "There were so many people, so many corporations. I could see how far we had come. Something inside me got completed."
Retired from a long and rewarding career in mental health and coaching, Chuck is now exploring the "interior life, and how we fill our existence with joy," he says.
One successful example was staging his own one-man show, "Love, Dance, Sing, and Wear a Dress."
Chuck has crafted a legacy of pride that includes Horizons Foundation because "Horizons is the foundation for my community through which I can earmark money for the kids who will come to this magical place in the future," he says. "I am so grateful for those who came before me, and I know I have to do the same for those who will follow."
Craft Your Legacy of Pride
Contact Deb Stallings at 415.398.2333 x103 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit plannedgiving.horizonsfoundation.org to learn how you can give back to the LGBTQ community through your Legacy of Pride!