Just 12 days before trying to end his life on the dam, Ed had decided he couldn't be untrue to his desires any longer and had his first sexual encounter with another man. Only the joy of waking up next to another guy (who he had met at a gay bar the night before) was overcome by the real-life fear of AIDS and the knowing that he was one of the people that mainstream society loathed.
"I was so scared of dying of AIDS and hurting others, I thought maybe I should just kill myself," Gallagher recalled later. "I didn't’t want to be gay, I didn't’t want my father knowing, I didn't’t want anyone knowing."
Only fate stepped in and this 6' 3" gay sportsman didn't die.
Ed made it a point to tell his story and show his pride in who he was as a man. He focused his efforts on helping kids accept themselves for who they are. Ed also went on to become a fierce advocate for disabled rights, creating the organization Alive To Thrive. He eventually died May 2005, after having a life-changing positive impact on thousands of others. Thank you.