In this excerpt from Ruth Pointer's "Still So Excited!: My Life As A Pointer Sister", Ruth talks about singer-songwriter Sylvester and the gay community. Official release date: February 1, 2016. Hardcover now available, Kiindle available on 2/1/16.

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Sylvester James, Jr. was the first openly gay man I ever met and we clicked from the get-go. I loved his gospel-falsetto voice, and besides, I was a born sucker for a finger-snapping man in drag. 

The man who would be crowned “The Queen of Disco” wore sequined hotpants and a mess of wildly patterned scarves and bling. When Sylvester performed, anything went. One time my sisters backed him at a show in a Castro District warehouse where live chickens roamed the stage, a man jumped through a flaming hoop and male and female streakers ran up and down the aisles. It was quite the spectacle. 

It was through my friendship with Sylvester that I got to see and experience the gay community up close and meet a lot of sweet, tender human beings who’d been cut off from their families and society in general. 

One in particular went by the name of Pristine Condition, who was a member of the San Francisco psychedelic theatre troupe called The Cockettes. He loved us to death. Thank God it’s better today, but I still see a lot of that and it bothers me no end. 

It’s no secret the gay community has always rallied around and supported The Pointer Sisters, and they are, by God, family to us. The Good Lord loves all His children and created us all equal. As a Christian I think it’s flat-out wrong to condemn homosexuals, most of whom are just as moral and decent as you and me. It especially nauseates me when I hear that tired old raggedy-ass line, “Love the sinner, but hate the sin.” It’s hypocritical and an ugly part of organized religion I don’t like and can’t abide by at all. God is so much bigger than that. He doesn’t want any of our children to suffer, be condemned or separated from their families. 

Even though our society has evolved and moved forward in our acceptance of the gay community, we’ve not fully evolved. I’d like to see that happen in my lifetime. I wish Sylvester had. He died of AIDS in 1988. God rest his beautiful, untamed soul.

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