Remembering Brian

An excerpt of a letter from Andrea Picone about her son, Brian: “I am Andrea Picone, Brian’s mom. I’m writing this instead of Brian because he died on October 26, 2009. SMYAL was very important to Brian, so I wanted to write. Brian spoke at the SMYAL Fall Brunch in 2003. He brought the house down with the opening line “I’m Brian Picone and I’m a cheerleader.” He was asked to speak because he’d been a weekly participant in the SMYAL NOVA support meetings in Clarendon every Sunday afternoon. Those Sunday meetings were everything to Brian. He was the only “out” kid at FCHS [Fairfax County High School] and he needed peers badly. Whether it was a movie night, or just talking with Graham and whoever else showed up, it was the highlight of his week. Brian went on to start a GSA at his high school, participate in the Pride Alliance at George Mason University, graduate Summa Cum Laude from Mason with a bachelor’s degree in Gender, Sexuality, and Human Rights, and was the speaker at Mason’s first Lavender Graduation in 2009. I can’t presume what advice Brian would give, but my advice to SMYAL youth would be: to love yourselves and support each other.