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FORT MORGAN TIMES
Richard Noble prepares for the next stage in his cross-country journey after a stop in Fort Morgan Sunday night. He addressed the Fort Morgan High School student senate class Monday morning.
Richard Noble has taken his crusade against bullying, particularly bullying of gay and transgender people, on the road.
He spent Sunday night at the SARA(Sexual Assault Response Adovocates) house in Fort Morgan, then part of Monday morning talking with the Fort Morgan High School student senate class, about the issue.
The Palm Springs, Calif. resident started his trip on the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge March 12 and hopes to finish it up next May, if not sooner, in Washington, D.C.
He would like to end his journey in the White House but thinks it more likely that he will conclude it in the office of Jared Polis, a Colorado Congressman who Noble says has supported his crusade.
While Noble was working in drug and alcohol treatment and intervention and with a Palm Springs area film festival, he decided he wanted to do something about the bullying of and high suicide rate among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. He refers to the group as LGBT.
He sees politicians who denounce same-gender marriages as sending a message that LGBTs are not good enough and the high suicide rate as a symptom of lack of equality.
Political statements against same-gender marriage give bullies passive permission to discriminate, Noble said.
“We are equal, and we need to become equal in the eyes of the law,” he declared.
He walks with a rainbow flag like the one that has become a symbol for that community, attaching it and other mementoes gathered on the trip to a walking stick.
Noble lugs a backpack and has a jogging-style cart in which he carries a tent, sleeping bag and supplies.
Since he has started his trip, he has had a bout with walking pneumonia that laid him up in California for seven days and an incident with a couple of men in a pickup truck who made a rude gesture, then turned around and drove past slowly, then turned around and came by again.
They asked him what the flag was for, and when he told them, they just said, “Oh,” and drove off.
“My rainbow flag goes with me everywhere,” he said.
Noble said that he has received numerous random acts of kindness, such as people putting him up in motels or other types of shelter, sending him gift cards or money for food and supplies and the like.
Also, truckers and others honk and wave as he walks down the road, and some governmental bodies have signed resolutions and proclamations of support.
He has visited the site near Laramie, Wyo. where gay man Matthew Shepard was murdered and Greeley, the town where transgender person Angie Zapata was killed.
Noble said he has also had fun on his trip, going white-water rafting and tobogganing.
Paiute Indian elders gave Noble a name meaning “Rainbow” and some sage that they told him to leave somewhere near the ending point of his journey as a token of thanks.
He says that he will know at that time where to leave the sage.
And, he said, he will show what freedom means.