He was very much the consummate artist, musician and humanist who proved beyond any doubt that being gay has nothing to do with being a hero, a role model, a benefactor and an asset to American culture.
He was far beyond a mere stigmatized label reviled by homophobes who demean and dismiss LGBT people as second class sinners.
Van Cliburn’s life puts to shame all who would bear prejudice against same-sex love and great achievement.
The high quality and dignity he brought to the international musical stage sets him among the pantheon of gifted artists who happened to have been born gay.
He transcended that birth to become an inspiring persona whose life was dedicated to lifting the human spirit above pettiness and bigotry and above narrow nationalism.
He was a man for the ages.