It happens so often that you'd imagine Neil Giuliano would be used to it by now.
It started in 1996. That's when Giuliano, then mayor of Tempe, publicly disclosed that he was gay after a voter threatened to out him. Once he spoke openly about his sexuality, the letters started to come in. And these were actual handwritten letters, he likes to point out.
"E-mail was just getting started," he says, smiling. "I received literally thousands of letters and notes and cards."
The people who wrote came from both ends of the spectrum. There were teenagers who were grappling with their own sexuality. There were men in their 70s who had never come out of the closet, deeply ashamed of the secret they were hiding. Read more »