The Button Lady’s story of misplaced Pride

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Anyone who’s ever been to a Pride celebration in Tampa Bay area has probably met Eunice Fisher. Fisher says she has been to every Pride celebration on both sides of the bay since the early 1990s. She is also a frequent attendee at other LGBT and progressive events like the annual Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and Circus McGurkis.

Because of the large number of interesting and often provocative buttons she has pinned on her suspenders, jackets, shirts and other clothing she may be wearing, she has been affectionately dubbed by many as â┚¬Å”the button lady,â┚¬Â  In fact, Fisher has well over 500 buttons in her collection.

TheButtonLadysStoryFisher said her collection was inspired by the ’93 March on Washington and has just grown since then.  She finds buttons at Pride events and peace related events

Now Fisher is attempting to right a wrong she felt that she precipitated at the most recent St. Pete Pride celebration.

â┚¬Å”One set has mostly gay messages, one set has a lot of peace buttons  and one set has mainly Christian or general religious messages,â┚¬Â said Fisher. â┚¬Å”Sometimes it’s hard to find buttons I like that I don’t already have, so I was really delighted to visit the Quaker booth at this year’s Pride, where I found oodles of new buttons, and actually bought 21!â┚¬Â

After the 2012 festival, Fisher said she was approached outside Georgie’s Alibi by a young man.

â┚¬Å”Sitting at a table there was a young man who admired my buttons,” said Fisher, adding that at 75, ‘young’ is relative. “He caught me off guard by asking for one of my buttons.”

Fisher isn’t sure why, but she refused to part with the button, despite the man’s insistance. However, moments later, she had a change of heart and wanted to offer the button, but she couldn’t find the stranger in the crowd.

â┚¬Å”Suddenly the enormity of my rudeness and even heartlessness was gnawing at me,â┚¬Â said Fisher, sharing that the message on the button was a Christian statement. “I realized I had just committed a very unchristian act.”

When a search for the man was unsuccessful, Fisher contacted Watermark in hopes that its large readership will help her reconnect with the stranger she only met briefly.

â┚¬Å”Even if I never hear from the young man, this incident will remain a painful reminder that I should be more tuned in to the feelings of everyone I encounter, rather than suffer another lost opportunity to be kind,â┚¬Â said Fisher.

Fisher won’t share what is written on the button, but she’s ready to pass it onto a new owner. Her message to the stranger?

“The the button has been replaced on my clothes by another,” she said. “The one you want is in my pocket, ready to give you.”

If you are the gentleman Fisher is seeking, please contact Watermark editor Steve Blanchard at Editor@watermarkonline.com and share the button’s message.

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