Gary attended Central Methodist College (now University) in Fayette, Missouri. While at Central, he joined several of the clubs on campus, including a religious club where members would discuss the social issues of the day. He met Rev. Vann Anderson, a Methodist minister and the chaplain of a gay rights organization (the Phoenix Society in Kansas City) when Vann came to Gary’s religious group to talk about gay people. He said they were our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, ditch diggers, doctors, and, yes, even ministers.