The following piece first aired on Jan. 16, 2009, on the Philadelphia affiliate of National Public Radio, as part of the "This I Believe" series. It was written by Abbe Fletman, a former cochair of the Woman Advocate Committee, who heads intellectual property litigation at the Flaster Greenberg firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Abbe is a member of the Council of the Section of Litigation, and has been involved in many other community service activities during the course of her 24-year legal career. Abbe has worked primarily as a corporate defense lawyer, representing clients in cases ranging from securities fraud to copyright infringement involving pesticide labels. When Abbe first began practicing law, being an openly gay lawyer in a long-term committed relationship was not necessarily a career enhancing move at a law firm. But Abbe made a choice early in her career to be herself, whether working in the office, in the community, or at home. In this day of divisive sound-bite politics, Abbe's temperate and equable message about the importance of choice resonates across all lines of potential division.
As a girl, fairytales never captivated me. I never saw myself meeting a handsome prince and living happily ever after. At the time my childhood girlfriends had these dreams, I didn't understand why.