Queens, NY (1995)
My childhood was a humble one. I lived in a one-bedroom apartment with my mom, dad, and sister. My elementary school was about 5 blocks from home, and that's where this picture was taken. I can't find the uncropped photo, but my sister's stroller is what I'm leaning on for this diva pose.
In the 3rd grade, I was some sort of Hawaiian character in our class play. I, of course, put on my outfit (complete with a grass skirt) and decided to swing my hips for my parents. You know, just like the women on TV.
Their reaction? My dad said "girls dance like that" while my mom just laughed it off.
I would always play with girls on the playground, while I tried to become "best friends" with the cutest guy in my grade.
At this age, I was obsessed with the Power Rangers, specifically the Red one. When he left the series,
I was devastated and never watched the show again.
Looking at this picture is refreshing. I've grown a lot and I've had my fair share of experiences – some of them bad. Bad enough to make me wonder if I've lost a bit of who I used to be.
But this photo also reassures me that I am the same person today that I was when I was 5: All smiles, carefree, excited, and with a bit of 'tude.
Also now, I'm a part of BornLikeThis.org, which is a safe space created for youth, by youth. We exist for those who, like ourselves, openly identify as members of the LGBTQ community, and who realize they were born like this, too – whatever their personal "this" might be.
My advice to others is to be yourself.
And to know that there will always be someone there for you.
Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"