April 18, 2012

Dawn

Dawn, age 6
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (1987)

I have always felt like there was something different within me, like a switch that wasn't fully depressed. No concrete black or white feelings, just a whole lot of grey. I was the little girl with the blue bedroom with dinosaur trim. And video games, car posters, pet frogs and fish all over the place, along side her Barbie dolls.


For this Christmas in my photo, all I wanted, more than anything else, was a typewriter. This picture makes me smile, and I realize that I still get that look at my laptop before I write now.

As I got older and into my teenaged years, I had boyfriends and realized that I still had that "grey" feeling. I liked boys and girls equally. Also at around the same time, I was being rejected by the straight community for being too gay, and rejected by the gay community for being too straight.

So I stopped talking about it. But, I have always quietly advocated and supported our freedom to love whoever we want regardless of race, religion, or sex.

I am now married to my incredibly supportive husband and have two beautiful sons and a stepson. I always tell them that it is important to stand up for yourself and for your beliefs, and it is time I took my own advice.

My kids need a proud gay mother.

My advice to LGBTQ youth today is to not let a label define you! You are so much more than that. Also, for every person who denies you the love you deserve, there are 100 more who will accept you. Never stop looking for them.

I am one of them, and I love you.
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April 06, 2012

Kerry

Kerry, age 5
Buffalo, New York (1954)

I loved getting dressed up as a kid, and meeting the Easter Bunny was the perfect opportunity. My older brother always squirmed when our mom dressed us like this, but I really looked forward to it.

I always felt different from the other boys.

While they seemed to get all excited about baseball or football (and anything having to do with balls), I would rather sing and dance and play with the girls. This was strongly discouraged by my parents, but I knew what I liked.

I was about age 10 when I realized I was attracted to boys. My first crush was a boy on my football team. To get his attention I would offer to carry his jacket, helmet, or anything of his to show my interest.

He thought I was strange, as did my brother. And that made me feel really sad.

As time went on, and I had more crushes, it became difficult to feel good about myself.

Playing sports became an exercise in hiding my affections. It wasn't much fun, but my dad insisted I play all the time. He was the first bully in my life.

Being a good Catholic boy and going to religious schools only reinforced the feeling that I was unacceptable. Not only in my family's eyes, but even in God's eyes. I never came out until I was age 47, and married with one child. I regret that I waited so long to come out, but today I'm happy I can be myself now.

I now know that I was born this way, and I celebrate this whenever I can.

I'm concerned about today's gay youth and the bullying they may endure.
It does get better, but we need to give them much support along the way.
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"