Worcester, Massachusetts (1999)
But really, my logic was: 'I'll be more handsome with a straight face and a leopard print collared shirt'.
I was teased around this age for my thick Persian accent, but more so for my androgyny. I didn't have a word for it then, but "Are you a boy or a girl?" was something I heard often.
Being the only nerdy, gay child of immigrant parents in a (trashy) white town, our family felt jealousy and resentment. All I ever wanted was to make the family proud, but I knew that my existence alone painted a target on their backs.
My parents used my good grades to excuse my gender-bending, and quickly changed the topic to that whenever the subject of my tomboy-ness came up.
My friends said "We always knew," my mom said "I don't want you to be denied ANY opportunity in life," and my dad said "Whatever makes you happy."
Personally, I never accepted the classical notions of "boys" and "girls" that they fed us in school, and neither did my peers, all of whom grew to love me. I pursued my goals and never apologized for being born a queer.
If any teens or pre-teens are reading this, just focus on your own well-being.
If you work at being a trustworthy, loving, and genuine person, those who really matter will recognize your worth, and who'll seek to earn your companionship.
Sara's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Julie Andrews in "The Sound Of Music"
Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"