Liverpool, Pennsylvania (1989)
For a long time, being gay wasn't even about me. I know it should have been, but being gay was about proving the jerks at school right, or possibly alienating or disappointing family. And, in a way, giving up power to every person I met who might find out and use it against me.
I can remember my first crushes being Christian Bale in "Newsies" and Neil Patrick Harris as Doogie Howser. I imagined what it would be like to go to high school in California, with the hopes they would date me.
And I remember the nights my mom and I snuck away to her office to watch TV shows my dad didn't watch. We both saw Ellen Degeneres stand in front of millions of people and say the words I could not. But I thought, 'God, if she can do that, surely some day I can at least say those words to my mom.' It would be another decade before that would happen.
Growing up in a small town - the only county in PA without a traffic light - wasn't exactly the most open-minded experience. And, despite my parents being among the most liberal adults in the county, being gay just wasn't an option.
It wasn't something I often saw hated-on publicly, but then again no one ever came out in my school or town. So it was more like gay people didn't exist, or shouldn't exist.
Yet, I didn't let that stop me. I always pursued being in the band, choir, and theatre - despite the association and being called "faggot, gay-bait, homo."
My only regret over the last 28 years, is how long I waited to be me. I spent the first quarter of my life victimizing myself by letting other people's opinions dictate who I was. Luckily, I stuck it out in the hopes it would get better. And it did!
Just as I was posting Luke's story, I noticed the visitor counter number!
So today's post is just 4,444,444 all of you! Thank you!!! :)
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