Showing posts with label 1980's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1980's. Show all posts

August 08, 2014

Henry

Henry, age 6
Birmingham, Alabama (1986)

This picture of me and my (also gay) twin brother Andy was taken at our grandmother's house. We would always fight over who got to wear the silky shirt. I'm on the right in the shirt, and Andy is on the left in the heels.

This picture and time of my life brings back great memories, because my grandparents didn't care about our differences. They just wanted us to be happy and to be ourselves.

We were both big fans of Care Bears and My Little Pony

My sister had an ET doll and Godzilla figure that would shoot its hand off. But Andy and I pretty much stuck to our stuffed animals and Rainbow Brite dolls.

Speaking of stuffed animals, I came out to my teddybear at age 5.

But our older sister actually came out before we did, so she helped break our parents in. 

I like to say we all helped drag our parents kicking and screaming into the 21st century! LOL!

For younger gay kids reading this, I would like to tell them that I thank God every day I was born a homosexual. It has helped me to grow as an individual and learn so much more about myself at an early age.
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Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"


January 20, 2014

Brad

Brad, age 9
San Diego, California (1980)

This picture is from one of my first dance recitals, where I began to find my true self. I even remember that the name of the dance was "Turkey In The Straw."

I couldn't catch a ball or play sports, but when I put on my tap shoes and a sequined vest, I felt valid and real. Like I mattered. I knew I wasn’t like other boys, but I didn't know how or why.

The teasing, embarrassment, and shame had not started when I was that age. I was just enjoying being me, and I long to be that boy again. I want to be myself without the ridicule and judgment of others.

As a teen, my walls were covered with posters of James Dean and Elvis Presley. I thought I wanted to be them, but I was actually attracted to them.

No. Fred Astaire is who I wanted to be!

At age 15 my experimenting with boys began, and although it felt right, I lied to myself for another 6 years. Coming out was hard, but it was much more freeing than living a lie.

It took time to find my footing, but now because of my honesty, I’m a better son, brother, friend, partner and uncle. It was very hard to resist the temptation of giving up my dreams because of the bullying, but it has all paid off.

Today at 41 years old, I miss that kid in the picture. He was authentic, and that is something I am striving for now.  I've been in 7 Broadway shows over the years, so now I pay my mortgage wearing my tap shoes and other dance shoes.

I turned being different into a success.
I am gay and proud, but that is just a sampling of many wonderful qualities.
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Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"


December 29, 2013

Russ

Russ, age 17
Springfield, Virginia (1982)

While I look like a happy go lucky teenager, that was just not the case at this time. I was in such turmoil about my sexuality, I often contemplated hurting myself.


I was raised in a very religious home. The bumper sticker on my car behind me says, "His Banner Over Us is Love" - and I was horribly conflicted as a teenager.

Thankfully, I soldiered through it all, and I am now a successful CFO of a
multi-million dollar company. And my partner and I will soon celebrate our
16 year anniversary, and life is so, so very good now.

If I only could have know all that was awaiting me back then! :-)
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Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"


November 21, 2013

Jacqueline

Jacqueline, age 7
Pekin, Illinois (1989)

As a kid, I always had way more guy friends than girl friends, and I wanted to look and dress like a boy. Even my parents were convinced I was a boy. My mom wanted to name me Ben, but my dad said "No!" because people would call me "Bengay" - which is kind of ironic considering how that all turned out.

Thankfully, my parents let me express myself the way I wanted and do the hobbies I was interested in.

It is hard to pinpoint the age, but I guess I always knew I may be different. Especially since the girls I was friends with didn't want to look like a boy or build forts.

As you get older, you start to realize being gay isn't the norm, especially in such a small town in middle America.

Although being made fun of hurt my feelings, I never let it get to me. I was determined to not let anyone see it hurt me, and eventually I grew thick skin and slowly stopped caring what people thought.

My first girl crush was on Jennifer Aniston, but I wasn't legitimately attracted to a woman until college.  I didn't get to officially "come out" though, as my college roommates told everyone after they saw me sneaking out a girl who had stayed the night with me.

Today, I guess I am almost a poster story for having the most supportive friends and family, who have Platinum PFLAG status. I am so thankful for them, my wonderful friends, my chosen career path complete with all the accomplishments, and a wonderful dog.

Oh, and my girly hair cut now. _____________________________________________________

Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"


September 08, 2013

Luke

Luke, age 5
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!
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Editor's note:
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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Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"


July 03, 2013

Erin

Erin, age 7
Saint Cloud, Minnesota (1986)

This is a picture of me with the neighbors' daughter Bonnie, who was also my first crush.

It was around this age I started realizing I was different from the other little girls.

They, like Bonnie, liked their dresses and wearing ribbons in their hair. I liked my plaid shirts and jeans and wanted to have my hair spiked. But my dad wouldn't let me cut my hair like a boy's.

And I always preferred my Transformers and GI Joe's to my Barbie and Jem dolls

I was bullied some in junior high and high school.
I was called a dyke and that sort of thing.

But the one person who has always stood by my side and been supportive is my mom. When I told her I was a lesbian, she told me, "Oh honey, I know."

My mom knows that I was born this way.

The message I'd like to give to LGBTQ kids of today: Be who you are, be proud.
It's not always going to be easy, but it's honest. And it's your truth.
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Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"


March 26, 2013

Ivan

Ivan, age 5
Saint-Petersburg, Russia (1988)

My photo shows me doing my first drag performance, as my silly 'Auntie Valya' who lost her reading glasses, while they were always on her forehead.

I was a truly gay kid while growing up, and I was a champion of arts and theater through my early school years.

But then puberty hit and my classmates no longer thought I was that fun to hang around with anymore.

In fact, the bullies tortured me for years on a daily basis. But I survived, and that still amazes me at times.

I eventually ran away from my home country of Russia to find freedom and safety in the USA.

At age 15, I died my hair red. Then green, blue, and pink.

I came out to my mom when I was only 16. Twelve years later, she is still struggling to accept my "life choices." We speak to each other now, but not often.

My father has never been around, and he left for good when I was 12. We never shared any bonds, and he always treated me as if I was some kind of some foreign exchange student living in his house.

I've struggled all these years to overcome anxiety and depression which stems directly from the years of bullying and living in a viciously homophobic Russia.

I have lived in the United States for 8 years now. I will become a citizen this year, provided everything gets done on time. Being gay is still a work in progress for me.

But I am doing better - and feeling better - than I have ever felt before.
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Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"


January 16, 2013

Ashton

Ashton, age 5
Athens, Georgia (1989)

It was all The Nutcracker's fault. Well, that and my sister's tap shoes. Every Christmas since the age of 1, my family would drive to Atlanta, stay one night in the grandest hotel, and see The Nutcracker at "The Fabulous Fox Theatre"

It was the grandest of occasions, and the best part was dressing up. I'd wear white buck shoes, seersucker pants, suspenders - and therefore felt invincible.

It was my gay childhood version of the Superhero Costume.

In those rags, no one could stop the Sugar Plum Fairy from leaping out of me - and down the stairs, across the front lawn and all the way through the lobby of the glitzy Ritz Carlton.

I was spoiled rotten with love and support. Today, I'm a set designer living in New York City.


And I have this life because my parents knew exactly how to channel my desires into a constructive path for myself. So, thanks to my Mom & Dad - who are celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary this year!
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Click - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click - "My First Gay Crush Blog"


November 28, 2012

Cal

Cal, age 5
Manchester, Maryland (1987)

I'm pictured on the right with my pants tucked into my boots so you could see how pretty they were. I was always told, 'Boys don't tuck their jeans into their boots, girls do.' But for some reason I felt more comfortable doing things my way!


I like how happy I look in this picture with my friends. This is one of many pictures that just scream, "Come on! Were you surprised I'm gay? Really?" Recently I gathered my pictures from birth through high school. In this picture you see my smile, and see that I am happy.

But I soon realized I was different and knew I was gay. Those of us born this way have always known it on some level. Unfortunately, the older I got the more my smile went away. And that breaks my heart. I look at my pictures and I feel so much pain for a little boy that just wanted to be loved so badly.

If there is one good thing I can say and ask of anyone who reads this, it is this:

If parents notice their kids or their friends' kids aren't smiling anymore, find out why. And show them some love. Whenever you suspect that someone just needs some love, I would say 99% of the time it's an accurate intuition.

I hope that somehow my story will touch even one person to reach out and help someone's smile last longer than mine did. All it takes is a few minutes to extend love to someone, especially a child that is begging to be loved.
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  "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"


November 07, 2012

Sofía

Sofía, age 2
Villa Mercedes, San Luis, Argentina (1987)

I remember as if it were yesterday when I said to my dad, "Paint a beard and mustache on my face." And I was so happy with my manly beard.

When I was 3 years old in kindergarten, my teacher told everyone to pick a card: yellow or pink for the girls, and blue or green for the boys. And I wanted green!

She tried to explain that I was a girl so I had to pick pink or yellow.
"I'm a girl, and I want green," I said.

I always felt "different" from the other girls, and I never liked boys.
I always felt a connection to girls, but it was all unconscious. It was if it was all a secret, even to myself.

At the age of 16 I realized that I was in love with my female best friend.

But as I was so scared, I never acted on those feelings. However, thanks to her,
I could start living my life as the lesbian I am. And it all finally became clear!

Now at age 26, I'm in love an enjoying every part of it with a girl who never thought she could love another girl. She's a very special person in my life, and we connected instantly when we met. I love the way she holds my hand when we walk down the street. It brings me peace.

I am glad that I always remained true to myself, and that I never tried to be with a boy, just so that my family or friends would accept me. Today they all accept and love me for who I am. Even my grandmother asks me, "How is your girlfriend?" and that means the world to me.

Morrissey once sang: "And if the people stare, then the people stare, I really don't know and I really don't care. There's no shame..." And that's my story today, too.
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

September 16, 2012

Cricket

Cricket, age 7
Biloxi, Mississippi (1984)

My photo is from an Arts & Crafts fair I was at with my grandmother, my aunt, and my cousins. We were selling handmade monkey puppets that wrapped around your body. They wanted me to pose next to the rocking pony for a picture, and I didn't want to do it. Hence the sassy attitude, which I still have today.

I was raised in the suburbs of New Orleans, and my mom and dad were divorced before I was born. My grandparents and an aunt raised me with a watchful eye.

I was not a shy boy, and I was very outgoing, artsy, and athletic. I loved tumbling, painting, volleyball, soccer, and cheerleading. My father tried to get me to play more "manly" sports, but that never worked out.

I always felt different, and not like my cousins or anyone I knew.

I first realized I was gay was when a neighbor's son (a Marine) came to get me to drive me to where my father was with his friends.

We were walking down the street and he asked if I wanted to race, and I said sure. He took off like a bat out of hell, and all I could look at was his butt. It was so perfectly round! I was so attracted to it, but didn't know what that feeling meant.

Today, I'm a dental assistant living in Chicago with barely any communication with my family. I feel my father is ashamed of me for being gay, and that most of my family is mad at me for leaving to try and pursue a life outside of the south.

But I'm still dancing and cheerleading, and I love it.
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

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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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"
Click - Pre-order the "Born This Way Book" on Amazon


January 18, 2012

Aimee

Aimee, age 8
Portland, Oregon (1981)

Hello! My name is Aimee and I was born this way in Oregon.

The closest professional football team was the Seattle Seahawks, and although my brother was given a San Francisco Giants uniform, I was the only one to wear mine daily.

I was active in sports and I thank the drafters of Title 9, as that allowed for girls to express non-traditional feminine attributes. And that was a big deal in 1972!

Although some freedoms of expression were encouraged during my childhood, I grew up in a homophobic environment.

I did not feel comfortable coming out until I left home at age 17. Since then,
I have been very active supporting LGBTQ youth and now work as a professor teaching human sexuality to undergraduates.

My message for LGBTQ youth who feel alone is: please know there is a loving community of LGBTQ adults who have experienced some or most of what you may be feeling today - and it does get better.

You are not alone, so reach out and you will find an open hand.
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

January 09, 2012

:: Happy 1st Birthday! ::

Hey everyone!
Today (January 9th 2012) marks the 1st birthday of this blog!
I shared some of my thoughts about everything on Facebook here.



And in honor of this amazing milestone, I'd like to feature the first
10 people who submitted their story and photo to the blog a year ago
- just in case you didn't get to scroll back that far! They were truly those who got the whole project rolling, so let's celebrate them!



Here they are below. Click on their names and enjoy!
AND THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT THIS YEAR!


xo - Your blogmaster, Paul V.

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Kevin, age 4
Cozad, Nebraska (1964)
Woodland Hills, California (1981)


Jackie Beat, age 8
Scottsdale, Arizona (1971)


Ghy, age 3
East LA, California (1974)


Kurt, age 12
Chicago, Illinois (1968)
Denver, Colorado (1980)
Los Angeles, California (1983)


Jason, age 4
San Diego, California (1985)
Wisconsin (1977)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (1986)
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

December 18, 2011

Kyle

Kyle, age 3
Rammestein, Germany (1989)

I was always told by my parents that they knew that I would be different and special. I would walk around the house singing at the top of my lungs, and I loved talking to people. I was always so happy, loved bright colors, and loved to laugh. As you can see in my photo, I was doing both by age 3!


My parents always told me that they would love me no matter what happened.
I first knew I was different in the 4th grade, when I saw all the boys and girls holding hands with each other. I wanted to hold hands with a boy named Jesse, because he was nice to me.

When I was a pre-teen I had an antisocial phase, and I decided to come out of the closet at 14 for my own sanity. I mainly felt that being gay was my own business, and people didn't need to know. However, I couldn't open myself up to people in other ways, without being wholly honest about who I was.

So I came out and started making friends by being the funny guy. Since I was making everyone laugh, they didn't care who I was dating. As time went on, being gay was just something that was. I learned to surround myself with people who enjoyed me for me. I dated and learned lessons just like everyone else.

Since coming out, I have rarely felt "different" for being who I am. I have always been a big advocate of not letting my homosexuality define me. That's always the first thing I tell people who are curious about why I came out so early, and it's the advice that I give younger LGBT people now.

I'm not just a gay man, I am so much more than that.
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

November 26, 2011

Ray

Ray, age 6
St. Louis, MO (1980)

By the time of this photo, I already knew I was not the same as the other boys.
As you can see, I have on my Superman suspenders. Though I didn't really understand it then, I was attracted to Superman. I also wanted to be around construction workers, because I found them attractive, too.

Other kids used to call me "Gay Ray." I was not particularly feminine as a child, but the other kids still knew there was something very different about me. This was because of the things I would say, and not being shy about the fact that I enjoyed lots of things typically reserved for girls.

My twin sister used to love to dress me up in her clothes, and we'd run around the neighborhood together. She would introduce me as her "cousin Becky."

While my mother was always very encouraging of me expressing myself, my father was not quite as pleased.

I had a rough childhood. I cried almost every day and was so confused about what was going on with me. This only contributed to the way that I was treated by the other kids and some family members. I used to pray every night, hoping that God would fix me. But every morning I woke up the same.

It wasn't until I got into high school that I started making friends with the other outcast kids and punkers. Though life got harder for me in many ways, it always got easier for me to accept myself and to become comfortable with who I am.

Today, I'm still not like the other boys. I'm an artist and musician.
And maybe one day I'll open a little place that I can proudly call "Gay Ray's"
as an homage to my troubled path.
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

October 11, 2011

Robeij

Robeij, age 4 months
Louisville, KY (1987)

When I look at this picture, it brings tears to my eyes. The huge smile on my face, the dimples, and the innocence that was not yet ready for the MANY years of torment and suicide attempts that would occur later on in my life.

As a young boy, I did everything a boy "should" do. I played sports, I camped, I hiked, and I got dirty. Growing up was challenging, as I felt that I wasn't like the rest of the boys.

I was more emotionally driven, and after years of complaining about playing sports, my dad allowed me to pursue some band things and other musical endeavors.

Unfortunately, by the 8th grade,
I hated being alive.

And all the terrible things you hear about now? I experienced them.



I was taunted in the school hallways in between classes, and a bully actually tried to shove me in my 4 ft by 2 ft locker. My hair was pulled, my shins were kicked, and these bullies would even spit in my face.

I was called a f*ggot, a queer, a fudge packer and an anal jockey. At that time,
I felt as though these horrible boys took away my innocence. I tried to look to God for answers or some kind of help. But blinded by all the hate that surrounded me, I didn't see any kind of improvement. At 13, I attempted to kill myself, to get rid of what I felt like was a waste of God-given flesh. What was I even worth?

After a grueling year of the torment and the failed suicide, I turned against everybody. I was an angry boy with a shattered heart and no real outlook on life.

Years afterwards, I changed as a person. I found refuge in music and made tons of friends. But by college, I slipped down the steep slopes of depression and anxiety. I still was not happy with who I was, thinking 'If I'm a f*ggot, I'll burn in the fiery pits of hell. God won't love me and neither will my family.'

Can you believe that? I did.

My second suicide attempt took place in my dorm room at college. Fortunately, it was another failed attempt. God had a plan for me. I sought help and moved back home to FIND MYSELF. And there, I found that boy in my baby picture. I smiled again, my dimples showed, and my outlook on life had gotten better. I knew and admitted that I was gay and proud, despite some insecurities I had at the time.

I am now a recent college graduate. I overcame battles of depression and anxiety. I have a wonderful family who loves me for me, and appreciates my journey in finding myself. I have the most amazing set of friends who have been there for all my happy, sad, and angry moments.

But to this day, I still get harassed and discriminated against. And it still bugs me. However, I look at them and smile - because I am who I am, and I will NOT change for anybody. I'm an advocate to those who feel they don't have a voice.

I am there for those who need the help and guidance to see that being LGBTQ isn't a bad thing. It's a rebirth when you finally realize that this is the real you.

The old me died and became ash; the new me was reborn from those ashes and is now a successful young gay male in today's society. I recently got a tattoo of the word EQUALITY on my arm, because I believe that equality should be given to all persons - no matter what race, age, gender, sexuality, etc.

I apologize for such a long post, but lastly I must mention my mother. She is my heart. Because of her, I'm the person I am today. She was the first person I told and she will always love me no matter what choices I make in my life. She doesn't see sin nor distaste in my community. She sees only love, integrity, and respect.

To all those who feel like they have no voice - you do! There are so many people around that will love you for you. If you are bullied in school, contact the highest person you can. If nothing is done, go to someone higher than them. If you have to go all the way to the top, then do so. Make a difference in your community

Because those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter.
We all matter and we all will make a difference in the world.
Mother Monster said it best, "... 'Cause baby, you were BORN this way."

Remember that. I LOVE YOU.
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

October 05, 2011

Tommy

Tommy, age 7
San Dimas, California (1981)

This was my favorite shirt in the 2nd grade. I called it my "Lando Calrissian shirt" because it was flowy. But the best part was that only the top had a button, and the rest were snaps that could easily "rip open." You'll see why this was important.

Back then, my best friend and I would play "Dukes of Hazzard" at recess. I was always Bo Duke, and my friend would have to rip my shirt open during fight scenes, because that's what happens to Bo.

When I got my butt kicked, I would make him play Daisy Duke to nurse me back to health.

Some boys came up one day and said we couldn't play like that, because Daisy was a girl. My friend decided we'd play with them, instead. I forgot what we were doing, but one boy who didn't know how to properly "rip open" a snap-up shirt actually ripped my shirt.

He said he was sorry, but it was one of those fake apologies you say so you don't get in trouble. I had to sit in class the rest of the day in that ripped shirt, while other kids giggled and called me Daisy - despite the fact that I was clearly Bo.

When I told my mom how my shirt got ripped, she gave me one of those looks where I knew something had changed between us. Needless to say, she refused to get me another snap-up shirt.

Funny, though:
About 10 years later for Christmas, mom sent me and my first boyfriend matching shirts. That was my 2nd snap-up shirt. And I think he ended up ripping it, too...
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Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"

September 27, 2011

Patrick

Patrick, age 4
Sydney, NSW Australia (1988)

Many people here say how "different" they felt. At a very early age, I always had a pretty strong concept of my own ego. When I was around 7, I wondered if I was the only real person, and that everyone around me was there kind of robotically, for my benefit. So in my mind, it was everyone else that was different.

This type of thinking allowed me to be whoever I felt I was for my entire childhood. This included loving Rainbow Brite, having a Cabbage Patch doll named Vernon, learning how to do hair on My Little Pony dolls, and dancing with my friend Bree to Cher's "Shoop Shoop" song.

I was a kind of girly and hung out with my girlfriend in dance class.
We had blatant conversations about sex from an early age, and we were both fairly inquisitive.

She was a tomboy and the most popular girl in school, and I think I really loved her. I spoke to her a while back, and she is now a lesbian.

My parents moved me away during high school from a place where someone would get bashed for picking on me, to a school in the country where bigotry was standard. I wasn't popular anymore and didn't know a soul. But the person I loved the most was my best friend Michael. To get around being able to talk to Michael about my feelings for him, I described my super crush in question form.

I also treated Michael like sh*t. I did this because I loved him so much, but I knew deep down I could never have him. No matter how many times we slept in the same bed. I used to cry myself to sleep every night because it was heartbreaking to me that gender meant so much to the world, when it meant nothing to me.

My coming out story was so much simpler. Rather than sit people down to give them some 'big news,' I just started being honest. If I thought a guy was hot, I would say so. Same as with a girl. I was the first person to come out at my country high school, and I only got called a f*ggot once.

I'm a bit of an outcast in the gay community though, as I'm more physically attracted to men, more emotionally attracted to women, and don't particularly like to have sex with either. I think that was due to my gender nonchalance, and being the go-to guy in college when the straight guys wanted to experiment.

Even though it wasn't something I particularly loved, I was helping someone out with their own sexuality. And, getting my own little piece of Michael every time.

PS: I was so fashion forward, I knew Hawaiian shirts would be in a decade early.

Patrick's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Macaulay Culkin (in "Home Alone")
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

August 02, 2011

Jim

Jim, age 3
West Orange, NJ (1985)

This picture was taken shortly after my uncle's wedding. You'll be shocked to know, that a few years later I was throwing Wonder Woman themed birthday parties and telling my parents, "When I grow up, I want to be a mommy."


Needless to say, when I did come out 17 years later, everyone's reaction was not
"How did we not know?!" - but rather a collective, "Finally!"

It's not always rainbows and lollipops being gay, but it has gotten so much better.
Even if I'm not a mommy ... yet.

And most nights, you'll find me with family and friends in this exact same pose.
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Mini Twisty Swirl Candy Lollipops (1 dz)Family Secrets: Gay Sons--A Mother's Story (Haworth Gay & Lesbian Studies)50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live [With Interactive CD]Wonder Woman - Risque Divas Birthday Greeting Card

Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"