Brian, age 5Las Vegas, NM (1973)
Here I am, holding on to my cousin Terri - my first, smartest, and sassiest friend.
This image was rescued by my uncle from one of those photo buttons they sometimes sold at carnivals and in the 1970's. The carny would snap a Polaroid picture and use a big metal contraption to cut and encase the actual photograph inside a saucer-sized "button."
I think my parents paid for the photo-button to be made as a gift for my grandmother, because it sat accusingly on her family picture sideboard for decades. More recently, my photographer uncle digitized the photograph itself by dismantling the button. I have no idea why he then color treated the image.
I was quiet, sensitive, and non-athletic from the get go. I cared little for typical boy things, like playing outside, running, or throwing balls at people. And I only participated in such activities under duress, or my father's intimidating insistence.
I much preferred to watch TV, crayon-color, or play with my collection of GI Joe, Ken and Six Million Dollar Man dolls.
And I learned early on that the best protection from mean boys was a tough, fearless girl. It was not until the 2nd grade that I consciously trained myself never to show a dangly or "limp" wrist.
Brian's first, famous-person same sex crushes:
Matthew Laborteaux (Albert from "Little House on the Prairie")
Ike Eisenmann (Tony from "Witch Mountain" movies)
Zan (from "Superfriends")