In this photo I'm engaging in one of my early childhood's favorite activities: dancing in my grandmother's high heels. I would sneak into her closet and emerge wearing my favorite pair - her black patent-leather pumps.
|"Step, 2, 3, 4 - Turn, 2, 3, 4"|
I don't recall this particular moment, but the script usually went like this:
'Hey, do it this way.
Step, 2, 3, 4 - turn, 2, 3, 4.'
(I was a little bossy. They called me the Mother Hen).
My mother informed me we were at my grandmother's house, and it's probably her holding the camera, encouraging us at every turn and laughing - much to my father's dismay.
In the next shot, my brother and I are smiling for the camera; my brother's grin fittingly shy, but I'm mugging like a Hollywood bigshot.
Soon came other distractions, like baseball (yeah!) and football (hated it!) and soccer (yaaawn), and Scouting (the organization AND the boys). But by 13,
I was refusing to play catch with my father and I quit the Boy Scouts after I heard an older, bracingly handsome Eagle Scout call someone a 'fag'.
That was that for me, and I wanted out.
I've always known that I'm solely attracted to men. Always. My earliest memory is of a good friend of my parents named Luke. Or, more accurately, his hairy forearms. An odd thing for a 5-year-old to recall, to be sure.
I'm the middle son of 3 boys. Surely my father (an Air Force enlistee) thought he'd hit the genealogical jackpot with my brothers and me. Just think of it: three chances to pass on the family name! Little did he know that none of us would grow up to produce any children.
Incidentally though, I'm the only gay child in the family.
I love this photo of me and my brother. It makes me laugh, and I was such a free spirit. I still am, thanks in large part to the love and support of the women in my life, notably my mother and my grandmother.