January 24, 2011


David, age 5
Enfield, CT (1981

This pic was taken in the summer of 1981 at a motocross track. The little girl is my cousin Nicole who, incidentally, would be the first person I would tell about being gay, when I was 14. While my male cousins & brothers watched my dad and uncles race around on dirt-bikes, Nicole and I stayed behind to work on our posing. We'd practice dances made up to Madonna and Debbie Gibson singles with our other cousins, Heather and Jenni.

"Strike A Pose"
I always knew something was "different" about me. One of my earliest memories is wearing red rain boots, in my back yard, twirling around as fast as I could. Why? I was hoping I'd turn in to Wonder Woman.

The first time I recognized a boy crush was watching "Little House On The Prairie" with my mom. I longed for Albert (the adopted son) to be my friend, and share a bed with me as he did with the boys on the show.

I also practiced kissing him on my pillows, as friends do.  

Looking back on this photo now only fills me with joy! I was lucky enough to have a family who loved and supported me from day one, always indulging my "stereotypically-gay" leanings. Growing up in a working class town in the early 90's wasn't so easy for a flamboyant Madonna-Wannabe. Especially for a boy.

My parents, though, dutifully drove me to dance lessons and theater rehearsals, just as they took my 2 younger brothers to their football and baseball practices. Who else can say their father waited in line at Barnes & Noble to buy Madonna's "SEX" book for their already-out-of-the-closet, 15-year old, gay son?!?!

I'm in LA now, working in the entertainment industry. I can say with 100% certainty that if it wasn't for my family and particularly my mom and dad,
I wouldn't be here today. Without that safe haven of home and the enthusiasm my parents brought to the table, there's no telling where I might have ended up.

So along with my message to gay kids, I want to emphasize: I hope parents of young children who are struggling with their sexuality read this, and realize the support & unconditional love you give your child means EVERYTHING to them. And effects how their life can turn out.

David's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Matthew Laborteaux ("Little House On The Prairie")

Little House on the Prairie - The Complete Season 5Coming Out, The Road to Unconditional LoveMadonna Poster - Lesbian Flyer Sex BookWe Are Born


Kerri A said...

I didn't get to know that well in high school. I wish we had talked more! Honestly I didn't even know you danced ! I can only say I am very proud of your parents and so glad you had them there for you.

Anonymous said...

This is so beautiful! It brings back so many happy memories from childhood together. Growing up in our family was truly a gift. I thought of you the other day when "Prayers For Bobby" was on TV and felt so grateful that your experience in our family was different than his, and felt heartbroken for all the others who were/are not supported by their families. I hope your life is full of joy everyday my cousin! I love you.

jenkr said...

You are an amazing person and your parents are an inspiration. I hope I can be as loving and supportive to my daughter as they were/are to you. So proud that I can call you my friend.

Anonymous said...

i love you so much david.
love your sia.

Anonymous said...

I feel lucky to have spent time growing up with you... playing truth or dare, learning ALL about Madonna, dancing, playing, performing, so much laughing, learning about who we were, becoming ourselves, ... You are a special part of my life. - Rebecca

Eric T Nicholson said...

What a beautiful story. It's a testament to your fierce spirit and the power of a parents love. Your Mommy & Daddy are role models and I wish there were more like them in this world.
XX Eric

Katie said...

My friend sent me this blog on Facebook, and I'm really enjoying reading. I'm a married, 31-year old mother of an 11 month old boy. Your post makes me tear up a little and as I read, I think about the unconditional love that my husband and I have for our son. I promised myself long before I ever started thinking about having kids that if any of my children were gay I would love and support them just the same. As I read your post, I think about the importance of unconditional love, and I hope I we would be as good of parents as yours were.

17days said...

thanks everyone for the really kind words! i so appreciate it... xoxoxo