Don, age 10
Hicksville, NY (1959)
Seeing myself on the car roof, it appears that I’m camping it up. I was always quite the entertainer. Whether this was the signs of being gay or just my personality, I can’t really say for sure.
Later, in high school (Billy Joel was in my class), I would become a thespian in the dramatic society to further indicate my “dramatic” flair.
At school dances when all the other boys were afraid to ask the girls to dance, I was the first on the floor.
I liked playing with my girl friend next door & seeing who could diet the best since I was a chubby kid.
I also remember liking the “Sons Of Hercules” show on Saturday mornings and feeling very guilty to the point that when my parents would enter the living room, I quickly switched the channel to cartoons until they went to the kitchen - then I would resume my pleasure.
Looking back at this, they probably wouldn't have cared one way or another, but my instincts told me it was “wrong”. I didn’t officially come out until 1979, but always admired the school gymnasts & the older Boy Scouts in my troop.
When I moved to Chicago in 1975, it was a Playboy Bunny, of all people, to befriend me & take me to my first gay bar. What an experience! I’ve been enjoying it ever since!
Don's first, famous-person same sex crush: