January 31, 2011

Eamonn

Eamonn, age 4
Brighton, Michigan (1991)

It was an epic Christmas morning, and I had just turned 4 a few months prior.
In 1989, the 50th Anniversary Edition "The Wizard of Oz" VHS came out, and I became obsessed with 1) being a friend of Dorothy and 2) actually becoming her.

"Dorothy & Toto with their loyal steeds!"
Still in my yellow dress shirt from a Christmas Eve party at my grandparents, I eagerly transformed myself into a hybrid of Judy Garland and Glinda the Good Witch.

Note the fabulous pink wand. And those ruby slippers stayed on my feet for at least a week!

I honestly recall that I've always had a preference for men. To me, girls always made such fabulous friends, that I couldn't conceive of being with them romantically!



As a little boy, I wanted to be every Disney princess, and had regular breakdowns over Leonardo DiCaprio after seeing "Romeo & Juliet" in 3rd grade. I was about that age when I first learned what "gay" meant.

By age 12, I decided that gay was the way I planned to live the rest of my life - and with someone tall, dark, strong, and handsome! Inspired by a trip to Toronto with my mother - where we unknowingly reserved a room at a bed & breakfast hotel in Gay Village - I came out to her on the train ride home.

Thanks to amazing parenting, I continued to dress flamboyantly, play with Barbies, and hold my torch for actors and boy bands. In a small town known for ousting businesses donning rainbow stickers, I certainly couldn't let my true identity be known. But I never attempted to conceal my personality in public.

Even at my small Catholic school I found warm acceptance and many allies among my loving teachers. Regrets? Not sticking with those ballet lessons long enough to be a mouse in "The Nutcracker"! I lived to wear to those pink tights.

Looking at this picture today gives me nothing but pride. I wish I could I meet this little boy, just so we could sit on the floor with those ponies and Barbies and make some magic again. He was a happy little Prince, full of wonder and love.

And even if things might have been worse, they would soon get much better.
Being who you are is one of the bravest and most rewarding experiences. So start immediately - as you can't imagine how much fun you'll have, until you do.

Eamonn's first, famous-person same sex crushes:
Disney's "Aladdin" & Leonardo DiCaprio

Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"
____________________________________________
Aladdin (Disney Special Platinum Edition)2011 Movie Calendars: Leonardo DiCaprio - 12 Months With Stickers On Back - 42x29cmThe Wizard of Oz (50th Anniversary Edition Video And Book)The Nutcracker / Baryshnikov, Kirkland, Charmoli

14 comments:

Renee' Rule said...

Eamonn...
Awsome! I enjoyed reading this, and always knew that you "too" were one of the chosen family. smile It is innate, "the knowing"...some people call it "gaydar", but I always knew the truth about this part of the kalaidoscope of "you". Yes...even before you did. You know I can relate to this...what I am not sure that you know, is that you have always been one I love...am proud of...and always hope to be more like when I grow up! ;-)
I love you Eamonn!! Muah!

Shelby87 said...

I truly enjoyed reading your story, and am inspired by your confidence. Also, you and I share the very same childhood crushes!

ewe said...

You look full of joy and glee.

Anonymous said...

Your story just made me tear up.

Anonymous said...

Awesome photo! I'm so glad you were able to have such supportive people in your life :)

Anonymous said...

As a parent, your story makes me aspire to be as good at parenting as your own parents were. Bless you!

Eamonn said...

Thank you all!! My story barely refers to the pain I experienced - constant taunting, teasing, school-bus horrors, etc. - as so many gay people have. However, from my earliest days, I was never told I shouldn't or couldn't be who I am, and it was really my family's unwavering support that enabled me to face cruelty with my sense-of-self intact. Parents, please give that gift to your child - gay, straight, or between the lines. Your love matters more to him or her than that of anyone else.

Sharron said...

I found this blog by accident and scrawled through all of the stories looking for yours, as the picture of you at the top of the blog was just so happy. When I found it it brought a tear to my eye, the picture is exactly as you a say a happy little prince, full of wonder and love. It makes me sad that more people cannot see this in everyone, regardless of sexuality or gender. It also reminds me that we should retain that childish sense of wonder and love into adulthood. Thanks x

Lesley said...

Reading this gave me goosebumps. Your parents must have been (or still are) amazing people. It is my biggest hope that I can help my children be their best selves.

GEE said...

the photo is priceless -thanx for sharing

Raven said...

Wonderful pic and story! I had one of those horses too.

Libby said...

I clicked on the picture because I thought it was really cool, but your story was so compelling. I love that you feel pride over that photo and that you were able to find support growing up. What a wonderful story.

Eamonn said...

Thank you, everyone <3 :) These comments a lot to me.

ab3fb46c-f431-11e0-a150-000bcdca4d7a said...

This story makes me happy! I was about the same age in '91, but nowhere nearly as fabulous! Move to New York and let's be friends. Haha.