New Haven, CT (1972)
This picture was taken at the beach house where my family spent our summers. The picture makes me happy and sad: I’m happy because I look happy in the picture. But I’m sad because I systematically destroyed that little boy in an effort to conform to what society expected and demanded of me.
|"Jazz hands before I ever encountered the concept"|
I remember being very young and staying with my “Auntie Mame” and listening to Judy Garland albums. I got very mad when my sister went with my aunt to see Funny Girl and I didn’t get to go. I remember sitting at our kitchen table, looking up dance schools in the Yellow Pages and hoping someday I’d get to go. Instead, I endured playing Little League baseball.
I was the kid with very few friends, all mostly female. I was picked on by virtually everyone, but fortunately I was scrappy and freakishly strong when cornered.
Some TV obsessions as a kid included Wonder Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman. I also knew tons of "M*A*S*H" trivia and even won a radio contest. And I loved the KISS Alive II album. I mean, men wearing makeup? What’s not to like?
My message to gay kids and parents of different or potentially gay kids is:
Let them be different. You never know what you may be destroying when you suppress those differences.
Michael Ontkean & Harry Hamlin (in "Making Love")