South Georgia (1966)
This is a shot of me from our very small town in south GA. I don't remember ever feeling free enough to be the me in this photo. This is me before the taunting, before the indoctrination, before the forced sports, before the shame, before the Southern and the Gothic.
He is clearly and naturally being himself. I love him and admire him, but I don't remember him.
I was "different" from the beginning of memory. As early as I can recall. I wish I could find some humor to lighten the moment, but there isn't any to spare.
The laughter was always directed at him. Until he changed; walked differently, interacted differently, sat differently and thus began the years of believing that deep down and intrinsically, something was wrong with him.
Only 12 years of uninsured therapy would begin to heal that.
I take great joy in knowing that somewhere inside me, is the boy in this photo.