Orlando, FL (1986)
This is a picture of me, my grandmother, and sister on a road trip to Orlando. I'm pretty sure that I think grammie's mauve pantsuit is quite fabulous.
This is the same grandmother that let me play with Barbies and My Little Ponies while watching "The Golden Girls" on Saturday nights. 3 out of the 8 children from my generation that regularly spent time in her house turned out to be gay. One owns a gay bar in Portland. I was always the loner of the group and came out the latest at 24.
I'm pretty sure my mom knew when she took this picture (or one of the many others I came across that are basically the same). Or maybe it was the My Little Ponies and Barbies. I didn't know until puberty, around age 11, when I started dreaming about boys in my class.
I was always artistic and sensitive and was a late bloomer. I love looking back at this time now - but I just wish I'd had the courage to come out sooner, and open doors for other people in my small town.
Costas Mandylor ("Picket Fences")