Ripley, WV (1989)
As a child, I spent my earliest days with my sister helping to dress me in her or our mom's clothes. This was only interrupted by my love for Ninja Turtles, stuffed animals, and turning my bedroom into a store where I'd somehow convince my mom to pay me for things I found lying around the house.
|"Who knew this rainbow would follow me for years to come?"|
As time went on, I had the Internet to help me make it through, connecting me with other gay men around the globe, and eventually the media provided me with great outlets to understand that life for a gay man could be great. And Queer As Folk became one of my favorite TV shows during high school.
Working through these feelings was far from easy, especially growing up in rural West Virginia - where the redneck and Republican to homosexual ratio is greatly skewed. I was also often reminded by my mother that gays would burn in hell. Fortunately, my mom has since become very supportive.
But I made it out alive and I'm living life to the fullest, with the same grin on my face I had in the photo.
John Stamos ("Full House")