I didn't think about being different in those years. My family didn't seem to think it was strange for me to imitate Lily Tomlin as Ernestine, the telephone operator, or to draw pictures of my grandmother in 60's style fashions.
They were very nurturing. I'm sure I raised an eyebrow or two along the way, but nobody seemed to mention anything.
I feel lucky to have grown up in those days - attitudes seemed less uptight. I remember my mother, aunts, and older cousins all wearing big wigs. And my dad and uncles wearing flashy leisure suits with open collared shirts.
I wore platform shoes from Thom McCan and an off-white polyester jacket to my 8th grade graduation.
I guess deep down I knew I was "queer".
I liked to sit with the women at the table after dinner instead of watching sports.
I decorated my bedroom bulletin board every holiday. I loved to shop at the Wonder Stores for sizzle shirts and brushed denim Palazzo Pants. (I think Frank DeCaro can relate!)
Looking back now,I realize that nobody stopped me from being who I was.
It just took me a little longer to realize it, and to embrace it.