"Oh stop it, you're making me blush!"
Nathan, age 3
Arcadia, CA (1995)

That's me on the left with a family friend. My parents tease me about this picture. Not because of my sissy pose or the gaudy floral wallpaper, but because of my haircut. I'd groomed myself with some child safety scissors.

Don't be fooled, my shyness is really a mask of false modesty. Growing up, I was showered with praise – the trophy son and envy of every mother.

I was the sweet, skinny boy who got along with just about everyone. Compliments and adoration were commonplace.

I knew I was gay at 13 after I saw two men making out in public. To my 13-year-old eyes, it was the hottest, most mind-blowing thing I had ever seen. From that day forward, I wanted nothing more than to be an openly gay man.

Now, I'm a 19-year-old college kid and out to everyone in my life. The support of my younger sister, parents, and best friend give me the strength to be proud of who I am.

Life is rough once in a while, but it gets better every day.