Mike, age 8
Highland, NY (1994)
Here's a photo of me, taken during a family vacation. Of all the places to stop for a photo, I have no idea why I chose this un-impressed wooden Native American, nor do I get why I’m wearing my shorts up to my nipples, or wearing socks with sandals at Disney World.
I still make that face in pictures or any mirror I encounter. Today, my friends refer to it as my "mirrorface."
I always knew I was different.
I tagged along with the girls, shied away from sports. But I sure loved Barbies, dress-up, and any kind of art project.
My mother grounded me when she found out I was gay, as the gossip grapevine in my small hometown gave me away, before I could tell her myself.
'I know, and I don’t approve' was all my mom said in regards to my sexuality.
I was 15.
Today, I'm happy with who I am (even if my family isn't) and I'm thrilled this website exists. Reading stories of my peers has rekindled something great in me.
I'm still figuring myself out, but if I had to give a piece of advice, it'd be this:
Be who you are, even if you have a laugh that could raise the dead, a questionable fashion sense, or a terminal case of "mirrorface."
The things that make you unique, for better or for worse, will always be your greatest asset.
Mike's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Jonathan Taylor Thomas ("Home Improvement")___________________________________________________