Hollywood, Florida (1975)
This picture was taken on Halloween when I was in kindergarten. My sister was 10-years old when I was born, and had always wanted a baby sister. Having two brothers already, my sister had her heart set that I was going to be a girl.
Well, you can imagine my sister's devastation! It wasn't long before my sister realized that I fit into her dolls' clothing, and she could make me the little sister she always wanted!
I knew I was gay around age 5 or 6.
I remember staring at my sister's boyfriend's Speedo at the water park,
and just knowing that I was different.
At times I thought my life would've been easier if I had been born a girl.
Back in the 1970's, I think the majority of us grew up in an "Archie Bunker" like atmosphere. As for my parents, they were never afraid of using the N word, and were not shy about talking about "the Queers" that lived on the next block.
I remember cringing every time they would start to talk about them, knowing that one day my truth had to come out. That, or I was going to have to run away from home to a place like Pleasure Island from "Pinocchio."
I live in Hollywood, CA now and work as a very successful makeup artist. I have done makeup on people like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Mariah Carey to just name a few. And I am living the life I always dreamed of! I look back on the small stuff now and laugh, because I remember it seeming to be so all-consuming.
For the LGBTQ youth of today, I say:
Follow your dreams and don't change who you are!
Life does get better. It gets as good as you want it to!
Dean's first, famous-person same sex crush:
John Schneider ("Dukes of Hazzard")
Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"