July 31, 2011

Robert

Robert, age 3
Cleveland, OH (1955)

This picture was, and still is, the real me. I have always been a record collector.
I am 59, African-American, and GAY.


I was mostly OK until Kindergarten. My teacher there told my father that I liked to play with the girls and their dolls. He told me, 'Boys do not play with dolls' and he did not like that at all. So, he taught me "boy stuff," like throwing a football.

The next trials came when I went to Junior High School. The other boys did not want me on their teams. I was called a sissy by most of them. My 8th grade teacher said, 'Robert are you a faggot?'

The other boys at that time called me "Rob-Butt" and there was also bullying and ridicule from the older, larger boys. So, I kept to myself. It wasn't as bad when I got to High School. Most of the boys had failed their classes, and I graduated at 17.

I told my parents that I am gay when I was 19. My father took it as a failure on his part. But I told him it had nothing to do with him. My mother thought I would grow out of it, but I have not. I have been out and proud since I was 19, and was even in the Marine Corps Reserve Program.

The reason I like this blog, is that everyone says it gets better - and it does!
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

July 27, 2011

Timothy

Timothy, age 8
Tulsa, OK (1973)

My road to acceptance was a long one. First of all, know that my father was super masculine major league baseball player Jim Beauchamp, so I had to be his worst nightmare. It took him awhile to get used to the fact he didn't really have two boys and a girl, but one that was sort of "in between." Check the hand on my hip...

I knew I was gay from the first time I ever heard the word.

When I heard my older brother describing me as "gay" and "sissy," I thought to myself,
"Yep... that's me!"

I really struggled with acceptance of my gender identity up until the age where I hit puberty.

And there was something about that testosterone burst that pushed me over the edge and made me glad to be a guy.

Up until then I was destined for gender reassignment surgery.

I can't remember ever asking for gender appropriate toys, or developing normal friendships with boys. I used to blackmail my sister to get her to ask for the toys
I wanted by threatening, "All right, Ann Rene, I'm squealing if you don't ask for Barbie's Malibu Beach House for Christmas!"

Christmas would come and I would tear through my footballs, baseballs and other sports equipment. But then, I'd join my sister in frantically opening her presents, and we would SCREAM, HUG EACH OTHER, and JUMP WITH DELIGHT at the sight of a new Easy Bake Oven or Barbie's 747 Jumbo Jet.

Every now and then I'd steal a glance at my father slumped in his chair with his, "What did I do wrong? This can't be happening!" look on his face. Poor guy...

And my message to young LGBTQ kids is BE WHO YOU ARE!
You are our future, and we love you just the way you are.
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1974 Topps #424 Jim Beauchamp New York Mets Baseball Card In A Protective Screwdown CaseI Love My Gay Brother Ash Grey T-Shirt Gay pride Light T-Shirt by CafePress

Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

July 25, 2011

Heath

Heath, age 5
Frankfort, KY (1996)

This photo was shot a few days after I decided to butcher and cut my hair myself, because I was tired of having long blonde curls. I was always running around shirtless, fists flaring in the air, as I fought off the invisible army of bad guys with my invisible fleet of Power Ranger team mates. But running around shirtless isn't what girls did. Only boys did that, and it was very un-ladylike.

And since back then I was known as a girl named Heather, I remember being shouted at to get off my bike and put a shirt on.

And I remember laying in bed praying to God, asking him to make me a boy, so that I could run around shirtless, roll in the mud, spit, and not have to cross my legs.

God didn't turn me into a boy even though I felt so strongly that on the inside I indeed was a boy. When I found out there were other people like me - who were once female-bodied but now lived life as men -
I was so happy.

I was glad to find out that there was a word to describe what I was feeling:

Transgender.

I told my mom, and after she did her own research, she knew that the missing pieces of the puzzle were now found. So at 14 I began my transition, first with my name change, then at 15 with hormones, and at 18 I had my chest surgery.

Most people are jealous because I transitioned so young. They say, "Oh life must have been so much easier for you than it is for me right now." But transitioning in High School in a small town in Kentucky is not easy.

I was bullied everyday. I was shoved into lockers, punched, pushed to the ground, called every name in the book, had my hair set on fire. I was discriminated against even by teachers, not allowed to use the Men or Women's restrooms, and even had a kid threaten to bring a gun to school and kill me.

Looking back at this picture now, it makes me a little embarrassed at how high
I wore my shorts back then. But it always makes me smile about how truly happy I looked, unlike many other photos where I was being forced to wear a dress.

Today, I am a proud man, with an even prouder mother. I'm going to College on the west coast, and holding my own as a man in the Bear community!

My message to LGBTQ youth is to report bullying as soon as it happens. If people don't listen or do anything about it, keep telling until someone does. It doesn't make you less of a person to tell someone that another person is bullying you.

Also, there is a whole other world outside of Middle School and High School.
A whole world that is yours for the taking, where you can make your mark.
But you have to be around to do it.

So my Queerlings, unite! Keep your head up and stay strong!!

Heath's first, famous-person same sex crushes:
John Stamos and singer Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20)
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Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America (Intersections: Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Genders and Sexualities)Transmen and FTMs: Identities, Bodies, Genders, and SexualitiesFTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in SocietyTransGeneration

Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

July 22, 2011

Darcy

Darcy, age 3
New Philadelphia, OH (1987)

As a kid, I was a little odd. I liked girly things to an extent. I was okay with dresses, but not jewelry. I liked dolls, but I preferred crafty creative endeavors more. I guess it was kind of telling that when playing with Barbie dolls, I always had two Barbies living together, with no Ken around. Ken was just not interesting or necessary to me.

I loved Punky Brewster. She was
one of my early role models/loves. The Spice Girls were a major obsession, too. I had a new favorite member every few weeks.

And Gwen Stefani back in the
No Doubt days was the love of my life. These women plastered my bedroom walls in high school.

I got teased pretty bad in high school.
I was called a slut, a dyke, a freak.

I cut off all my hair in 10th grade, and wore crazy thrift store clothes. That probably didn't help much, but
I liked looking that way.

I always kissed girls but dated guys, and I tried really hard to make those relationships work.

I thought there was something wrong with me, as I was so unhappy. I spent years in therapy and on medication, thinking I was somehow essentially broken and would never find that spark of joy in my life. I drank heavily and used drugs and hated myself.

Finally, now, at age 27, I have the most amazing, beautiful girlfriend I could ever ask for. I finally feel like the missing piece has been found.

There was never anything wrong with me, I was just trying to fit into a place that wasn't meant for me. I don’t know what my future holds, but I finally found happiness. And I know I'm just fine the way I am.

Darcy's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Soleil Moon Frye (as "Punky Brewster")
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Punky Brewster - Season OneSigned Stefani, Gwen 8x10 PhotoAccepting Ourselves and Others: A Journey into Recovery from Addictive and Compulsive Behaviors for Gays, Lesbians and BisexualsAddiction and Recovery of Gay and Lesbian Persons

Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

July 20, 2011

Alex

Alex, age 7
Glenrose, TX (1995)

This picture was taken at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glenrose, Texas.
I found it a few years ago, and my first thought was, "I look like such a girl!"

When I was 3, my grandparents took my brother and I toy shopping. My brother picked out a battery operated robot.
I wanted a GoGo My Walkin' Pup - basically a girl's robotic poodle. Amazingly, they bought it for me!

I've known I was different since age 3, but I don't think I'd ever heard the word 'gay' until 14. And I wouldn't admit to myself that I was until 20.

And in Texas, we didn't talk about gay people, unless to call someone a f*g. Throughout middle school, that someone was usually me.

I came out to my family at 21, and they couldn't have been better about it.

Everything is so much easier now that I've gotten out of my own way and allowed myself to be the man I was born to become.

Today, I'm sort of a mixed bag kind of gay. I like being athletic and working out, but I also like quilting. My main passion is being as limitlessly creative as I possibly can, and I've written seven books to date. One is about my experiences growing up gay in rural Texas.

If I could say one thing to anyone questioning themselves, it would be this:
In a contest between your head and your heart, always follow your heart.

Your head is subject to the opinions of the most charismatic person you meet.
But your heart is always the purest, most undiluted voice of who YOU really are.

Alex's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Austin St. John (the Red Power Ranger)
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

July 17, 2011

Eric

Eric, age 2
Lille, France (1995)

I've always been different. I loved playing with girls, but not with boys or playing boys' stuff. In fact, I hated boys because they were mean to me!

I was the weird boy of the school who didn't play football, and who spent his time drawing or reading. I even had Barbie dolls.

I first realized that I might be gay at 13. I felt things for boys before, but never thought I might be gay.

When I was sure I was gay, I wanted to die. I felt ashamed and disgusted. And I swore I would only date girls.

But at age 16, and pretty sure I wasn't gay? I fell madly in love with a guy!

I was feeling so good, I knew it couldn't be wrong. However, after being rejected by this guy who didn't love me back, I finally started to come out. I first told my friends and then my parents. They were very supportive, and I feel very lucky.

Today, I am out, gay, and proud - and I love it!
And PS: I still love wearing this hat, and I still think cowboys are so sexy!

Eric's first, famous-person same sex crush:
The two guys kissing in Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" video


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MEN: From His and His KissesIn & OutLiving in Arcadia: Homosexuality, Politics, and Morality in France from the Liberation to AIDSFrance Gay et Lesbian 2007 (French Edition)

Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

July 15, 2011

Collin

Collin, age 7
Hampshire, England (1997)

This is me and my little sister, back when I was a young girl named Naomi.
I was always a bit of a tomboy and always asked to have short hair, which Mum was reluctant to let me do. Unfortunately, she was proven right, as when I started Junior High, I was forced to grow it again, due to relentless bullying.

I didn't realize I was unusual until my sister was born. I'd always assumed that what I thought was normal: To wish you'd been born a boy, or hope you'd wake up one morning as a boy.

I fit in well with my younger brothers. But as I grew up, I started realizing that maybe I was the odd one out. I hated puberty and felt completely alienated from everyone around me, particularly as I went to an all-girls' school.

I'd heard of lesbians being different, so I tried looking at girls. But they still didn't interest me, so I gave up.

I didn't hear the word "transgender" until I was in college, as a friend I made there was transitioning from male to female.

And right away it made sense, even though I was scared to admit it to anyone. When I finally told my parents, they'd been expecting it for a while, although they still weren't happy about it.

I had a few bad reactions from friends too, particularly my then-boyfriend who caused me to end up in the hospital for a day. But on the whole, it went OK.

Today, I've just finished my 2nd year of a 3-year university degree. I've been on testosterone for over a year, and I'm preparing for top surgery soon. My family and friends are supportive, and I'm much more comfortable with who I am.

One troubling comment I got back then was:
"Why can't you just be a straight girl? It would be so much easier."

So to any other gay or transgendered people out there, I'd say to believe in yourself. Transitioning is about showing who you are, so don't let other people tell you what's right for you. It may be harder at first, but it's worth it in the long run.
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Transitions - A Guide To Transitioning for Transsexuals and Their FamiliesFrom the Inside Out: Radical Gender Transformation, FTM and BeyondTrue Selves: Understanding Transsexualism--For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping ProfessionalsFTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society

Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"