March 29, 2012

Lauren

Lauren, age 4
Atlanta, Georgia (1995)

I might not have known at age 4 that I was a lesbian, but I knew by the time I turned 8-years old that I was beginning to wonder why I wasn't like my cousin, Alex. All I wanted to do was wear boy's clothes like him, play with action figures like him, and to talk about my girl crushes like he did.


I'll never forget my first love in 8th grade. But being in middle school, not many kids knew what the meaning of LGBTQ was. Luckily for me, when I came out at that age to my friends, everyone was supportive and I wasn't bullied like I feared.

Today at age 20, I have an astounding partner, a successful job being an EMT, and supportive family and friends.

My little encouragement for LGBTQ kids and people today is to not let others define you. I am who I am today, and I was born this way.
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

March 23, 2012

Michael

Michael, age 3
Connersville, Indiana (1972)

In the 1970's, I would spend quite a bit of time on our covered porch, keeping rhythm with my grandmother in our rocking chairs, and watching the world go by as the sun set.

I wasn't very old, yet I felt right at home being an adult.

I would often tell anyone who asked if I had a girlfriend, that I was a "confirmed bachelor" - even though I didn’t really know what that meant.

It was an adult thing to say and, for some reason, I knew it described me.



One evening, my grandma leaned over and said, "Mickey, I may not be around too much longer, but I want you to know that you are different, you are special. You'll figure it out someday, but don't let anyone ever make you feel bad about yourself. You're loved and always will be."

As I continued to rock, attempting to understand what she meant, I decided that I should just remain quiet and let it sit. I continued to rock, and continued to think about what she meant. I still do.

It wasn't too long as a teen before I knew just how different I really was, and why others might try to make me feel bad about myself. But I like to think that each day, I continue to glean a bit from my grangmother's words.

Today, I still know I am loved and always will be.
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

March 15, 2012

Philippe

Philippe, age 8
Montréal, Quebec, Canada (1992)

I have two vivid memories about kindergarten. The first one is about a boy from another city who moved back to his home in the middle of the year. I kept having dreams about him for a long time, though I can barely remember if he even ever really existed. In any case, I liked him a lot.

The other memory is how my teacher and class thought I was weird because I never enjoyed playing in the "little house" with the other kids. For some reason, that little house was so popular, but I hated it.

All the kids would be playing and screaming; the girls would pretend to make tea and the boys would swing hammers. I just couldnt stand it.

Around this age, my parents signed me up with the soccer team, because apparently I preferred to pick flowers around the field, rather than run and kick a ball.


After that, my parents signed me up in the Boy Scouts, which is a whole other story that involves some of my first experiences with sexuality.

I pretty much always knew I was different, and I've always been mostly happy about it, especially when I didnt know what it really meant. I am lucky to have parents who love and support me, and three amazing sisters who just cant wait to rant and rave about guys with me.

Life is full of surprises. I am now in a relationship with a georgous man, I'm studying medical science, and I'm hoping to do some research and health care for my community.

Thanks for doing this great project. I see a lot of homophobia around me, and it makes me so happy when I see ideas such as this one, that are so full of love.
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

March 06, 2012

Danny

Danny, age 5
Brownwood, Texas (1956)

Looks a little too happy for a small-town Texas kid, doesn't it? I love this picture now, and about two years later, I knew it was boys I liked.

I experimented with the boys around me through Cub and Boy Scouts during junior and high school, and I came out once I was on my own.

I don't remember much in the way of teasing or bullying as I was growing up. For one thing,
I was smarter than the rest of the kids in my classes, so the teachers noticed me.

I also had a big brother who was tough. Unlike the rest of my family, he looked out for me.

Soon after this photo was taken, the rest of my family began mocking my comedy and dance routines. They would drag me out and make me perform in front of neighbors - for the express purpose of everyone having a laugh, but me.
And not the good-natured kind of laughter.

But when I got away from them 13 years later,
I became a professional performer and pursued it for 20 years.

So my advice to the gay kids of today is:

Keep your dreams close, and don't give anyone the power to take them away from you.
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Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"

March 03, 2012

LA CA event - March 5th

This Monday, March 5th in Los Angeles - The Village Variety Pack presents our 1st Anniversary Celebration party and it's gonna be a super fun event!

We'll be featuring slides from the blog, and 3 amazing guests
will be appearing live to read their growing up gay stories:

Sutan Amrull (aka Raja Gemini, Season 3 winner of Ru Paul's Drag Race)
Todd Hughes (filmmaker, "Hits So Hard")
Clinton Leupp (aka the inimitable Miss Coco Peru)

Also part of this wonderful night of talent is:
Peter Mac as Judy Garland
Uncle Gay & Aunt Bitter (aka comics Tony Tripoli & Penelope Lombard)
The Forever Young Chorale Group
Charles Romaine, singer

Tickets are $15 ** and available at:
- www.lagaycenter.org - or by calling (323) 860-7300
All proceeds benefit the LA Gay & Lesbian Center's youth outreach programs.
** Use the password "GAGA" at the box office for $8 tickets!
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