Pekin, Illinois (1989)
As a kid, I always had way more guy friends than girl friends, and I wanted to look and dress like a boy. Even my parents were convinced I was a boy. My mom wanted to name me Ben, but my dad said "No!" because people would call me "Bengay" - which is kind of ironic considering how that all turned out.
It is hard to pinpoint the age, but I guess I always knew I may be different. Especially since the girls I was friends with didn't want to look like a boy or build forts.
As you get older, you start to realize being gay isn't the norm, especially in such a small town in middle America.
Although being made fun of hurt my feelings, I never let it get to me. I was determined to not let anyone see it hurt me, and eventually I grew thick skin and slowly stopped caring what people thought.
My first girl crush was on Jennifer Aniston, but I wasn't legitimately attracted to a woman until college. I didn't get to officially "come out" though, as my college roommates told everyone after they saw me sneaking out a girl who had stayed the night with me.
Today, I guess I am almost a poster story for having the most supportive friends and family, who have Platinum PFLAG status. I am so thankful for them, my wonderful friends, my chosen career path complete with all the accomplishments, and a wonderful dog.
Oh, and my girly hair cut now. _____________________________________________________
Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"