January 15, 2011


Charlie, age 9
Santa Clara, CA (1979)

My family often went to the Great America theme park when we visited my Grandparents, who lived not far from the park. I enjoyed those trips. My Grandmother was very good to me and my sisters throughout our somewhat stormy childhoods.

I always knew I was different. And when I was this age, I refused to let my mother cut my hair over my ears.

I had a very particular - and perhaps too matchy-matchy - sense of personal style (note the socks), and I knew I had good legs. I still do.

I was a fey and immature child, and I was probably truly excited to see this Petunia Pig character.

Though I don’t remember this picture being taken.

I do remember being very young and wondering why everyone was so sure I was a boy, because I wasn't convinced.

I was always the class sissy at every school I went to, and very much bullied and picked on. Visiting relatives was always a nice vacation from all that...
I look happy in this picture, and I'm glad, because I don’t remember my childhood as especially happy. I was gay and lonely, and we were poor, and there were "problems at home."

Mostly, I feel tenderness for this silly boy. He has some very rough years ahead, but everything turns out pretty good - after a while.


Matt Algren said...

Wait, there's another way to choose those socks? I always just assumed you were supposed to match them with what you were wearing.

Anonymous said...

This made me a little sad.

coulrophobic agnostic said...

Too bad we didn't grow up together...I was also a hugely immature little girl and was always a bit...weird...compared to my classmates. I think we'd have hit it off.

Anonymous said...

I really love this photo of you. I used to go to Great America in Santa Clara also when I was a kid so it's nice to see that you went there too. Sorry about the hard times you had to go through when you were young the funny thing is that I was just like you in a way. My hair always had to be a certain way and like you my knee high socks also had to match what I was wearing even if they didn't show. I was called sissy and was never as tough or aggressive as my older and younger brothers but like you everything has turn out just fine.

Anonymous said...

Lots of hugs for you dude. Many of us do live through that phase. Hope you're living a happier life now.

Daniel said...

Same age as me and stories so similar. Maybe we were soulmates in another universe somewhere.