January 24, 2011


Chris, age 12
Albuquerque, New Mexico (1974)

I hated Little League. When this baseball pic was taken, I was being bullied by an older teammate for being a sissy and a fag. In hindsight, I wonder if he had a crush on me? The 2nd picture is something I wrote in my diary in February of 1974, before I knew I was gay. In it, I say:

'You know, sometimes I get worried, because I think that sex and religion kind of don’t mix. I love God, but I love, I think, Becky, too. I guess it’s because sometimes sex is evil, but right now, as far as I’ve gone, I don’t think Jesus minds. In fact, I think he’s pleased, I hope.

Have I grown any since I started?
Wait! Wizard of Oz started! I’ve got to go!!
-- Chris'

I'd been called a "fag" my whole life, but I didn't know what the word meant.
It never occurred to me that I would do anything but meet a girl, fall in love and get married, and that God would be pleased with me. It's obvious, reading the diary now, that subconsciously I sensed there was something else going on. And perhaps God would not be pleased with me at all. And that to some, "sex is evil."

I wrote the diary entry a year before the life-changing moment in 8th grade, when I was staring at my friend Tim in the class row in front of me. I had an erection, and I was thinking, 'Why do I have an erection looking at him? It doesn’t make any sense! Two penises don’t fit together!'

Then I made the horrible realization that would poison the rest of my teenage years: 'Oh, my God. That’s what a FAG is.'

I became surly and quiet, watching my own every move for any mannerism that might betray my homosexuality. For years, my cheeks would burn with embarrassment if I ever looked back on these journal pages.

I hated this gay boy. His girly script. His passion for Judy Garland and The Wizard of Oz. And his unabashed enthusiasm, which I came to see as effeminate.

But now, I love this boy so, so much.

If I had a time machine, I'd go back and hold him tight and tell him he was wonderful, good and brave - and to  not listen to anyone telling him otherwise.

Chris' first, famous-person same sex crush:
Larry Wilcox (on "CHiPs")

Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"


Unknown said...

I'm glad you kept your journal.

Zacki said...

I agree with Patrick, that is priceless!

Stee-Vee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stee-Vee said...

If you only knew what a dream boat and absolute sweetheart Chris grew up to be. GO TEAM!

Marlene Arteaga said...

This story makes me cry... It is great!

ElleG77 said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I heart this story so much and I would like to go back in time and give boy Chris a big fat hug and then sit down and watch the Wizard of Oz with him.

Anonymous said...

a precious, bittersweet story. thanks for sharing it.