January 17, 2011


Chuck Willman, age 5
Milwaukee, WI (1966)

This photo of me was meant to be a "gift" for my father, who was training in another city for a new job for much of that summer.
I was pissed during this entire 'studio' session at some mall; the photographer trying everything to get me to behave.

My mother tells me I 'cried and carried on like a little girl' the entire time, embarrassing her to no end. This picture was the last one taken by the photographer after spending nearly an hour trying to get the perfect "little boy" shot for my father to have.

"Early signs of a sissy"

I knew I was gay as a young kid, maybe around age 7. That's when I began 'playing' with other boys, as in show-me-yours-I'll-show-you-mine-like games with little boys. I was fascinated and couldn't get enough. 

The feelings intensified as I got older, eventually developing into that horrible ache most of us felt as teenagers when what we wanted was right next to us, but so far out of reach. But I still 'played' with boys.


In fact, my first love was a 15 year old junior-varsity football star with whom I enjoyed a very sexual relationship. He was the first person - outside of family - who told me he loved me. And I was hopelessly in love with him.

My first crush was on Chad Everett, who I wrote a fan letter to and received a small photo of, which I treasured for a couple years. I also LOVED David Cassidy & Shirley Jones. I wrote a fan letter to them, and received a large photo back of the two of them. 

In the 80's I was a television make-up artist working primarily at CBS & NBC studios. One day I found myself working with Shirley Jones (long story), and I told her about my crush on her step-son. She was so gracious, and loved the story.

So that's ME. Little Chuckie, who turned out to be a great big fruit, but who doesn't regret it at all. I have this photograph on my desk at home where I write poetry and erotic stories. It makes me laugh. 

This picture has become my favorite photograph of myself because I see in my eyes a truth that no other photograph of me has ever captured. I was a prissy little boy who hated doing boy things, and I matured into a gay man who - eventually, and after some therapy - grew to love himself for being gay.

And when I feel lost sometimes, I look into the honest, innocent eyes of myself as a five year old pansy! 

Chuck's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Chad Everett (on "Medical Center") & David Cassidy


Anonymous said...


Kerstin, your sister said...

I can remember many times in our childhood when I, too, thought you were "different." And I knew I was "different", too. I just couldn't put a name on it I'm glad you are as proud to be gay as I am proud of you.

Rog said...

Chad Everett! That's classic ... I liked him too. I think it was the first crush I shared with my Mom and my older sister. We all slobbered over him in Medical Center.

Patrick said...

Being a gay man born 1957--our worlds were so similar.The oldest on the sons on My Three Sons,being the last to ever be picked for a gym team in class, becoming a bit of a poetry fiend myself & then developing that into good writing as a career along with my music.This is something I see that you, Sir, most certainly have also done. This is a great piece of writing.

Sabine Lavine said...

I've been through this entire blog and this pic is my favorite. And I love the story that goes with it. Thanks for the giggle.