David, age 5
Enfield, CT (1981
This pic was taken in the summer of 1981 at a motocross track. The little girl is my cousin Nicole who, incidentally, would be the first person I would tell about being gay, when I was 14. While my male cousins & brothers watched my dad and uncles race around on dirt-bikes, Nicole and I stayed behind to work on our posing. We'd practice dances made up to Madonna and Debbie Gibson singles with our other cousins, Heather and Jenni.
|"Strike A Pose"|
The first time I recognized a boy crush was watching "Little House On The Prairie" with my mom. I longed for Albert (the adopted son) to be my friend, and share a bed with me as he did with the boys on the show.
I also practiced kissing him on my pillows, as friends do.
Looking back on this photo now only fills me with joy! I was lucky enough to have a family who loved and supported me from day one, always indulging my "stereotypically-gay" leanings. Growing up in a working class town in the early 90's wasn't so easy for a flamboyant Madonna-Wannabe. Especially for a boy.
My parents, though, dutifully drove me to dance lessons and theater rehearsals, just as they took my 2 younger brothers to their football and baseball practices. Who else can say their father waited in line at Barnes & Noble to buy Madonna's "SEX" book for their already-out-of-the-closet, 15-year old, gay son?!?!
I'm in LA now, working in the entertainment industry. I can say with 100% certainty that if it wasn't for my family and particularly my mom and dad,
I wouldn't be here today. Without that safe haven of home and the enthusiasm my parents brought to the table, there's no telling where I might have ended up.
So along with my message to gay kids, I want to emphasize: I hope parents of young children who are struggling with their sexuality read this, and realize the support & unconditional love you give your child means EVERYTHING to them. And effects how their life can turn out.
David's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Matthew Laborteaux ("Little House On The Prairie")