January 13, 2011


Eric, age 6
Berkeley, California (1960)

My name's Eric. I'm 6 here, and I knew I was different after this very episode! Oh how I LOVED that skirt! It swirled around and around like a dervish.

Did anybody have a clue, when the cops brought me back from my impromptu solo promenade along Shattuck Ave., the busiest street in Berkeley?

"Eric's gone!

Call the cops!"

There's something about a long silky scarf, petticoats and pearls - to make a pretty young thing like me feel BEAUTIFIL!

Old ladies always thought I was a girl anyway.

And this was an act of rebellion, of pure glamor.

I guess I wanted to get the feel for what it was like being a Princess. People noticed you. The scarf flowed nicely behind me as I sashayed away on a sparkly pink cloud. People honked.

"Hello? Police? Oh thank god! My little boy just took off...
I think he's dressed up like a, a...princess!"

"A what?"

"Yes, a princess. He's into the girly stuff right now. He's only five years old. Please, you've got to find him, he can't have gotten far! Look for the flowing pink and blue scarves, they're his favorite."

An all points bulletin went out:
"Five year old in drag - look for blond curls - blue eyes - pink scarf."

It didn't take long and I was escorted back home right up to the front door, arriving in the back seat like royalty, holding up my skirts as I stepped out.

"Hi Mom! Guess what?!"

Mom didn't punish me. Rather, she held me close like I was her precious cherub.
The cops smiled. I was fabulous!

"Here Eric, go paint what happened!"

Fantasy intact, Mom took a picture while I created the latest masterpiece.

Eric's first, famous-person same sex crushes:
Paul McCartney, David Cassidy, & David Bowie 

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

what a fantastic mom!

Anonymous said...

Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring was the first thing that came to mind.

Rockssugar said...

How wonderful that you have proof that you have always been fabulous!

Lee Wind said...

I love this story, and I love this blog!
Thanks for sharing,

TiLT said...

Fantastic! And what a great mom :)

Aline said...

lovely pic!
this blog is adorable. to me, it's like an oracle: everyday, i read a new cute story over a cute pic of a cute little creature that grew up to be fabulous and unafraid. cheers! god bless you all!

Toon said...

Great photo and great story. So glad I was directed to this blog!

Brighid's House O' Masks said...

Very cute pose and best story so far!

xine said...

I aspire to be such a nurturing, loving mom!

E.l.M. said...

Love that Paul V. created this amazing place/blog.
Eric, we're close it age. Great you got "IT" early & maybe your mom did too.
I knew at six; no one else ever did cuz somehow I internalized that what I knew inside was not OK with others - so I added a 7-second delay to all my actions/words to send it through a 'rest-of-world' filter. Never wore anything frilly or did anything to let ANYONE else know; over time that proved nearly fatal and some BIG EVENTs could have been avoided if I was encouraged to be true to myself.

Anonymous said...

I love this! Made me tear up a bit b/c your Mom was so sweet to you and encouraged your creativity and obviously adored you to bits!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an awesome Mama!

Anonymous said...

Really hope my soon looks back someday & feels like we were this loving & supportive of him...

Mariana said...

I love the way you laid out your story - you are a gifted storyteller. Reading your words gives me, a mom-to-be, a huge amount of joy. Hate and loathing are an expression of fear, like prison walls of the heart. By living your life proudly - with bold strokes and vivid colors - you do your part in tearing down those walls. A big thanks goes to you and your beautiful mom for that!! xoxo

Jenifer said...

Tears of joy in my eyes after reading this! How wonderful!!!

roger said...

what a fabulous mom! bet she never missed a beat!

Olivia said...

i'm not LGBT but i have to say i enjoyed this post and picture greatly! wonderful...