January 24, 2011


Eric, age 12
Lincoln, Illinois (1972)

I was raised on a pig farm. This picture was taken at my 12th birthday party, at a weenie roast we held in the corn crib. When I wasn't singing along to Jesus Christ Superstar, I was listening to Alice Cooper, Uriah Heep, and Frank Zappa.

"The queerest farm boy, ever"
For a farm boy, I was always a 'flashy dresser'. I wish you could see how cool that shirt is under the safari jacket.

My idol was Graham Kerr on "The Galloping Gourmet" TV show. I think for my class picture this year I had a neckerchief tied to the side.

At 12 I was already 6ft tall, so my innate flamboyance was hard to miss.

I felt like a complete alien, and 6 months after this photo was taken, I tried to kill myself. I failed, struggled through high school, and escaped to Chicago in 1979.

I met my current husband of 22 years in 1989, and in 1995 we adopted our daughter, who just turned 16.

I wish I could go back in time and whisper into this desperately unhappy boy's ear, to let him know how much love and joy he's going to experience in his life.

Eric's first, famous-person same sex crushes:
Race Bannon ("The Adventures of Jonny Quest")
Bill Bixby (on "The Courtship of Eddie’s Father")

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

What a wonderful story. We share one of the same crushes, btw.

Thiago said...

He visto hoy un artículo en EL PAIS sobre este blog....


¡Qué éxito! jajaja Pero con tantas visitas y tantos seguidores, ¿cómo no comenta nadie?

Bueno, enhorabuena.... Bezos.

Anonymous said...

Race Bannon! I love it! I'd fight you for him to this day! :) LOL

Eric said...


Anonymous said...

Your sweet story took my breath away. I'd whisper in that fabulous boy's ear as well - "you are unique, original, and loved..and so very, very brave..." Thank you for your story!