January 23, 2011


Jerome, age 8
Groesbeck, Texas (1959)

We didn't have the word "gay" when I was a child, we only had the word "sissy!"
Thanks to my older sister's movie magazines in the late 1950's, I was obsessed with Hollywood glamour. Here, in this photo, I think I'm emulating either Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, or Mamie Van Doren - perhaps all three!

Growing up "special" in a tiny, rural Texas town wasn't easy.

But thanks to "The Rifleman" TV show and those sparkly dresses in the fashion shows on "Queen For A Day," I survived.

Through the years when I've come across this photo, I would cringe.

But now, some 50 years after it was taken, I find it charming.

Self-acceptance at last!

Jerome's first, famous-person same sex crushes:
Ty Hardin (on "Bronco")
Johnny Crawford (on "The Rifleman")

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...

such a sweet picture! it's great that you've learned to love it :)

Spouse Walker said...

Jane Russell. Perfection. Flawless!!!


Unknown said...

This is a fabulous photo! Cherish it always!