January 28, 2011


Kenny, age 11
Detroit, Michigan (1985)

Every Halloween costume from my childhood was female. Over the years, I'd dressed as a witch, a bag lady, a gypsy, a girl vampire, and a girl clown. This one is a particular favorite, since most of my costume clothing here was loaned by my mom. Tonight I would tell people I was "a girl punker".

I wore my mom's shoes, skirt, and jewelry. I think we bought the neon shirt at the mall, and it doubled as part of an outfit for an upcoming dance recital where, I did a routine to Cyndi Lauper's "She Bop." Midway through the number, the stage went to black light, so fluorescents were a necessity.

My mom did my hair and make-up, and she said, 'Rod Stewart hangs his head upside down and blow dries his hair to give it height.'

And so, that's what we did.

I'm guessing this photo was taken by one of my parents. I'm biting my lips in order to conceal a giant smile I was holding in, because I couldn't wait to get out trick or treating that night.

Oh, and my mom still hangs that cardboard skeleton in our house to this day.

Kenny's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Scott Baio

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


The Angle Family said...

Kenny, I don't think I ever met your mom, but she sounds awesome. I so hope my son will always have the confidence to be himself to the fullest. Thanks for sharing this, yet another aspect to your awesomeness. p.s. Love the skeleton.

Anonymous said...

Kenny you are the best! Love, Jessie

Unknown said...

Kenny, this brings so many memories back to me. I always had fun getting dressed to go out with you. We were older when we met, but the sentiment of this photo was always there.

johnny said...

i'm diggin deep for my photo to post.
this is amazing. soo proud of you

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

My family had a cardboard skeleton just like that on all our Halloweens!

Ana said...

I've got that very same skeleton hanging on my wall. How very awesomely coincidental. I'm a straight teen girl, but my best friend is trying to come out to her mom, and I've been looking over the stories here to encourage her.

Unknown said...

we don't know each other at all -- have to say that i keep coming back to this picture because it looks exactly like me at 11, also in 1985. and i would have worn this outfit too. this brings me such joy because it's obvious how much joy it brings you, kenny. and what an awesome mom indeed!