January 28, 2011


Kevin, age 3
Granby, Connecticut (1964)

This is a picture of me with my sister and her life sized doll. She used to love to dress me in that dolls' clothes when we played together! I remember when I was a little older, I'd sneak up into the attic to play with this doll and her Barbie dolls. I just loved dressing them and spent every minute I could with them.

"With Paula... and The Future Bride Of Chucky!"
I remember trying to “come out” to my Mother when I was about 10, but I just couldn't find the words to clearly say what I was feeling. I could only explain that I liked to do things that girls liked to do, like play house and play with dolls. She assured me it was OK for boys to like those things, and not to worry about it.

The deeper secret that I could not bring myself to tell her was my fascination with grown mens' hairy forearms and arm pits. We had a roofer one Summer working on the house, and I'd climb the ladder every day to watch him work shirtless - without really understanding why he was so fascinating.

Looking at this pic today, I remember how happy I was in that innocent time before beginning school and becoming a total misfit. I always stood out as the effeminate one, constantly picked on all through grade school into high school.

My Father and brother did their best trying to “butch” me up, but I was just too sensitive to enjoy our frequent hunting and fishing trips, and always preferred doing something creative instead. I was always much more comfortable spending time with the women in my family.

My way of rationalizing all of this, was that I was learning how to do everything a man and a woman could do, so I'd always be able to take care of myself.

I never lost faith that there would be a "happily ever after" for me and I finally found it! I have been with my husband 15 years this year. We retired earlier this year (both before age 50) and we're living a permanent vacation in Florida now.

We had a wonderful Civil Union in Connecticut when they became legal, and also married there when that law passed.

I wouldn't change one thing about my past struggles, because those challenges have made me the self-confident person that I am today!

So remember, kids: school years are hard for everyone. Even the most popular and highest achievers have their crosses to bear. I learned later in life that most bullies, when challenged, back right down.

Bullies attack because of their own insecurities. The most beautiful don't think they are good looking, and the brightest don't believe they're smart enough.

So just be strong and be confident - even when you are scared to death!

Kevin's first famous person same sex crushes:
Robert Conrad ("The Wild, Wild West")
Robert's tight pants made me crazy!
Oh, and Wally from 'Leave It To Beaver' sure looked great in a T-shirt!

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Patrick said...

Wally was one of my early crushes also.

Leigh CAPUTO said...

I loved your story Kevin, and you won't believe it but I'm sitting on my couch in Granby, CT right now! I hope that we as a community will support all of our children regardless of sex or sexuality. Thank you for reminding me to teach and model tolerance every day!

Spouse Walker said...

Hairy forearms and armpits? Aint it the truth. SKIN! That's what is was. I always wanted to touch and melt into another man since before i can remember. lol. That doll looks like it had an equally large spirit to match its size.

Randuwa said...

We shared a crush on Robert Conrad...and to think at the time, I thought I was the only little boy on the planet who did! Cheers.