Michael, age 11
Syracuse, NY (1986)
I remember this moment vividly, because it was our 5th grade school photos at our Catholic elementary school. The photographer was a gorgeous man in his 20's, and I was in love for the first time. I was feeling quite fierce that morning, and decided to wear my outfit from last Easter, since it was a big hit. Overall it was a good day, and the picture speaks for itself.
|"5th grade school photo and feeling fierce!"|
I really struggled to make sense of it, and kept the secret which was slowly making me insane. I can recall feeling so alone and wondering why I was so different from other kids.
What really helped me through it all was my best friend Paris, and a song called "Hold On" by Wilson-Phillips.
I would listen to that song EVERY DAY and hope that I would eventually be OK.
All in all, my experiences made me a very strong and fabulous person. I am very happy with who I am and what I offer the world. My core belief is that I am a person of integrity. No one can take that away from me, ever. When I look at this picture now, I feel awesome! I am GAY and I think that is a special gift.
My message to the LGBT youth struggling now, is the same that helped me:
HOLD ON - and know that you are loved, and it gets better.
Reach out and get the support from all of us in the community.
And remember - what you resist, persists.
Michael's first, famous-person same sex crushes:
Burt Ward (Robin on "Batman")
Patrick Duffy (in "Dallas")
Scott Baio (in "Joanie Loves Chachi")