Shannon, age 6
Gardiner, Maine (1984)
This is me in costume before my very first dance recital, and I was THRILLED. Honestly, I've been gay for as long as I can remember, or at the very least "different", and was able to put appropriate words to it later.
|"I do believe in faeries!"|
But at the same time, I wanted to perform and feel the joy I felt when I was dancing on stage.
There was a time when I would beg to go to dance class, and pictures like this one would be the result. And then my parents would be too embarrassed to display them. That act only served to cement the shame I felt about my desires - be they gay, gender-different, or simply theatrical.
Now I look at this photo and am so proud of the strength I had at such a young age, to try and pursue my own personal truth.
And I can't think of a better lesson to impart to other gay kids.
Shannon's first, famous-person same sex crush:'Cuz he liked to dance too!!!