January 17, 2011


Stephen, age 7
Richmond, IN (1989)

Here I am looking fashionable for my first day of second grade. I mean, who doesn’t look good in a fishing shirt? My parents, being good Midwesterners, always required a photo shoot on the first day of school. This is one shot of many.

It's also clear from this photo that I was not in charge of decorating the house.

“Out Fishing”
For me, I didn’t have a clear concept of “being gay” for quite some time, but going to school suddenly made me realize I was different even if I didn’t know how. I’ve always had a high-pitched voice, clearly had no problem with putting my hand on my hip, or dangling a limp wrist. At this time in my life, I was also visiting a speech therapist weekly to work on saying words like “squirrel,” which I had great trouble with.

Regardless, I always loved school and excelled at it even when I felt out of place and insecure. Looking back on this photo as a very out gay man, I’m proud of little Stephen and everything he went through to get us where we are today.

I don’t think he had any idea what was coming.

Stephen's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Bruce Boxleitner (on "Scarecrow & Mrs. King")
My mother loved that show and I was always really drawn to him. He made me have very funny feelings that I couldn’t quite understand at the time.
I have no regrets. He was hot. 
Scarecrow and Mrs. King: The Complete Second Season Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest The Glass Bottom Boat Man's Favorite Sport?


Anonymous said...

Funny! Cute!!

Kathryn Thomas said...

"It's also clear from this photo that I was not in charge of decorating the house" - nice.

Your speech therapist with words like "squirrel" made me think of David Sedaris. If you haven't read it, find his speech therapy story; he makes ME weep with laughter and I'm straight and female, so I can only imagine how great he'd be for someone who has similar memories.