February 08, 2011

Ben

Ben, age 6
Dallas, Texas (1984)

This picture still cracks me up! I mean, look at me: the posing, the tutu, the Bronco's t-shirt (???), the bow in my hair, mom's heels, and a cocked leg!

I wonder what my sister, Erin (background) thought when she saw me? I also wonder who took this picture? My Mom or Dad?!

My parents said they always knew - hmm, I wonder how! While I don't recall this particular dress-up, what stayed with me was what my Mom lived by and instilled in us:

She'd say, 'Let's put on a show!'

My mom (RIP) was a showy woman, and she liked prizes.

Today I'm a showy man, and I like prizes too. Coincidence?

And in one way or another, we have been playing dress up ever since. Luckily for me, my parents always accepted us just the way we are. They encouraged me to be and do whatever I wanted. Thankfully, I never wanted to be a ballet dancer or a football player, because I still can't dance or catch a ball.

I was probably about 10 when my attraction to men started to kick in. I knew I couldn't love Wonder Woman forever, so I switched gears to "Growing Pains."

I crushed on Jeremy Miller (Ben Seaver) for when I wanted a cute friend to kiss, and Allen Thicke (the dad) for that sexy father figure role. Also, I loved Ricky Schroeder on "Silver Spoons." Sooo cute! And last, Jerry Sharell, as Mickey the bass player on Kids Incorporated!

Of course I also loved "My Little Pony," brushing out my sister's Barbies hair, and flipping through the International Male Catalog. What can ya do?

Who knew that I'd grow up wanting to be an ice skater, then a musical theater performer (who acts and sings, not dances), and who now manages a hair salon in Boston - that my husband owns?! That is pretty cool.

And anything is possible for anyone - even for a little gay boy from Texas.

Ben's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Jeremy Miller (Ben Seaver on "Growing Pains")
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Growing Pains: The Complete First Season Silver Spoons - The Complete First Season Kids Incorporated - The Beginning

10 comments:

A Daft Scots Lass said...

GREAT POST. Love the bow.

Hermes Trismeg said...

Paul,
What a tremendous service you are doing for the Gay Community! You touch millions of lives with a few strokes on your keyboard. Bravo!

Fowl Ideas said...

You don't need to be gay to be hated. All you need is to be different from those who need someone to hate.

Do an internet search for "another jew in the oven" (include the parentheses) and you'll better understand why there was so much hatred at Columbine.

Keep up the good work.

Universal Truth - Code 2 live by said...

“This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” William Shakespeare

Well done for being a blog of note!

Des said...

I think it makes a fantastic fashion statement. The pose is classic.

Lauren Ball said...

Totally awesome blog! Every single post just sings to me! YES!

Ms. Carroll said...

I love it! I'm the sister in the background and I'm so proud of you, even though it was MY turn to wear the heeels that day! I love you Ben...exactly YOU!

David said...

Well, I'm the father referred to in the piece. Ben's mother and I have always been very proud of Ben and his many accomplishments. And also very thankful that he did not follow a career in fashion design!

l1veder@d said...

Gosh Ben, your family really loves you! You're lucky :) Thanks for the story... And not becoming a fashion designer XD

dD

smartalek said...

What a beautiful story!
Thank you so much for sharing it here.
And what a decade this has been...
You have my deepest condolences on the loss of your mother (may she rest in peace)...
and my most joyful congratulations on your marriage...
and on bringing your wonderful selves here to San-Francisco-East, Gomorrah-on-the-Charles -- in the very first state in the USA to legalize marriage for everyone.
(It's also the state with THE lowest divorce rate of all 50 -- funny how that works out. Of course some might doubt this stat, claiming media bias. And they could well have a valid point; the source for this is those infamous godless, America-hating commies at the Wall Street Journal*.)
Texas's loss is our gain.

*Source: http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/documents/st_DIVORCE_20100813.html