Keith, age 2Detroit, Michigan (1964)
Believe it or not, I remember the moment, captured in this pic, when I saw "Him" - a dreamy, teenage, male friend of my mother's family. I didn't feel gay or "different" at this time, just in love. And, I'm so glad that I'm dressed quite handsomely in my tie, plaid vest, and penny loafers. To this day, I feel a rush when I look at this pic, which is why I love it so much.
So it's the mid to late 60's, but, unfortunately - I don't have any pictures of me wearing my Mary Poppins hat and trying to fly with my Mary Poppins umbrella. I suppose it was around 1965 that I did sense "different" when I'd hear my parents arguing about the clothes and toys my mother was buying me.
Closely associated was my constant desire to fly either like Ms. Poppins or
The Flying Nun, which drove my father nuts.
Then there was Penny Robinson (Angela Cartwright) of "Lost In Space."
I wanted to be her, especially when she was "dropping out" on the planet of teenagers and go-go dancing. Sipping TAB at my parents' bar, I'd be Ann-Marie (Marlo Thomas) of "That Girl" and, whenever I had to dust, I'd imagine I was one of the glamorous, wafting women in the Pledge furniture polish ads.
But the guy who really "wow"-ed me back then was <blush> William Shatner! On the original "Star Trek," when he was paired up with Michael Forest in the 'Who Mourns for Adonais?' episode - I was one happy, tingly, little shaver.
Then the 70's came, and things went dark. Going from happy, little shaver to the object of bullies' anger wasn't easy, but all of us go through bad times throughout our lives. I think the ability to fly away, if even just in my mind, helped me get through and into a better time and place.
Keith's first, famous-person same sex crush:William Shatner ("Star Trek")
Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"
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