Matt, age 7
Southington, Connecticut (1987)
Always an over-achiever, I can be seen here demonstrating not one but two simultaneous limp wrists. The fabulousness has clearly blinded my brother.
Even at this age, I would tell other kids that I was gay. I didn't know what it meant, but I knew it was bad and won me lots of attention. The fact that it got me negative attention didn't matter.
Around age 15, I realized, 'Oh, wait -- I really AM gay.'
And typical teen angst ensued.
For a while, I just wanted to hide from it. But that 7-year-old pride parade in my heart couldn't be stifled. And by 11th grade, I'd made a promise to myself that if anyone asked, I'd be honest.
Unfortunately, my schoolmates decided that the gym-class locker room would be the time that they'd asked me.
"Why do you wear nail polish?'" someone demanded.
"Ummmmm," I said.
"Are you gay?"
"Uh ... yes, but that's not why."
I think this particular nuance was lost in the ensuing bedlam. But I was actually pretty lucky, as there was minimal physical violence after that, and nothing bad enough to leave a mark. And my family and friends have been very supportive.
These days, my husband and I have been together for 10 years, and my parents, my brother, his wife, and the entire clan all welcome and love him.
And that little 7-year-old is still running around inside me, telling everyone that I'm gay with absolutely no reservations.
Matt's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Dean Cain (on "Lois & Clark")
What a great blog and very touching stories!!! Just love it
I remember that 7-year-old and he was just as fabulous then as he is now. So glad you posted this.
I didn't want to comment on this story in particular, but it does have a common theme in this blog. There seems to be so many stereotypes playing out here. Limp wrists at seven- MUST be gay. Boy with legs crossed at three, or hand on hip at five or six, "I can't believe no one knew I was gay". Got into cousin's makeup kit at age five-a sign of things to come. Does anyone understand what I mean? I didn't realise that we actually feed into these stereotypes. You can't actually believe that a three year old with crossed legs is exhibiting early signs of the gay man he will become. I really like this blog, so I am NOT condemning it. I just got a bit uncomfortable when I noticed this pattern. By the way, I don't have any photos of me with my hands on my hip; in girl's clothing; striking a glamorous pose; legs crossed; with a doll, etc. Does this mean that I am straight?
I will say it - again: Each person pics their OWN pic and tells their OWN story. Masculine, feminine, neither - each picture & story is perfect for THAT person. Rather than explaining your "non-stereotypical" gay childhood as a comment, why don't you choose a pic of yourself and write YOUR story, and submit it too? I could easily show you dozens of pictures here, that don't fit the "stereotype" pattern you accuse this blog of furthering. And in my opinion, your discomfort about that is, well - discomforting.
Hi-I didn't accuse anybody of "furthering" anything. I just said that I noticed a pattern where most of the posters make mention of traits, poses and behaviours (as children), that were somehow indicators of future homosexuality. NO offence was meant. I know you want this blog to be a happy place where nobody would post an opinion contrary to the general theme, but I can't be the only one who feels this way. I thought gay's were trying to get away from the perception of being limp-wristed, sashaying, lithping cross-dressers, and all the other traits I thought were stereotypes. Here, it's "look how GAY I was when I was 5!"
Jeremy - no offense taken and none given, and I have no problem with differing opinions here. But let me say this: Gay people can try and pretend that all those stereotypes don't exist -- but it doesn't make it true. And the sooner we stop caring about how OTHERS perceive us, the better. I could post 1000 pics of only masculine gay boys and feminine gay girls, and some people will still choose to believe we are all nothing but the stereotypes. The larger message of my blog is self-acceptance, without needing anyone else's approval.
Thank you, Paul. And a "well done" for a very enjoyable blog. I haven't come across another quite like this one. I'll keep coming back. I may even post something, although I'm not quite out there.
Love your sense of humor.
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