Michael, age 4
Fargo, ND (1971)
Here I am, with my dolls Judy and Dapper Dan. I don't mean to dismiss Dapper Dan’s importance to my development as a gay man, but at the time he was just a passing fancy in my life. He was an "educational toy" that my mom got for me, because my pre-school teacher had told her I needed some help with my fine motor skills. I do remember finding the whole process of unbuttoning and unzipping this little doll-man's clothing oddly fascinating. Hmm...
is of me and Judy. Her "birth name" was Drowsy. I wish I could remember if I'd asked for her? Or, was indulged by a mother who, after having 3 sons and no daughters, spotted an opportunity. Or, we were simply hooked up by either my mom or a knowing relative.
All I know, is that from the moment I laid eyes on her, she was my Judy. You can guess where the name came from…
When I pulled her string, she would demand, in the bitchiest diva voice I’d ever heard,
"I wanna drinka water!!!"
I couldn’t get enough of it. Judy said other things too, but if you pulled the string 4 times, you could skip through the rotation to get to the good one. I eventually wore her voice out pulling the string, but by that point, I'd already learned how to mimic her quite well.
Much to my parents' chagrin, I would bitchily call out from my bed in the middle of the night, 'I wanna drinka water!!!' To which my mom would always come scurrying in, with a Dixie cup full of water.
And thus, a diva was born – all thanks to a doll named Judy!
Sadly, about a year after this photo was taken, Judy drowned in a tragic swimming pool accident on a family vacation in California.
Michael's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Matthew Laborteaux (Albert on "Little House on the Prairie")
Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"