February 12, 2011


Mike, age 5
Pendleton, Indiana (1977)

Don’t be fooled by the masculine blue pajamas I'm wearing. This photo takes place before I'd started dressing up in my mom's old nightgowns, a wig, and costume jewelry. Me and my little sister (pictured here) would both get diva’d up and prance around the house, lip-synching to Marie Osmond and The Mandrell Sisters. Or pretend we were the oil baroness wives from Dallas.

I always liked to play Sue Ellen Ewing, because she was so deliciously mean.
And drunk...

"Wishing Luke Skywalker would use the Force on me."
Our neighbor Cindy would come over and the three of us would create elaborate dramas, with each of our characters a beautiful runway model.

I always wanted to play an aging star who was losing her beauty, but determined to do so with grace and attitude.

Even at an early age, I knew that milking a situation for all its turmoil was, in a word, tragifabulous.

And yet, I first knew
I was gay around age 5.

I was in love with Mark Hamill and wanted to be Luke Skywalker. But more importantly, I wanted to touch his perfectly tanned chest. The way his desert poncho allowed just the slightest glimpse of his collarbone and pec muscles did something to me that I couldn't explain.

All I knew was that whenever my sister would leave her Princess Leia doll unattended, I'd force Luke and Leia to do some serious heavy petting - even though I didn’t understand it.

Growing up gay in the Midwest in the 70's might not have been ideal, but my family was supportive and allowed me to be me. Their mantras were:
'We’re not everybody else' and 'It doesn’t matter what other people think.'

And what can you say about a mother who sews her son a Wonder Woman costume from scratch, and lets him wear it to his Kindergarten Halloween party?
I would say, that's the definition of love.

Mike's first, famous-person same sex crushes:
Mark Hamill (in "Star Wars") & Donnie Osmond

Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"

Click to follow my blog with Bloglovin'


Anonymous said...

This is really creative I honestly love this blog about your life.

Jason C. said...

Mike - What a great story, and one I SO relate to! I grew up in Chesterfield, IN, and was born in 1971. I LOVED my Star Wars dolls... and where you wanted to be Sue Ellen, I was DYING to be Abby Ewing. Rock on!