February 20, 2011


Mike, age 8
Highland, NY (1994)

Here's a photo of me, taken during a family vacation. Of all the places to stop for a photo, I have no idea why I chose this un-impressed wooden Native American, nor do I get why I’m wearing my shorts up to my nipples, or wearing socks with sandals at Disney World.

The one thing in this photo that doesn’t puzzle me in the slightest, is that face: half smile, head down, bedroom eyes. It's just as much a part of me as my freckles, my laugh, or my crush on Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

I still make that face in pictures or any mirror I encounter. Today, my friends refer to it as my "mirrorface."

I always knew I was different.
I tagged along with the girls, shied away from sports. But I sure loved Barbies, dress-up, and any kind of art project.

My mother grounded me when she found out I was gay, as the gossip grapevine in my small hometown gave me away, before I could tell her myself.

'I know, and I don’t approve'
was all my mom said in regards to my sexuality.
I was 15.

Today, I'm happy with who I am (even if my family isn't) and I'm thrilled this website exists. Reading stories of my peers has rekindled something great in me.

I'm still figuring myself out, but if I had to give a piece of advice, it'd be this:
Be who you are, even if you have a laugh that could raise the dead, a questionable fashion sense, or a terminal case of "mirrorface."

The things that make you unique, for better or for worse, will always be your greatest asset.

Mike's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Jonathan Taylor Thomas ("Home Improvement")
I'll Be Home For Christmas Poster Movie 11x17 Jonathan Taylor Thomas Jessica Biel Adam LaVorgna Home Improvement - The Complete Third Season Queens in the Kingdom: The Ultimate Gay and Lesbian Guide to the Disney Theme Parks (Kings in the Kingdom) Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy


Coco said...

I am always sad to hear that parents cannot accept or be proud of their gay children. I am glad you have accepted yourself and I love your mirror look!

Jaime Coon said...

I'm trying to start up a blog about gay equality... I think it definitely relates to this website. Take a look, if you want. This post mentions the idea of "Born This Way."

Steps Forward and Backward in the Fight for LGBT Equality. News Updates.

Unknown said...

Mike-I loved this post. You are funny and sweet. I wish you the best and hope that, someday, your family will be completely accepting. I have a mirror look too!!! Hahaha! Love that so much!

Bryna said...

I was born in '81 and grew up (and came out at age 13) in New Paltz, so I just wanted to send some support from a fellow Ulster Countyite. Even in New Paltz, which is lightyears more liberal than Highland, coming out was rough and word spread like wildfire. Harrassment was a daily fact of life. How funny to be an adult who's thinking of moving back, with my same-sex partner and two kids?

Unknown said...

I am one of Mike's childhood friends and he asked me to read his post because I was one of the first people he came out to. I don't think he was expecting me to post anything but I am anyway. I love Mike with all my heart and I wanted him to see that I still and always will support him.

I love you. Always have. Always will. You are my soulmate and best friend. We've stood by each other through thick and thin. I still remember the day you shared your true identity with me. We were in study hall and you slipped me a note. I know you struggled with telling people because you feared acceptance from our peers. What that paper said never changed how I thought, felt or looked at you. Only difference was you were at peace with who you were. Finally on your way to becoming comfortable in your own skin. I don't think you would have become the same person you are today if you didn't let go and accept who you were back then. And what you are today is perfect in my eyes. You have become a wonderful young man and I'm proud to call you my friend.
<3 Meg

P.S. - I never knew you had a crush on JTT. Wish I knew that because I did too. We could have shared this common interest and discussed in detail 'Home Improvement' episodes. Please tell me you have a notebook somewhere with episode synopsis just like your 'Murder She Wrote' notebook.