Pat, age 3
Mobile, AL (1960)
When I was 3, I had only just begun to know the value of a good look. In this case it was a petticoat from my sister's closet. I not only used the simpler version (shown here) as a skirt, but used her frillier one as fake hair. This was only after trial and error, and learning that using Spanish moss as fake hair left me with itchy chiggers. Chiggers are red bugs with painful bites. We'd paint them with fingernail polish to suffocate them. Thus, it was necessary to raid my mother's make-up. This may or may not be suitable chigger treatment, but hey...
|"Pat comes out of the closet at age 3"|
It was also about this time that I developed my soprano singing voice. "Away In A Manger" was my most requested song, no matter the time of year.
My ability to do 'The Twist' for hours on end made me the entertainment go-to for most of my parents' parties.
I never dressed in ladies' clothes again until I was 14 and was "required" to do so at my large southern Baptist church during a youth retreat.
I tied with a guy named Charlie as the winner in a "backwards" Beauty Pageant. This time, I was a knockout in my Mom’s alligator pumps and handbag, and a long black fall (a half wig) that belonged to my 5th grade teacher.
My childhood crush was Sandy on "Flipper" and I even wanted to change my name to Sandy. In retrospect, it was probably just an effort to get close to his dad, Ranger Ricks (Brian Kelly). I wonder if they ever used petticoats so creatively?
I can honestly say that the Baptist church, the Alabama public education system, and a superstar dolphin sitcom definitely fine-tuned my sense of style. And it all made me the blissful gay Renaissance man I am today.
Somebody say AMEN!
Pat's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Luke Halpin (Sandy on "Flipper")_________________________________________________