February 08, 2011


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")
Flipper The Original Series Season 2 Petticoat Junction - Ultimate Collection Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son Chigg-Away Chigger Repellent


Paige said...

Pat, I as a straight (but not narrow!!) woman, I am LOVING this blog, and was super excited to see a post from my hometown! I know how small- minded LA can be and I want to give you a big virtual hug for being who you are! Much love,Paige =)

Sandra Wilkes said...

I like your blog too...I think we've all come a long way since back in the day. Born this way...that's the truth as I see it too although I only see it through the eyes of others. Sandra

Sara O'Flaherty said...

I live in Mobile myself, and I can only imagine what it must be like being gay and living here, people can be so awful! Good for you for loving yourself for who you are, and I'm sure you are just as awesome today as you are in that adorable pic! :)

Mark said...

Howabout Luke's Dad? Mr Flipper was mega-hot in that uniform.

john said...

what about that dreamboat wally on leave it to beaver?? but luke often had his shirt off, so he trumps all!!