Patrick, age 5
Denver, CO (1987)
My mom would lovingly tell me "You are the sweetest little boy" over and over as a child. Little did she know how she would deny the news, when I actually came out of the closet at age 17. I mean seriously, I wanted to watch the Rainbow Brite movie in the theater, "Fame" was my favorite TV show, and of course, I just had to have a My Little Pony to brush its hair. Funny thing is, I never thought of myself as being gay, I just was.
On the first day of 1st grade, I gave my weeks' worth of lunch money to the cutest boy in class. My first group of friends were all girls (of course). We would all giggle together about the cutest boys in the 5th grade. I even fought a boy I liked in the 2nd grade, because he let a girl kiss him!
Life was great, until I switched schools in the 6th grade. A school where no one knew about all my crayoned 'when I grow up' drawings, depicting me holding a mic on stage with black slacks and a sparkly white glove. That's when the the bullying began, and the hinges of the closet door creaked shut.
But I endured, and in high school I found a circle of an "on-the-down-low" group of friends, and my self-acceptance began. I realized I was much much, much happier being out than being in. But without planning it, the words just burst out.
When I first came out my mom, she wasn't very accepting. However, she has slowly learned to realize that her sweet, sugary boy had never left - he's just a little more refined now.