René, age 5
San Salvador, El Salvador (1987)
I found this picture of me at a Kindergarten recital. I remember being picked to be first in line and how excited that made me. My love for dancing started at a very early age, and I remember how much I enjoyed learning the choreography and how good I was at it. And I also had a baton!
Although my childhood memories are somewhat scarce, like many I remember feeling different from the get go. I grew up in a very conservative Catholic society, and although my parents were not fanatics,
I learned at a very young age that the safest place for me was inside my head.
My Dad later had suspicions of my "true nature" early on as well. He used to take me to soccer games, until I sided with his team's archenemy - because I liked their uniforms better. But on the whole, sports never tickled my fancy.
As I grew older, my mannerisms and slightly higher-pitched voice made me an easy target for the bullies at school we dealt with. I remember how tirelessly and unsuccessfully I tried to fit in. My first boy crush happened during the time I was a Boy Scout, and I couldn't stop admiring my Scout Master.
That feeling of "difference" from others started out positive. I remember feeling a higher sense of understanding, and an idea that I was destined to do something great. Somehow along the way and influenced by others, I allowed myself to think that it wasn’t good, that I wasn’t good, and that I should comply.
Well compliance no more! When I got out from the haze, I finally realized how much being gay added to my life. And the experiences, pleasures, and intensity
I wouldn't know, if I hadn't been born this way.
And although I had some really rough times - I got through. And that confused and often scared little boy now stands a tall and proud GAY MAN!
Well, more proud than tall - I'm only 5' 5"...
René's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Javier Bardem (in "Jamon Jamon")_________________________________________________