February 27, 2011


Shannon, age 10
Hamilton, Indiana (1983)

Here I am on my first of many motorcycles, in all of my moto glory! I had an older brother I idolized and was raised on a lake, in a neighborhood of boys. Clearly I wanted to be one! I suppose my parents wrote it off as self-preservation at the time, but I knew deep down it was my truth bubbling to the surface.

I played with dolls too, but I was often the "spouse" who kissed my significant other goodbye in the morning, tousled the doll's hair, and whistled as I headed out the door with my proverbial briefcase.

My Mom sent this picture to me about 5 years ago with a note that read:
"I suppose we should have seen it coming..." I called her then and we had a good laugh about what we both overlooked at the time. Being raised in the Midwest in the 80s/90s didn’t allow for much diversity. And being gay wasn't an option.

I love that my parents bought me dolls, motorcycles, and anything else that seemed important to me. Whether they knew it or not, they gave me a safe, loving environment to discover my true self. It took me well into adulthood to figure it all out, but at the end of the day I thanked my parents for their unconditional love.

I came out when I was 30 and one of my friends said it was 'too easy' for me.
I had parents who continued to love me unconditionally, friends who were accepting, and I worked for a gay-friendly company in San Francisco at the time.

In hindsight it may have looked easy, but I went through years of torment;
I never felt like I fit in anywhere. Sure I kissed the little boys on the playground like everyone else, but I was secretly longing for my 2nd grade teacher. She was beautiful, smart, and confident. And all I really wanted was to stay inside during recess and be in her presence.

My path was full of batons, tap shoes, motorcycles, dolls, and Hot Wheels and I wouldn’t trade any of those, because each experience made me who I am today.
Hot Wheels Molded 48 Car Case - Colors and Styles May Vary Bike Lust: Harleys, Women, and American Society Always My Child: A Parent's Guide to Understanding Your Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered or Questioning Son or Daughter Romancing the Margins'?: Lesbian Writing in the 1990s


A Daft Scots Lass said...

Great story.

Twinpossible said...

Great and inspiring story indeed. If one of my children turned out to be gay, I would love him or her no less.

There is such a stigma, but I think over time and with websites like this one, society is slowly breaking down that stigma, one road block at a time.

More people need to be more open minded, but it's starting. Nobody chooses to be gay. It's just as the blog title says, 'you were born this way.'

I was born with brown hair and brown eyes. Italian, Swedish & Irish. Nobody shuns me because of it, and nor should they shun any gay man or woman either.

God bless!