Sonia, age 10
E. Hartford, CT (1980)
This was taken at Parrot Jungle in Miami, on a rare visit to see my father.
I remember always liking rainbows. "Mork & Mindy" was a popular TV show when I was a kid, and I'd gotten the same rainbow suspenders that Mork wore, and I'd wear them with a dark green and purple-striped velour jersey top.
My first celebrity crush was Olivia Newton-John. After I saw her in "Grease" as the hottie in leather at the end of the movie, I was hooked. Then I got one of her records and would just stare at her for what seemed like hours. I alternately wanted to be her and have her.
Girls were my first loves, then boys when I hit puberty, then back to the girls. Now I confidently identify as queer, and engage in relationships with people whom I find lovable and worthy of my time and attention.
As encouragement to gay kids, I'd say:
Be proud of who you are. Express yourself as best as you can, and find the people who love and support your individuality. Be proud to be different!
And hang in there, as life gets better with age and experience. Be strong, be kind, and be gentle with yourself. You are lovable and precious. Celebrate!
Sonia's first, famous-person same sex crush: