Tom, age 8
Mercer Island, Washington (1974)
Here I am with my little sister at Disneyland, striking a quick drag queen pose.
A favorite pose of mine when I did drag later in life, but I'm surprised how early it started! This photo is especially funny, as my first celebrity crush at age 5 was Mickey Mouse, and I used to be intensely jealous of Minnie Mouse whenever I saw her. I'm glad to see that I got over my resentment.
My dad just sent me old Super 8 home movies on DVD, and there was a lotta gay in me from early on. One 10-minute clip is devoted to older family members trying to teach me to run - without swishing my arms at age 2. They were trying to erase the gay at age 2! Bless their little, caring, fearful hearts.
We moved to a neighborhood across the lake when I turned 5-years old, and I have vivid memories of being gay and wanting to marry some of my close boy friends, even at that age. The feelings start pretty early sometimes. I'm quite confident that I was born this way, and happily so.
But I wish I could have discussed this with my parents. Or with anybody! Whenever the topic of sex, love, and romance came up in my presence, there’d be a kind of painful, frozen silence. Everybody practiced 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' with me. As a result, I was a little behind on the learning curve when it came to seeking healthy gay relationships, rather than acting out a slutty gay stereotype.
But, I'm learning - a lot. And feelin' more normal than ever. The gradual acceptance by society helps. Still, as most of you know, the long road to acceptance starts within.
My first celebrity crush with a human was actor Terry Thomas, which lasted for many years. I had a recurring erotic fantasy where I would crawl through the gap in his front teeth, and fall asleep curled up on his tongue. I so loved his lisp.
Tom's first, famous-person same sex crush:Terry Thomas
Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"
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