February 21, 2011


Tony, age 8
Seattle, WA (1970)

My photo shows me on a warm July day holding our neighbor’s cat. I'm oddly dressed in a green wool sweater, long pants, and my Buster Brown shoes. My bedroom inside the house is immaculate. I'm polite and helpful, just as my report card proves. And I have excellent handwriting.

34 years have since passed, and I ponder what I would tell my kid-self now, if I had the chance.

Do I warn him about what's to come in the next 25 years?

Or do I just embrace him, pull him close, and whisper gently in his ear, ‘Just hang in there!’

I might have to whisper in his ear other words, like gay and pride and therapy and even suicide.

Should I tell this gallant and courteous A-student with the Disney "Jungle Book" lunch-box what I now believe he should know?

Should I explain it all to him preemptively, before the "different" feelings start, even though he's already having them?

Not just yet, I guess.

What my picture shows is accurate to what I would eventually put myself through, and what other gay boys put themselves through:

Me at age 8, being such a good boy, and already pretending that I loved pussy.

Tony's first, famous-person same sex crushes:
Edward Mulhare (in "The Ghost & Mrs. Muir")
Robert Redford (in "The Way We Were")
Talk about 'daddies' - woof! When Redford's in bed with Streisand, his meadow of wheat-blond chest hair glowing in the moonlight, I got a stirring in the theater.
HOPE LANGE CAROLYN MUIR EDWARD MULHARE CAPT. DANIEL GREGG THE GHOST & MRS. MUIR 16X20 PHOTO THE WAY WE WERE BARBRA STREISAND ROBERT REDFORD 11X14 B&W PHOTO Coming of Age: African American Male Rites-of-Passage It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living


S Kay Murphy said...

So glad to see you've survived, that you're here with us still to celebrate life and diversity--in all its forms. Thanks for sharing this!

Radically Rational said...

Wow, this is amazingly well-written. Probably the best written entry I have read on this site. Good job!

donna said...

Excellent post. You should be a writer if you are not.