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.
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._____________________________________________________