Greg, age 5
Paducah, Kentucky (1973)
My sister and I got into Grandma's hats, and of course, I picked the pink fluffy one. It WAS the most stylish. A year later, I sent my mother clamoring for the Valium when she asked who I wanted to be for Halloween in 1st grade.
I replied, "Batgirl." I was Batman. The next year I said, "Wonder Woman."
I was Spider-Man. The NEXT year I said, "Isis." I was Batman - again. Then in 4th grade, I said, "C-3PO" and she breathed a sigh of relief. That is, until I put on the costume and said in a lisping English accent, "Oh, R2!" Amazingly, my mother never took up drinking...
Then I realized my friends were developing crushes on famous women or female classmates.
And I thought, "When does that happen to me?" I'm still waiting.
Everything was fine in my life, until late Middle School and High School. That's when the tormenting began, and I cringe to this day thinking about it all.
But as SOON as I was out of high school, things got much better.
Without the constant grip of fear, my grades shot up to honors level, and I grew much more confident in myself. It was a few more years before I finally came out, but when I did, I felt even better.
My advice to all going through it now is:
Find supportive friends. Be yourself. And LIVE your life to its fullest!
And rock your own pink, fluffy hats! _______________________________________________________
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