Jarryd, age 3
Loveland, OH (1983)
When I came across this photo in a family album, the first thing that comes to mind is: Oh, the 80's! A mohair patterned sofa AND wood paneling? Obviously a truly dark time for interior design.
With that said, it's time the world knows that I would have kept that handbag if I'd known how truly fierce I looked. And the storage inside? Amazing. I mean, that bag carried all of my necessities: sunglasses, Chapstick, breath mints, and of course My Little Pony (I only wish I was exaggerating).
I got the idea for carrying the handbag around and wearing those shades from watching soap operas while home with my mother. What can I say? Those ladies had style to die for. I also feel inclined to share this: you can't really see in the photo, but I totally had my nails painted pearlized pink. I can thank my grandmother for that one. I wanted them done and she did them.
My two favorite films growing up were "Hocus Pocus" (I saw it 12 times in the theater) and "Sleeping Beauty." My mom had to buy two copies of that, just so she could rewind one, while the other one played. God help you if it wasn't ready!!! As for Maleficent? True love.
You hear the same story time after time: "Growing up I always knew." As a kid, it wasn't just me that knew. EVERYONE knew I was different.
However, I was lucky enough to have a family that supported me right from the start, and never once tried to hold me back. When I finally 'came out' at 17, they had prepared themselves far in advance for that inevitable conversation.
It was still one of the hardest things I've EVER had to say to someone.
But each time you say it, you get a little wiser, and a little stronger.
Go Forth! Come Out — it's one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Jarryd's first, famous-person same sex crush:"Marky Mark" Wahlberg