Jason, age 8
Mechanicsville, Connecticut (1982)
"Mork and Mindy" suspenders, a sparkly Tweety Bird t-shirt, ironing a flowery tablecloth, and that nasty cold sore? Yep, I'm gay. People always ask, "When did you know?" The real question is, when didn't I know? While I didn't know there was a word for how I felt, all I knew is that it was the way I was.
In the 1st grade, I wanted to be Princess Leia - because I had a huge crush on Han Solo.
I'd jump on my Mom and Dad's bed, falling and bouncing, and pretending Han and I were escaping the Evil Empire.
I didn't know I could be a boy and still like boys, so I assumed I should have been born a girl.
Growing up with TV, my gay role models were Jodie Dallas (Billy Crystal) from "Soap" and Beverly LaSalle, the drag queen from "All In The Family." I think Billy Crystal's character had the most impact on me growing up. I assumed that since I liked boys like he did, that I had to get a sex change like he was going to.
I didn't really know what a sex change was, except that I'd be a girl and things would be better. For the longest time as a boy, I secretly dreamed of turning 18, going to Switzerland, and becoming a girl. Thank God for today's TV role models.
I am the baby of 4 children: two gay boys and two girls. My sister Tracy is the closest in age to me, and we would play house together. She would pretend to be Pamela Ewing from "Dallas" and I'd be the alcoholic Sue Ellen.
Our other favorite thing to play would be "2 Sisters." We'd pretend to be sisters who lived next door to each other with our husbands. We had such imaginations back then, and had such fun times.
School was hard for me, and I was bullied as far back as I can remember. I was called queer, f*g, fairy, you name it. It hurt a lot at the time, but I would never change who I was or the person I am today.
I always knew deep down that I was "normal" and its okay if your normal isn’t the same as everyone else. That's what makes you special.
So celebrate and embrace yourself.
You are amazing, so keep hanging in there and love who you are.
Jason's first, famous-person same sex crush:Harrison Ford (in "Star Wars")