March 01, 2011


Jeff, age 10
Wichita, Kansas (1971)

I can't remember a time when I wasn't attracted to other guys. Lucky for me, my little sister had a Barbie Dream House and a stack of Tiger Beat magazines.

"I loved Abba!"

In grade school, I hated sports. The other boys used to make fun of me for preferring art class instead of football.

I finally joined the track team, to please my mom and convince my friends that I was somewhat masculine.


Being gay was completely unacceptable in my family in the 1970's.

So I spent my youth hiding my true feelings, and trying to please everyone but myself.

In my late teens, I was wracked with the desire to be with another young man, but had no idea how to go about it without blowing my cover.

Luckily, I had met a gay man when I was 17. He spent the next three years trying to convince me that I was gay, despite my complete and utter denial.

I accepted his invitation to visit California that summer, and landed right in the middle of the gayest place in the USA! I came out at the 1983 San Francisco Gay Pride Parade. I will never forget "What A Feeling" by Irene Cara, blaring loudly from a parade-float full of shirtless men in the middle of Market Street!

Jeff's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Donny Osmond
His black hair and pearly white teeth filled me with such desire.

Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"

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Big Mark 243 said...

With that Ascot, no one supsected? LOL!!

Unknown said...

Had a very similar experiences growing up--except my coming out can't compete with yours.

Unknown said...

Jeff, way cool.

I will have to dig through my old photos and post...but we are about the same age and I am from Berryton KS, unincorporated farming community between Topeka and Lawrence.

Thanks for sharing.