Lori, age 9
Alexandria, Virginia (1976)
|"Trick or treat"|
Here, I creatively did this Mr. Bicentennial costume so that I could dress in a boy's suit for Halloween. I really felt like I was getting away with something.
I knew that I was different early in life. But it took until I was 23 to put those feeling into words, first to myself and then to let others know. I look at this picture now, and just laugh knowing exactly why my mother said "Yeah, I know" when I finally came out to her.
Even though she did know, she was still forever hoping that it would be a phase.
It took until my partner and I had children before she truly accepted my sexuality in a way that felt real.
I did not have many bad experiences with family or friends once I finally came out. Prior to coming out, I would often be around friends or family that made demeaning remarks about gay people. And it always made me feel bad.
Once I came out, I think it helped some of those individuals open their eyes to the fact that gay people are everywhere. And that we are not something to fear.
The message I would like to give gay kids now is:
No matter how difficult your situation is in your family, in your town, or in your school there are people to connect with that will help you through this. The most important step that you need to take is to let the words out to someone you trust.
Holding in those words about your truth is often what hurts the most.
Lori's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"