Adrian, Missouri (1964)
Childhood memories consist of playing Barbies with the girl across the street, making dresses for my favorite teddybear, and dressing in my grandmother's evening gown. Oh, and sipping champagne (7-UP) from stemware. I did "boy" things too, but these are the things that I remember most.
"Here I am in my pink jeep that I received for Christmas that year.
Really? Was there any hope for me after that?"
It must have been around the 6th grade I realized that I was attracted to men, but I didn't think much about it. Then, during a band competition during High School, a guy from a neighboring school slipped me a note saying I was cute, and he wanted to meet up with me. But I never did, because I was too embarrassed. But, it did make me realize there were others like me.
College brought on the first boyfriend and everything that goes along with it.
And wow! All I can say is that it just felt natural and good.
Later, after seeing many friends disowned by their family for being gay, I came to realize just how lucky I was. I have a family that loves and accepts not only me, but my partner(s) too. I know it hasn't been easy for them, but I appreciate their love and support.
Currently, my partner Todd and I just recently celebrated our 10th Anniversary, surrounded by both of our families and many friends. And life is good!
I never had to hide who I was to get through life, and my message to others is:
Always surround yourself with those that love and respect you, so that you can let your true self shine through. Everyone has something to offer, and nobody should have to be someone they're not, just to survive in this world.
Mark's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Mark Goddard (Lt. West on "Lost In Space")
Robert Conrad (in "The Wild Wild West")
I fondly remember a lot of "crotch watching" of their tight costume pants.