Mike, age 4
Brighton, IL (1987)
Here I am in the kitchen, helping my mother make a cake. From around this age, you would always find me wanting to help out in the kitchen, and using the microwave to cook something.
I remember as a child that anything dirty gave me chills down my spine. While I did like to get a bit dirty myself, I just didn't like living in it.
I distinctly remember once when a toad hopped into our doorway, and I refused to pick it up and take it back outside.
My mother asked me "Are you scared of it? Don't be such a sissy.
Your little brother isn't scared to pick it up."
Now I can look back and laugh, and realize YES! I may have been a "sissy boy" but I sure knew I wasn't going to admit it then! Denying I was gay through my childhood took so much effort. Trying to hide how I felt from everyone was the hardest thing I had to do in life.
I am still overcoming some of the hateful remarks that I remember. Even now, someone could say to me, "Hey, what's up Gay Mike?" and I am able to see through it, and take it for what it is. So I just say "Hello" back to them, because I've lived through that most of my life.
It's a constant reminder of what I really am, want to be, and always have been.
I know that being gay isn't a choice, but being true to yourself is!
You can choose to deny the things you feel, and who you really are. But that doesn't change what you really feel! For me, being gay is who I am, and not just something I do. I was BORN THIS WAY!