March 20, 2011


Parker, age 5
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (1994)

Nothing was more exhilarating than whirling and twirling in my mother's dresses. Here, I am wearing my favorite of hers. It was lightweight, covered in beautiful roses, and just sheer enough to feed my need to walk on the wild side.

How my mother was surprised when my infatuation with boys came out in the open, I haven't the slightest idea.

I think a lot of people that have struggled with being different wish their family would have walked them through the awkward glances, and the general lack of comfort that comes with growing up that way.

Even so, I could never blame my family for being just as confused as I was, at the time.

I remember feeling a little fancier than other boys my age.

My concerns, were different from their concerns:

Why would my cousin let her dolls have such ratty hair?
If I couldn't have a purse, where was I supposed to put my things?
Why didn't the Pink and the Red Power Rangers ever get together?

I mean, they were both hot. It made sense.

My VHS copy of "The Wizard of Oz" played a key role in my youth. The concept of some small town, decently pretty kid, being swept off to a far away land - only to be truly wanted, occasionally envied, befriended by eccentrics, and come home at the end of the day having learned all of life's lessons - was the most perfect scenario I'd ever heard of.

Pop culture was my first addiction, though. Late at night, in music videos, I'd catch glimpses of myself in people who seemed unimaginably confident and beautiful. That's all I've ever wanted to be.

Since those days of twirling and brushing doll hair, I've found my beauty and comfort in creativity. I'm a stylist at the most rock 'n roll hair salon in Oklahoma. I'm also a musician, I'm an artist, I'm still fancy, and I'm still learning.

I'm learning that it does get better. Exceptionally better.

Parker's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Fred Savage (in "The Wonder Years")
The Wizard of Oz Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An Imagined Conspiracy (Caravan Book) It's Not Really About the Hair: The Honest Truth About Life, Love, and the Business of Beauty

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

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