Barstow, California (1974)
I was always the one girl who wanted to play cops and robbers with the boys,
or build forts in the desert. I loved getting dirty.
I knew I was gay around age 10. I was having giddy feelings for some of my girl friends. I knew I was different, but I just didn't know in what way.
Seeing this picture of myself decked out in a dress, now makes me realize just how uncomfortable I always was in girls clothing. It was a nice feeling to be dressed up, but I would have been happier in a little suit and tie.
When I came out in 2009, the majority of my family's responses were:
"We have known forever, but we were waiting for you to be comfortable enough to tell us."
None of my family members, including my own children, have bad feelings about me being a lesbian. In fact, they all know I'm happier now, because I don't have to hide who I really am.
My message is: Be true to yourself, and do not hide who you really are.
Yes, it might be difficult. But don't miss out on the life you could have, because you're too busy living the life someone else wants you to have.
I missed about 20 years of true happiness, because I was too afraid to be myself. So don't live in fear.
Rae's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Lynda Carter (as "Wonder Woman")