April 26, 2011


Dexter, age 6
Manila, Philippines (1984)

I knew I was "different" when I was 4-years old, and of course, I did not have the words to describe that part of me. And it was difficult for me to define myself because I - like most Filipinos - come from a conservative Catholic family.

I grew up listening to "The Wiz" and "Annie" soundtracks. And to Madonna, who I vogued to in private. TV, movies, and books were my only companions, as I did not have any friends.

I had a feeling then that Bert & Ernie from "Sesame Street" were more than roommates, and that the "Hardy Boys" were definitely having adventures together outdoors and indoors.

In my dreams, "Robocop" was my "roommate," and we weren't solving mysteries.

Looking at my childhood now that I am an adult, I was a very sad boy.

I handled the bullying by taking my mind away from reality. I spent my non-school days locked in the house, and not wanting to interact with anyone.

But everything is different now: I am living with my partner, I am extremely happy, and I do not have to escape to feel that happiness.

Now, the two of us listen to my Madonna and Abba (his favorite) records together, and we spend the weekends having South Australian adventures.

And yes: we have our adventures both outdoors and indoors.

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