April 05, 2011


Matt, age 8
Oxnard, CA (1993)

I can tell you the moment when I knew something was "different" about me.
It was around the time of this photo, and I was with a group of boys the same age and slightly older. One of the older boys took his shirt off, and I couldn't stop staring. The exact thought that ran through my head was, 'What is happening? Why can't I take my eyes off of him?'

As years passed, many issues of Tiger Beat read, letters to Jonathan Taylor Thomas written, and countless viewings of "Steel Magnolias," I was still in the proverbial closet. And I had no clue.

In high school, I had a crush on the head cheerleader, but secretly longed for the football captain. It was, give or take, around this moment that I knew I was not different.

I was gay.

I didn't come out until I was 20-years old. And my foot was completely out of the closet door when I told my parents at 21.

Telling my parents was the hardest part, but with the reassurance of my amazing sister and two older cousins, I knew everything would be OK.

I can only hope they know how important their support was during this time. Looking back on those years, I cringe just thinking about how alone and isolated I made myself.

I was so wrapped up in my own head, I failed to realize all the people around me that loved me, for me. If I could do it all over again, I would never forget that.

So to those of you now:

Please enjoy Tiger Beat, watching "Steel Magnolias," and remember that people love you, for you. And you were indeed born this way, and it's a beautiful thing!

Now, if only I had the other picture of me, wearing a bra with two baseballs in each cup!
Steel Magnolias (Special Edition) Man of the House Coming Out Stories, The Complete First Season Coming Out, The Road to Unconditional Love


Sarah Snarky said...

"Don't expect me to come to any of those tent revivals. They'd probably make me eat a live chicken."

"Not on your first visit."

Best. Dialogue. Ever. :-D

J-Rody said...

I used to LOVE Tiger Beat too!
Rock On!!!!!

MeanDonnaJean said...

"...my foot was completely out of the closet door when I told my parents at 21. Telling my parents was the hardest part..."

That's somewhat comical to me. I mean REALLY.....dontcha think yer folks hadda clue? ANY kinda clue? How could they NOT? I just can't imagine a parent....especially a mother who is supposed to be the lovin' and nurturin' one.....not knowin' somethin' like that about her own child. Is it cuz they don't take the time to really get to KNOW their child? Or is it that they just don't WANNA know?

Alls I know is that *I* knew all about my son damn near since the moment that he came out....came outta my womb, that is!