May 29, 2011


James, age 7
Bear Valley, WI (1957)

When I look back at this picture now, it brings back the great memories of staying with my grandparents.

I always knew I liked boys from the age of 5. My cousin and I would have sleepovers, and we would hug and kiss each other all the time. What great times they were.

My grandparents always told me it was OK to like boys, or even love them, as long as I was happy. My parents were a different story.

While my mom was very supportive, my dad hauled me off to a priest to confess my "sin" for loving boys.

I sat there and told the priest I loved boys, and that's how it was. And, that I didn't care what he or my old man said.

I can remember the priest saying, "That's alright, but you can't come to church anymore." I just laughed and said, "Good."

As far as the rest of the family went, they never cared one way or the other.

During school, I never had a real problem with me liking boys. And some of the older boys protected me if anyone started anything, like calling me names.

My advice to kids now is:
Just be yourself and don't hide your feelings. If someone yells names at you,
just walk away. Believe me, it does get better as you grow older.

And one more thing:
Leave the drugs and booze alone. They don't get you anywhere.

James' first, famous-person same sex crush:
Donnie Osmond
He was so cute, I dreamed about him. I also had a crush on Michael Jackson
- Check out My First Gay Crush Blog -
Donnie Osmond - Photo Print (8 x 10 Inches - 21cm x 26cm) 1978 Concert (Photographer: Larry Kaplan)The Best of Donny and Marie: Volume 1Michael Jackson: Before He Was KingLGBT Matters and Religion


bfairbanks said...

James, thank you for sharing your wonderful story. I'm glad that MOST of the people in your life were supportive of you. It sounds like you had a great childhood. What a cute kid you were!

And isn't it sad that religion is such a divisive force in this debate? I'm an atheist myself but I do think it's sad that so many people are pushed out of the church because of their sexuality. Maybe some day the Church will catch up with the "real world".

thewacher said...

i had a wonderful child hood growning up with my grandparents and mom beside me.
never let the old man any of his side of the family get to me.
thanks for the wonderful comment.
take good care of yourself

It's Very Dark Here... said...

I really loved this story!

Jeffery said...

I loved

"That's alright, but you can't come to church anymore." I just laughed and said, "Good."

If it had only been that easy to get out of church.

thewacher said...

i never went to church after that. i always had to do the barn chores when the rest of the family went to church. which was ok with me. thanks for leaving a comment.

Anonymous said...

James, I love your story. I grew up in the same area, down in Rockford. I have family in Richland Center (Buhmeyer's Dodge is owned by my cousin) and used to go camping at Devil's Lake. I didn't have such an easy time of it when I was young. Happy to hear it wasn't so bad for you. Nice to see a "home boy" here!

thewacher said...

Richland Center was my stomping grounds back when i was on the farm by Bear Vally.
I have to say no one gave me any trouble either. just once did one guy try to hassle me. but to find out all he wanted was to be close friends with me. so we became real good friends.
i never went around with a sighn on my back either saying i was Gay. even though everyone knew that i was Gay. i guess it was because if they hassle me. there would be no more treats for them. what there girl friends would not give them i would.
you take care Thanks for writing a comment.