September 27, 2011


Patrick, age 4
Sydney, NSW Australia (1988)

Many people here say how "different" they felt. At a very early age, I always had a pretty strong concept of my own ego. When I was around 7, I wondered if I was the only real person, and that everyone around me was there kind of robotically, for my benefit. So in my mind, it was everyone else that was different.

This type of thinking allowed me to be whoever I felt I was for my entire childhood. This included loving Rainbow Brite, having a Cabbage Patch doll named Vernon, learning how to do hair on My Little Pony dolls, and dancing with my friend Bree to Cher's "Shoop Shoop" song.

I was a kind of girly and hung out with my girlfriend in dance class.
We had blatant conversations about sex from an early age, and we were both fairly inquisitive.

She was a tomboy and the most popular girl in school. I spoke to her a while back, and she confirmed that she's a lesbian.

My parents moved me away during high school from a place where someone would get bashed for picking on me, to a school in the country where bigotry was standard. I wasn't popular anymore and didn't know a soul. But the person I loved the most was my best friend Michael. To get around being able to talk to Michael about my feelings for him, I described my super crush in question form.

I also treated Michael like sh*t. I did this because I loved him so much, but I knew deep down I could never have him. No matter how many times we slept in the same bed. I used to cry myself to sleep every night because it was heartbreaking to me that gender meant so much to the world, when it meant nothing to me.

My coming out story was so much simpler. Rather than sit people down to give them some 'big news,' I just started being honest. If I thought a guy was hot, I would say so. Same as with a girl. I was the first person to come out at my country high school, and I only got called a f*ggot once.

I'm a bit of an outcast in the gay community though, as I'm more physically attracted to men, more emotionally attracted to women, and don't particularly like to have sex with either. I think that was due to my gender nonchalance, and being the go-to guy in college when the straight guys wanted to experiment.

Even though it wasn't something I particularly loved, I was helping someone out with their own sexuality. And, getting my own little piece of Michael every time.

PS: I was so fashion forward, I knew Hawaiian shirts would be in a decade early.

Patrick's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Macaulay Culkin (in "Home Alone")

Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"
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September 19, 2011


David, age 3
Fresno, California (1977)

I think I knew I was "different" around age 4. I liked being around the girls in school more than the boys. As I got older, I would be teased and called "f*g" and "sissy." I didn't know what that meant, but I knew it didn't make me feel good.

When I finally did discover the meaning of those words, I tried to deny it. But my love of Chinese jump rope and my Smurfs lunch box gave me away. Also, I had a strange fascination with Tom Selleck and Lee Horsley, and their hairy chests.

As I got older, I'd spend my free time in my bedroom with a t-shirt on my head and lip-synch in my mirror to Cyndi Lauper and Madonna songs.

Occasionally, I'd throw on a pair of my mom's pantyhose and strut around the house.

My mom would laugh and say, 
"You sure would make a good girl!"

Now as an adult, I'm almost 37-years old. I've been with my husband Richard for 18 years, and we have a good life. Mom lives with us now, and I ran across this picture while digging around in her closet. My grandmother was the one who took me to this photo session. In fact, she's the one who styled me and picked out the "Mary Had A Little Lamb" book I'm holding.

I look at this picture now, and I can see the beginnings of the man I am today.
I live my life openly and freely and I am blessed to have family and friends that accept all of me. Especially the "little girl" that still exists in this photo.

Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"
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September 12, 2011


Aiden, age 11
Springfield, Illinois (1997)

It's hard to believe that the child in this picture was born a girl named Annie.
Because even as a child, I was rather androgynous looking. It wasn't until I hit puberty and began to grow breasts, that I began to look a bit more feminine.

Now I am 25, and I consider myself an FTM transgender. Sometimes I wonder if I am
Bi-gender, though. I look back and I'm surprised I didn't realize it earlier.

There are a few memories that speak out to me as I look back.

First was in middle school when I cut my hair really short. And all the kids called me Andy. I didn't mind it, and I didn't even bother correcting them. But they began to call me "G.I. Jane," and that's when I got mad.

I once read an article about transgenderism, when I was 14. I remember thinking for a split second "Hmm, that sounds familiar." But I didn't really give it a second thought until many years later. At the time, I wrote my feelings off as just being a masculine girl. But now, I know that was incorrect.

I never really felt quite right as a girl, and I was very tomboyish growing up. I still had my Barbie dolls, but I preferred the male ones. And I loved my Hot Wheels, Model Cars, and Micro Machines more. Somehow even through my love of fishing, camping, and the outdoors, my mom still never got the idea.

When I finally came out as trans, my family didn't seem surprised. But they still refuse to call me the right pronouns or name. I fear that - in their eyes - I'll always be their precious little girl. The only one in my family that seems to remotely get it, is my older brother. He calls me Andy and his "Brosis," which is better than nothing.

As if being trans wasn't enough though, I am also gay/pansexual. I had crushes on lots of guys growing up. I remember my mom always called me "boy-crazy" and I'm still that way to some extent now.

Today, I live in Phoenix, AZ with a dog, a cat, and my girlfriend/roommate.
I have recently connected with a few other trans people in my area, and we try to get together as much as possible. All in all, things are looking up.

My advice to LGBTQ kids now? Never stop believing in yourself!
I know things are scary right now. But remember, they can only get better.

Aiden's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Jonathan Taylor Thomas (in "Tom & Huck")

Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"
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September 08, 2011


John, age 6
Duncan, OK (1977)

I always knew I was "different" and my family could sense it too. Especially my big sister. She was constantly making fun of me, picking on me, and occasionally beating the crap out of me! I finally decided I'd had enough - of her and everyone else - and I learned some stealth moves. Just check my photo!

After standing up for myself, my sister and I became best friends.
And to this day, we are fiercely protective of one another.

Being a confident and self-assured gay kid went a long way in keeping the
rednecks of Oklahoma off my back. And shaped me into the proud and strong gay man I am today.

I also still enjoy breaking out this special move - but in a slightly more private environment. :)

Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"