November 26, 2011


Ray, age 6
St. Louis, Missouri (1980)

By the time of this photo, I already knew I was not the same as the other boys.
As you can see, I have on my Superman suspenders. Though I didn't really understand it then, I was attracted to Superman. I also wanted to be around construction workers, because I found them attractive, too.

Other kids used to call me "Gay Ray." I was not particularly feminine as a child, but the other kids still knew there was something very different about me. This was because of the things I would say, and not being shy about the fact that I enjoyed lots of things typically reserved for girls.

My twin sister used to love to dress me up in her clothes, and we'd run around the neighborhood together. She would introduce me as her "cousin Becky."

While my mother was always very encouraging of me expressing myself, my father was not pleased.

I had a rough childhood. I cried almost every day and was so confused about what was going on with me. This only contributed to the way that I was treated by the other kids and some family members. I used to pray every night, hoping that God would "fix" me. But every morning I woke up the same.

It wasn't until I got into high school that I started making friends with the other outcast kids and punkers. Though life got harder for me in many ways, it always got easier for me to accept myself and to become comfortable with who I am.

Today, I'm still not like the other boys. I'm an artist and musician.
And maybe one day I'll open a little place that I can proudly call "Gay Ray's"
as an homage to my troubled path.

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Randuwa2 said...

Ray, you open that place, and i come by every day for a cup of coffee and to tell you how fabulous it is that you are here. There is an Irish proverb that says: "It is in the shelter of each other that the people live." Now, wouldn't that be a wonderful placard over the place you envision? r.

RayMan said...

When you open up that little place, give me a call, and THIS "Gay Ray" will be your first customer. Look me up on my profile or Facebook (/N7747D). Strange as it may seem, you're the only other "Gay Ray" I've met.
........ and randuwa, it IS a wonderful placard, because it is REAL :)

Unknown said...

I would visit Gay Ray!