December 25, 2011

:: Happy Holidays To All! ::

For all the readers and supporters of the blog, I just want to wish everyone the happiest of holiday seasons, however you may celebrate it!

And love, health, happiness and full equality for all in 2012! It's hard to believe, but the blog will celebrate its first birthday on January 9th, 2012!

And what an amazing year it has been!

Thank you for believing in yourself, and supporting and celebrating all the people who were kind enough to share their stories and photos here.

YOU are all the stars on the top of the Christmas tree!

Click here to see the Facebook page gallery of your holiday photos.

Much love,
Your blogmaster, Paul V.

PS - This is the Christmas gift I got for myself: A new rescue doggie!

This is Miss Pucci Cocopuffs, and she is just the most beautiful, sweet, happy and silly 'lil lovebubble!

I highly recommend going to a local shelter where you live, and giving a deserving pet a loving and forever new home.

December 23, 2011


Tracy, age 12
Salem, Oregon (1972)

This was me on Christmas day, 1972. My poor mom went shopping for an outfit she thought I would like, and bought a shirt with a man's necktie attached as part of the shirt! I was devastated. My mom saw my face when I opened the gift.

I looked up at her, and with tears streaming down my face, and I said:

"You think I'm a boy????"

So my mom took that shirt, got her seam ripper out, and removed the necktie.

My life was unusual already, having deaf parents. I have deaf relatives on both sides of the family. It is hereditary. However, I do not have any hearing loss.

My mom taught me how to do everything.
I knew how to cook, clean, sew my own clothes and iron.

But as my dad didn't have a son at that time,
I learned his trade as well. He was a car painter, a body and fender man. I learned to mask, sand, and apply primer.

I knew I liked women at the age of five. I liked the way my first grade teacher smelled, and she was very affectionate and kind to all of us.

But I didn't know what being a lesbian meant. I had only one boy I talked to, but we never dated, and my first experience with a woman didn't happen until college.

As for the outfit, I wore it over and over, until I grew taller. I felt so cool!
And I still looked like a little dyke, even without a necktie!!!

Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"
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December 18, 2011


Kyle, age 3
Rammestein, Germany (1989)

I was always told by my parents that they knew that I would be different and special. I would walk around the house singing at the top of my lungs, and I loved talking to people. I was always so happy, loved bright colors, and loved to laugh. As you can see in my photo, I was doing both by age 3!

My parents always told me that they would love me no matter what happened.
I first knew I was different in the 4th grade, when I saw all the boys and girls holding hands with each other. I wanted to hold hands with a boy named Jesse, because he was nice to me.

When I was a pre-teen I had an antisocial phase, and I decided to come out of the closet at 14 for my own sanity. I mainly felt that being gay was my own business, and people didn't need to know. However, I couldn't open myself up to people in other ways, without being wholly honest about who I was.

So I came out and started making friends by being the funny guy. Since I was making everyone laugh, they didn't care who I was dating. As time went on, being gay was just something that was. I learned to surround myself with people who enjoyed me for me. I dated and learned lessons just like everyone else.

Since coming out, I have rarely felt "different" for being who I am. I have always been a big advocate of not letting my homosexuality define me. That's always the first thing I tell people who are curious about why I came out so early, and it's the advice that I give younger LGBT people now.

I'm not just a gay man, I am so much more than that.

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


Remiel, age 8
Otago, New Zealand (1997)

I love this photo, because it was a victory for me. It meant I was going to attend the Cub Scouts with the other boys, instead of the Brownies with the girls. Yup, back then this cheeky chappie was a girl.

My parents kept my hair short, and I wore hand me downs from the older boys in my family. My family accepted my gender presentation, and still do. My dad used to boast about how strong I was.

When I was young, I assumed I was a boy. So puberty came as a depressing realization. I didn't grow my hair until I was 14, and only relented to dresses at 16.

It took me a long time to realize I was different. And I only figured it out when every time I imagined myself, I imagined myself as male.

As a kid, I ran around in a pack of boys playing sport and making messes. The other kids called me boy-girl. Seems they knew a dozen or so years before I would!

Now I'm genderqueer, gay, and coming to accept my place in the world.
I still like "guy things," but I'm a pretty femme gay guy.

One thing that never changes though: I still get asked, "Are you a boy or a girl?"
My answer: Yes!

Remiel's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Christian Cullen (All Blacks' rugby player)


Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"
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December 05, 2011


Michael, age 7
Barstow, California (1964)

I'm the boy in front with the hat, posing with my mom, sisters, and my cousin.

I always knew I was different.

While you would not know it by the photo, I never really tried to attract attention to myself.

My junior high and high school years were complete torture for me.
But thankfully, I have a loving family that has helped me survive.

I've been with my partner for 35 years now, and I would like everyone to know:
It does get better.

Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"
Click to follow this blog with Bloglovin'