March 06, 2012


Danny, age 5
Brownwood, Texas (1956)

Looks a little too happy for a small-town Texas kid, doesn't it? I love this picture now, and about two years later, I knew it was boys I liked.

I experimented with the boys around me through Cub and Boy Scouts during junior and high school, and I came out once I was on my own.

I don't remember much in the way of teasing or bullying as I was growing up. For one thing,
I was smarter than the rest of the kids in my classes, so the teachers noticed me.

I also had a big brother who was tough. Unlike the rest of my family, he looked out for me.

Soon after this photo was taken, the rest of my family began mocking my comedy and dance routines. They would drag me out and make me perform in front of neighbors - for the express purpose of everyone having a laugh, but me.

And not the good-natured kind of laughter.

But when I got away from them 13 years later, I became a professional performer and pursued it for 20 years.

So my advice to the gay kids of today is: Keep your dreams close.
And don't give anyone the power to take them away from you.


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'


Daddy Squeeze Me! said...

now thats advice I can really take to the bank of life!

aizen999 said...

thank you for sharing your story!
an inspired reader from greece :)

Uche said...

For a long time now, I've had this thought to post a picture of my little nephew Isaac, who loves to dance, on this blog so that when he grows up & comes out to me, I can show it to him to say, I've always known and I love you still.

But I don't want to invade his privacy. I want to protect him. You see, my nephew Isaac is gay. He is also five years old. I knew when he was 3, When I came to visit and he handed me a comb to run through his curly blonde hair. I didn't bat an eye. I combed his golden curls and made sure he looked good. And he felt it 'cos he smiled so broadly at me afterwards. It was as if he knew what he was, even as he didn't have the words to say it, and he also somehow knew that his auntie could be trusted with his little secret.

But my brother, his father, is a big religious person. He's also a big homophobe. Right at this minute, he's ranting and raving about his hatred for Homosexuality on his Facebook page. And my heart bleeds for Isaac while he sleeps and dreams about his beautiful future.

But inside, I feel that his father knows. He watches Isaac intensely when he jumps up & down like a "girl" and he saw when Isaac kissed the boy-next-door who has stopped coming to play. I feel he knows. Because out of all his 5 kids, Isaac's picture had been his facebook profile picture for all these years. I think he wants to "pray the gay away."

And so, I also pray. I pray for God to keep me alive, healthy and strong, to help fight for Isaac when it's time. I pray for God to give Isaac the tools to stay strong and find himself, inspite of his father's fears and anger. I pray that God will be on our side and keep my golden boy alive long enough to have a beautiful future. And I'll be right by his side, combing his hair and watching him dance. With all the love in my heart.

I love you, Isaac!!!

Danny said...

Uche, that's brilliant! Isaac will always know he has someone on his side, with you there. I can't tell you what a gift you are giving him. Thank you, from my five-year-old self in the picture and from me today!

DJ Paul V. said...

Uche - if you see this, and need to chat about your nephew, I'd be happy to try and help you out. It's really admirable to see your unconditional love for Isaac. My email is -- PJV513 at -- check in if you need too -- Paul V.