August 30, 2012


Sara, age 10
Worcester, Massachusetts (1999)

The school photographer hated me because I refused to smile. He even made a note of it in my photo-packet, in case my parents got upset. They weren't though, once I explained that I wanted a "serious" picture, like the ones taken of them in the old country.

But really, my logic was: 'I'll be more handsome with a straight face and a leopard print collared shirt'.

I was teased around this age for my thick Persian accent, but more so for my androgyny. I didn't have a word for it then, but "Are you a boy or a girl?" was something I heard often.

Being the only nerdy, gay child of immigrant parents in a (trashy) white town, our family felt jealousy and resentment. All I ever wanted was to make the family proud, but I knew that my existence alone painted a target on their backs.

My parents used my good grades to excuse my gender-bending, and quickly changed the topic to that whenever the subject of my tomboy-ness came up.

My friends said "We always knew," my mom said "I don't want you to be denied ANY opportunity in life," and my dad said "Whatever makes you happy."

Personally, I never accepted the classical notions of "boys" and "girls" that they fed us in school, and neither did my peers, all of whom grew to love me. I pursued my goals and never apologized for being born a queer.

If any teens or pre-teens are reading this, just focus on your own well-being.

If you work at being a trustworthy, loving, and genuine person, those who really matter will recognize your worth, and who'll seek to earn your companionship.

Sara's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Julie Andrews in "The Sound Of Music"

Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"
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Sam Prance said...

Sara - the honesty of this is really moving. If you were my daughter I'd be proud of you for the person you've become, not just your academic achievements. Keep inspiring. x

Kathleen O'Nan said...

Your picture shows a lovely child and your story shows a lovely adult. Thank you for sharing.

April Yee said...

I respect you so much. Thanks for writing!

Danny said...

Thanks for sharing. Your parents sound great! Congratulations on making your life your own.

Unknown said...

I'm not actually female gay but i feel that i could fall in love with both gender , and i already have 5 boyfriends , now i confused with my gender . Can anyone share with me ?