September 16, 2012


Cricket, age 7
Biloxi, Mississippi (1984)

My photo is from an Arts & Crafts fair I was at with my grandmother, my aunt, and my cousins. We were selling handmade monkey puppets that wrapped around your body. They wanted me to pose next to the rocking pony for a picture, and I didn't want to. Hence the sassy attitude, which I still have today.

I was raised in the suburbs of New Orleans, and my mom and dad were divorced before I was born.

My grandparents and an aunt raised me with a watchful eye.

I was not a shy boy, and I was very outgoing, artsy, and athletic. I loved tumbling, painting, volleyball, soccer, and cheerleading.

My father tried to get me to play more "manly" sports, but that never worked out.

I always felt different, and not like my cousins or anyone I knew.

I first realized I was gay was when a neighbor's son (a Marine) came to get me to drive me to where my father was with his friends.

We were walking down the street and he asked if I wanted to race. I said sure, and he took off like a bat out of hell. All I could look at was his butt. It was so perfectly round! I was so attracted to it, but didn't know what that feeling meant.

Today, I'm a dental assistant living in Chicago with barely any communication with my family. I feel my father is ashamed of me for being gay, and that most of my family is mad at me for leaving to try and pursue a life outside of the south.

But I'm still dancing and cheerleading, and I love it.

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