Manchester, Maryland (1987)
I'm pictured on the right with my pants tucked into my boots so you could see how pretty they were. I was always told, 'Boys don't tuck their jeans into their boots, girls do.' I just know I always felt more comfortable doing things my way!
I like how happy I look in this picture with my friends. This is one of many pictures that just scream, "Come on! Were you surprised I'm gay? Really?" Recently I gathered my pictures from birth through high school. In this picture you see my smile, and see that I am happy.
But I soon realized I was different and knew I was gay. Those of us born this way have always known it on some level. Unfortunately, the older I got the more my smile went away. And that breaks my heart. I look at my pictures and I feel so much pain for a little boy that just wanted to be loved so badly.
If there is one good thing I can say and ask of anyone who reads this, it is this:
If parents notice their kids or their friends' kids aren't smiling anymore, find out why. And show them some love. Whenever you suspect that someone just needs some love, I would say 99% of the time it's an accurate intuition.
I hope that somehow my story will touch even one person to reach out and help someone's smile last longer than mine did. All it takes is a few minutes to extend love to someone, especially a child that is begging to be loved.
"Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Also check out "My First Gay Crush Blog"