Bell Gardens, California (1973)
In the 4th grade there was a boy named Steve in my class. He was much tougher than me and walked me home every single day that year.
I'm not sure if he walked me home to protect me or did that because he knew I was different.
Or, if he felt different too and felt some kind of unity in our daily walk.
It took me 27 years to come out as a gay man. I had a teenage girlfriend and married my ex-wife at the age of 23. Could my life have been easier if I came out earlier on? That is a question I really can't answer.
Today I'm 46, and these are the happiest days of my life. I have a partner of six years and someday soon, will be able to say we are married. I also have a daughter who is 7 years old - around the same age that I was beginning to question why I felt different.
My coming out as a gay man has let me express my true self, create the family I have always wanted, and find the peace and joy that this 7 year old boy was always looking for.
Click - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Also check out "Click - My First Gay Crush Blog"