November 21, 2013


Jacqueline, age 7
Pekin, Illinois (1989)

As a kid, I always had way more guy friends than girl friends, and I wanted to look and dress like a boy. Even my parents were convinced I was a boy. My mom wanted to name me Ben, but my dad said "No!" because people would call me "Bengay" - which is kind of ironic considering how that all turned out.

Thankfully, my parents let me express myself the way I wanted and do the hobbies I was interested in.

It is hard to pinpoint the age, but I guess I always knew I may be different. Especially since the girls I was friends with didn't want to look like a boy or build forts.

As you get older, you start to realize being gay isn't the norm, especially in a small town in middle America.

Although being made fun of hurt my feelings, I never let it get to me. I was determined to not let anyone see it hurt me, and eventually I grew thick skin and slowly stopped caring what people thought.

My first girl crush was on Jennifer Aniston, but I wasn't legitimately attracted to a woman until college.  I didn't get to officially "come out" though, as my college roommates told everyone after they saw me sneaking out a girl who had stayed the night with me.

Today, I guess I am almost a poster story for having the most supportive friends and family, who have Platinum PFLAG status. I am so thankful for them, my wonderful friends, and the accomplishments of my chosen career path.

And oh yeah, a wonderful dog AND my girly hair cut now. _____________________________________________________

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


MC said...

That picture is incredible. :) Proud that you're my cousin.

Unknown said...

great story: