May 28, 2013

Allison

Allison, age 3
Cleveland, Ohio (1993) 

As a kid I was always lusting after my brother's LEGO blocks. But as he was almost six years older, he was not keen on sharing them with me. So imagine my delight when I unwrapped my very own LEGO set for Christmas! I do remember being mildly upset that my box was pink instead of red. I liked red as a bold color.

I loved climbing trees and going for long "excursions" with the local boys along the creek behind my house.

But I also loved getting dolled up in dresses for special occasions, and I didn't mind that my Christmas pajamas were frilly.

Or that my mother refused to let me paint my room dark blue.

The first time I noticed my sexuality was in the 6th grade, when I was simultaneously in love with my best friend (a girl) and a boy in my homeroom.


I knew then that I was "different" and that I should pick which gender I would like for the rest of my life. But I didn't want to. I knew about gay people, but I didn't know there were other options besides just "gay" and "straight".

I had and still have massive crushes on Ryan Reynolds (and Ryan Gosling), Eliza Dushku, and Alison Hannigan. As far as Alison is concerned, her role on "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" is all I need to say!

Unfortunately, my biggest bully is my own brother. He took out his own anger on me and soon found that mocking my tomboy behavior was a sour spot for me.

One time he nonchalantly said, "I bet you're a lesbian." I asked him what he meant, but he wouldn't answer. I thought a lot about it though. We aren't on speaking terms and because of this and other family factors, I spent my first Christmas with just my partner, despite my family living 5 minutes away.

I pledged a sorority in college and got kicked out for being who I am. But I don't regret coming out. I do regret dropping out because of the resulting severe depression and lack of motivation causing confusion and turmoil in my head.

I eventually made a great group of friends and met my wonderful partner. I have always maintained that I like both genders, and though I do not deny that there should not be distinction between the genders, I'll admit that I like my men manly and my women at least mildly feminine.

I have to constantly remind myself and my lovely wife that things do get better, and even now things are better than they were a year ago, or the year before that.

So my message for LGBTQ kids today is: Just keep your head up.
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Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"


May 18, 2013

Mykel

Mykel, age 4
Macon, Georgia (1996)

I was a very quiet kid. I never liked wearing suits, but I remember loving the setting of this wedding reception I attended with my mother. My signature pose always involved a limp wrist and a protruding pinky. You could say I was your average Bette Midler whenever I walked from room to room.

Growing up I liked girls, but only enough to call them "pretty."

My first attraction to boys occurred by accident when I was age 7. I'd "spied" a classmate of mine more than I should have in a restroom stall, and I couldn't look away.

Barbie dolls were my life, and I was fascinated by the clothes designed for them. I wanted every collector's Barbie, but they were so expensive, I had to make my own.

With a Wonder Woman doll and an ill-fitting black dress with Velcro dots, I made my own Morticia Addams doll.


I always preferred female roles in movies to the point of memorizing their lines.
I even acted out Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman character in "Batman Returns."

My first celebrity crush was Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys. The rest didn't compare, and the N*Sync boys didn't stand a chance. Other music I loved included the Spice Girls, S Club 7, and Britney Spears. My mom was already listening to Celine Dion and Shania Twain, so I guess I had it coming.

My mother raised me to be the most polite child imaginable, and everyone around me loved me for it. I didn't have a lot of friends, but the few I had were enough.

And believe it or not, I didn't know I was gay. While I showed signs, I was still, somehow, in a weird state of denial. I didn’t come out to myself until I was 19, and then to my mother by age 20.

Today, I am much more comfortable in my skin now than ever. So my advice to LGBTQ kids is to keep yourself busy in doing what makes you happy.
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Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"


May 07, 2013

Susan

Susan, age 5 
Phoenix, Arizona (1959) 


My first lesbian experience was at the age of five, with a girl of the same age from my school.

We spent nights at each others homes, and we shared the same bed together during sleep-overs. 

I was drawn to her body, and she to mine. There were many passionate (but innocent) nights spent in each others arms.

One day, she disappeared from my life. I really don't know what happened.

I assume that her father, who was in the Air Force, was transferred out of state.

During the ensuing years, I had an affair that lasted several months with an older female cousin, and on and off affairs with several of my girlfriends.

However, the girl that I was most in love with shunned my advances, and she broke my heart. Even so, some fifty years later, we are still friends.
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Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"