September 15, 2015


Adam, age 2
Fayetteville, North Carolina (1987)

I was always known as  the "Miracle Baby" in my family, as my folks were in their 40's and in poor health when I showed up. I was brought up in a very strict, Pentecostal Christian household where sin and anything pertaining to the world were forbidden. Like most only children, I was somewhat spoiled with attention.

My photo was taken on Christmas Day, 1987. That year, I got a red Radio Flyer wagon, clothes, a Sit 'n' Spin toy and several little trinkets. But my most prized gift was the My Buddy doll I had begged my parents for. I'm sure that they weren't thrilled to buy me a doll, but since the little boy in the TV commercial had one, they relented. 

You can see just how surprised I was, pointing at the gifts and saying: 'For me?' 

I always loved playing with dolls and I had a huge collection of My Little Pony dolls. I can remember the embarrassment on my dad's face (RIP Dad) as I ran down the "girl's toys" aisle and picked out a new pony. 

I've known that I was different from the time I was three or four years old. I had what I guess you'd call a crush on my youngest uncle. He was handsome and would spend time with me, so I thought he was the greatest guy in the world.  

I developed several crushes throughout my elementary school days. Even so, I would always tell people that I had a "girlfriend" (usually just a close female friend), because that was the normal thing to do.  

I was around seven years old when I first heard my parents and the members of my church talking about "those queers" and "them homosexuals." When I finally did understand what these words meant, I was extremely afraid and ashamed.  

My two biggest fears were: going to Hell and disappointing my parents. Yet, I couldn't help the way I felt. No matter how hard I tried or how much I prayed, my feelings for guys remained the same.  

When was ten, I made the mistake of telling my mother that I wanted to be a girl. I wasn't transgender, but I thought the only way I could have a boyfriend was to become a girl. My mother had a fit and told me that God would send me straight to Hell if I kept thinking that way. I think that was when I first began keeping my feelings to myself.  

All through my high school years, I had devastating crushes on guys and hid behind my religion. The reason I didn't have a girlfriend wasn't because I was gay. In my mind, I was just saving myself for the right girl. Then the day came (after college) when I couldn't lie to myself anymore.  

Today, I'm out to some close friends. My family is intensely homophobic, so I keep my personal life to myself. I did attempt to come out to my mother, but she threatened to out me to everyone and ban me from her life. That was, by far, the hardest thing I've been through to date. And I even considered suicide. 

I couldn't imagine a world in which I could truly be happy in my own way. 
But I persevered and I am thriving the more I learn to love and accept myself.

I still have a long way to go, but I have amazing friends who love me and a partner who makes me feel like I'm the only man in the world.

For today's LGBTQ kids, I would say this: Hold on!

And think for yourself. Don't allow the ignorance or religious fervor of others keep you from being truly happy. Our world is changing and our time is coming.

I may not know you, but I send my love to you.  
Just keep holding on to your truth and I promise it does get better. 

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