June 08, 2016


Andrew, age 3
Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset UK (1988)

The picture shows me a little disheveled looking. I don't think I look much different these days, though my little brother here has changed a lot! I suppose the earliest sign that I was gay was that out of the four sons she had, my mother always described me saying, "He was never any trouble at all." 

I was a very gentle, sensitive child. Unlike my little brother, who was an absolute nightmare who never stopped screaming and crying!

I knew I was gay from the get-go, and it sometimes caused me embarrassment. Like entering a flower arranging competition at school, simply because I wanted to arrange flowers. 

Why? Because I loved flowers!

And I didn't think anyone would notice I was the only boy to enter a flower arranging competition. 

Unfortunately, for me, I won! 

I had to accept a prize in front of the whole school. And because I was a boy, 
I think some bitter parents bypassed the early signs I was gay. I think they assumed my mother had created the arrangement, and I was simply cheating. 

Ironically, my dad had picked the flowers, but it was all arranged by myself. 

The obvious "gay" behaviors I exhibited were never discouraged by my family.
At my grade school, I was friends with everyone in my class, and we all loved each other. So I never felt that I should be deeply worried about being different. Although, I was definitely aware of it. 

It wasn't until Jr. High when things changed and I realized my gayness was something to not draw attention to, despite it targeting me for daily insults. 

Today I can say I know that things do get better as you get older. And now I hope sometimes to bump into old bullies from school and not be scared of being gay. 

It's such a liberation, not being embarrassed or ashamed anymore. 
And I still love flowers!

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