Bellevue, Idaho (1947)
I was known as Little Lenny, the "City Boy" with wild west affiliations combined with an English bloodline. My great grandparents were pioneers to the West and were among the earliest ranchers and silver-mining adventurers in Southern Idaho. I have a little Native American blood, too.
I always felt different deep down. You know what I mean? As a young child I slept outside in the summertime and stared up at the stars, pondering:
Where does life end?
How far is infinity?
Nobody knows everything, but I knew being different was unanswerable even then. I had no choice but to go along with life and take a ride.
From my earliest memories I knew I was not like everyone else. But I didn't know what "gay" actually was back then.
People mostly liked me, but I do have an older sister who sent me to the emergency room after various baby-sitting "accident" occasions. Truthfully, I would call those homicidal inclinations.
I still have scars, and I call her "the assassin" to this day. She pretends she doesn't remember any of this because I was an "adorable" child. Yeah, right.
I know that life can be a double challenge for LGBTI people of all nationalities and races. I come from hearty English-American stock and we keep on moving no matter what troubles we encounter. It's the American Way!
I also know that we are everyone's child, sister, brother, co-worker and best friend. Gay people are a part of life and we share our lives with everyone.
Nothing can change that fact!
I am now 72 years old and an active artist, and I live at the foot of an active volcano in Central America. I have always loved my life, and I still love my life.
And I still stare up at the stars in the heavens and feel inspired by life around me. The life I have been given is the one I deeply enjoy and am grateful to always have had. So for all the young gay kids reading this now, I will tell you:
IT GETS BETTER! It honestly does.
Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"
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