James, age 3
Madison, Wisconsin (1993)
You see, I wasn't always a drag queen. Okay maybe I was. But there's still a possibility that I might have ended up a lawyer or a UFC fighter.
You see, I was once a young, well behaved Catholic school boy. But then I watched "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" - the movie, not the TV series - but that also proved to be quite influential. The film starred Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry (the world's oldest high schooler, but boy was he dreamy). I watched it constantly, wearing out the VHS tape my parents ripped off HBO.
I remember Kristy gets harassed by David Arquette, who takes a hot dog off of Kristy’s plate and holds it to her crotch and asks: “Buffy are you hungry?”
And she slices it clean off with a butter knife!
Well, I decided wouldn't it be hilarious to do the same thing to my friend Connor at lunch one day. I took the offending frankfurter out of its bun and presented it to him aside my crotch and quoted David Arquette word for word, a performance I think even he would of been proud of.
Needless to say this, didn't win me any People’s Choice Awards.
Nope, I got thrown into the principal's office, and got a weekly visit to the school psychologist - for making a joke? Sure it was crass and bluer than my usual material, but I was just an up and coming comedian. Right?
But this incident led to the first crack in the foundation of my childhood innocence. See, I was always a tad odd, but in my own way, I felt I was charming. Sure, nobody played with me at recess - but that's because I didn't play sports. Sure, nobody came to my birthday parties - but that's because every February 19th a plague hit my class.
And suddenly, I was now "Weird James" at school.
I was James the weird kid for years, up until the weird started to bleed over into the queer. It starts with the tingly feeling you get when you see Jerry O'Connell as the hotter brother in "Sliders" then as the dreamy boyfriend in "Scream 2" and by the time I got to Jerry O'Connell in "Tomcats" — I was GAY!
I've been beaten up, chased home, and had things thrown at me. Taking the school bus filled me with dread. I was late to school for 6 months because I was afraid to stand at the school bus stop. It's impossible for me to write a coming out story since I've kinda always been out. I just didn't know it.
By the time high school rolled around, I decided it was time to drop the facade and I came out at age 16. Like all of us, I was gayer, more louder, and draped in as much attention grabbing rainbow as I could find at your local Spencer's gifts. I was proud, and for the first time in my life, I felt unsinkable.
But it took me a long time to learn what "finding my tribe" means. I went through a long period of finding friendship with other outcasts who needed companionship. And I also found the true power of being different.
My message to queer kids today is: being gay is a beautiful thing, and it's a gift.
It's a free pass to be the most interesting person in a group - unless of course someone in that group is a pro wrestler or a trapeze artist, then they are the most interesting person. But I'm sure they couldn't sing a Donna Summer medley worth a shit.
In closing, I'd like to contact anyone with even the closest six degree of separation from Joss Whedon, to let them know the damage has been done!
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"
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