Ma, Where Do Teletubbies live?

When a gay boy leaps out of the closet, the doors open into a modern day Oz. There’s a yellow brick road, which leads into a most majestic land. Purple teletubbies parachute from the turquoise sky.

“Welcome to gay-landia,” sing the four loveable teletubbies. Dorothy, the tin man, lion and scarecrow skip down the yellow-brick road, passing out skittles to the newly out gay. Prince Charming rides into the hilly green terrain on unicorn.

“Hello, I am a gay prince. Marry Me,” says Prince Charming. So, he sweeps the gay off his feet. They ride toward a castle and live happily ever after.

This is the ideal painting for every gay who’s come out of the darkened closet. However, if this were actually true to life, we wouldn’t have so many sad love ballads.

As a gay boy, who loved Rent (the musical) too much, I wondered who would be the Burt to my Ernie (insert Sesame Street reference)? In non-Sesame Street language, it’s called a boyfriend.

“I see you dating a guy with an English accent. For some reason, I can see you two getting dressed up, while cooking omelets in the morning, said my high school friend, Grace. “

While she spoke, I delved into imagination land. More specifically, I saw myself in a kitchen covered in French country style wallpaper with an English chap. We laughed as we cracked eggs; fired up the stove and made gourmet omelets.

“That’s it,” I proclaimed. As I journeyed back to my high school reality, I uttered the following words, “I must meet a boy, who I can make omelets with.

It took a while to meet a boy. Growing up in a conservative town and high school, didn’t exactly equate an enormous pool of eligible bachelors. However, there were cool spots for gay boys, especially arty ones to meet.

One particular night, I went to the local indie coffee shop, Back 2 the Grind. It hosted bands, art and was a meeting place for the town’s alternative and gay crowd. While, sipping on a cappuccino, I spotted my friends.

Unexpectedly, I took a trip down the yellow brick road. He stood there, looking most ideal. Rather, than riding on a unicorn, he walked out from bustling sidewalk.

I found out we grew up close to each other, but had never met. My brown eyes met his blue eyes. My already rosy cheeks were on fire. I could explain the sensation, which followed.

“Wow, these feel like hot flashes. I remember my mom telling me about this. Wait, am I getting menopause? I naively thought to myself. “No, no men can’t menopause, (still debating this one)” I later assured myself.

There wasn’t a Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin-Man, lion or teletubbies, who could save me. “What was going on?” I thought to myself. The electricity ran through the wires keeping my brain intact. I could hear the song, “kiss me” by Six Pence none the richer playing in my head. The sensation went from scary to enchanting.

“Wow, this is better than Oz,” I thought to myself. I cleared the sweat from my brow as I continued talking to the fellow. My friend whispered, “he’s pretty cute right?” Shaking my head “yes,” I bravely continued the conversation.

My face turned from pepto bismol pink to a cherry tomato red. The fellow did not seem too talkative and the conversation turned into blur from my nerves. Like the mighty Lion (in the Wizard of Oz), I gained some courage.

“Can, I get your number?” I asked. “Shit, I really did it,” was my initial thought. He gave me his number. I stared at it a bit before calling. Finally, I just pressed the damn number.

We talked, but he didn’t seem interested. However, we made plans, but he canceled. Eventually, I was rejected.  I am sure he couldn’t make a good omelet. I do have a special intuition about these things.

It was my first foray into the world of rejection. It was more evil than the wicked witch of the west. As time, went on I couldn’t just tap my ruby red slippers and wish it away.

Instead, I developed a thick skin. After all, I’ll always have my own private Oz. It’s that mystical land where teletubbies sing, the rain consists of brightly colored skittles and all the men can make an extraordinary omelet.

Experimental Art

For a few lucky residents in Riverside (CA), their backyard is an old cemetery. It’s not the typical, bland cemetery. Instead, the antique houses face marvelous tombstones and lush green grounds. It screams character and utter quiet. This is an ideal location, if you’re an honorary member of the Addams Family, of course.

Though, I adored the charming neighborhood with it’s creepy views, I didn’t think I would ever have any fascinating memories there. Until, one day, my perception changed. At that time, I was dating a budding artist. We met in art class. I admired his talent. He also had great style. At first, I wasn’t quite sure if he was gay.

Instead, I started talking about Sex & the City and somehow, he was mesmerized. “Surprise, he came out of the closet.” We spent a significant amount of time together. He always had wild music playing. His room was a tribute to 60′s pop art and colorful collages. He also had pet rabbits, which typically smelled fowl.

At that time, we both lived at home. It made dating rigorous, since his parents didn’t support the gay thing. One day, we decided to go to his favorite make-out corner. He had me drive up a hill. The winding roads led to the old cemetery. I parked the car and we made out. I opened my eyes and there was reality again. The place was slightly eerie, but left a memorable moment.  On the upside, it was a quiet place for a kiss.

I drove him back home. Eventually, we lost touch, but found each other years later. I was happy to know he was dating and pursuing his love of art. As I sit in my New York apartment feeling nostalgic, I giggle. In old fifties films, there was always that make out corner. Mine will always be remembered as the cemetery in Riverside, Ca.

Film School Nerd

Every great civilization and individual, experiences the dreadful dark ages. From this time of recession, a renissance of art & self-expression is typically cultivated. In the dark ages, otherwise known as high school, I underwent my own time of recession.

On a simply gorgeous spring day, my mom uttered the words, which would change my life. “You’re grounded. I saw your report card. Are you daydreaming too much again?” I shook my head. “No.” In actuality, I was jet setting into the land of daydreams, where fashion, interesting people and cappuccinos ran wild.

“No TV, no movies and absolutely no music,” said mom. My eyes grew wide open with fear. What’s my life without a riveting CD collection to keep my right brain in creative/arty mod? I read books, which luckily were not banned. However, I had to find a way to keep my stimulation away from Bermuda Triangle of boredom.

In the common world of American high-school students, I grew up in a cluster of track homes. I took my walks after school along an undeveloped land. It was a little hostess cupcake of nature, until I stared to the left of me. Freeways and more track homes reminded me, ” oh yes, I really do live in suburbia, tear, tear.” As the dust flowed into skies of grey, I decided to say  “Fuck it, I am going to write a movie.”

Not yet acclimated to lap tops, my father took me to the drug store. I bought a pair of inexpensive notebooks and a few magazines. Turning the dull notebooks into a lively piece of art, I cut out high fashion advertisements from the magazines. I then started working on my screenplay.

“Breakfast in New York, Lunch in London, Dinner in Tokyo,” was the title. It was a witty romantic comedy about a journalist doing a story on a jet setting Central Park West socialite. Act I was the typical “boy meets girl” fare. I plugged away with my pen, turning the white bland pages into a world filled with glamour and wit.

While suburban surroundings left me with a lack of stimuli, I turned to my characters’ lives for escapism. There were escapades in Madrid, polo matches in England. Quickly, my characters arrived in ACT II. The story progressed in Paris. In a most cliché manner, the journalist and socialite fell in love with the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower bursting into romance.

By act III, the story hit a less than fabulous speed bump. While digging through my backpack, I noticed act I went missing. It was nothing, but a silly notebook. However, as I writer it was though a body organ had gone into oblivion. I cried and realized the emotional connection I had with my work.

The next morning, I bravely asked my Spanish professor if I had left my notebook in class. He nodded “yes.” Fireworks exploded from my head in joyful glee. By the look on his face, I could tell he didn’t approve of the Versace ad adorning the cover, which made me feel very, very hip. The saga of “Breakfast in New York, Lunch in London, Dinner in Tokyo” commenced.

Act III took place in Tokyo, where the journalist loses the socialite’s love. He regains and they live happily ever after. At the end, they both ride camels into the sunset with a backdrop of Egyptian pyramids. After writing an entire 3 act film in long hand, I considered my fete, a huge accomplishment. I thought it was a film that could be made and change the world, even though it was formulaic romantic comedy.

Eventually, I was let go from being grounded. The whole screenwriting experience led me to film school, where I received a BA in film. I didn’t grow up to be the next Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson or Sophia Coppola. Instead, I found my calling in advertising.

Today, I work in the creative department of an advertising firm, with the goal of becoming a copywriter. I live in my own New York City apartment and enjoy the very stimulating environment. While my teachers and mom complained about my daydreaming, as I grew into a writer, I realized it’s called “being creative.”

Cucumber Sandwiches

Long before, I lived in a walk-up, did brunch in the East Village & took the subway to work in Midtown, there was a place called suburbia. During my teen years, “Varsity Blues,” “She’s all that” & “Never been kissed” were the big films of the day. Culture was experienced through watching endless amounts of TV, everything from Dawson’s Creek to (re-runs of) the Real World: San Francisco took me away from the confines of my modest track home existence.

While Saturday nights, I’d go to Borders and spend countless hours browsing through the art, LQBT, poetry and travel section. My dad would then drive me to Starbucks, where we would talk and blast my music very loud while driving around my hometown. I spent my teenage years in Riverside, CA. Everyday, I’d daydream about living in New York, but little did I know, that charm was all around me.

Riverside could’ve fit perfectly into any John Hughes movies, whether it was Sixteen Candles or Pretty in Pink. There were the obvious signs of suburbia in my town. Teenagers would carpool from school to the local galleria. They window shopped at Nordstrom’s, ate at Hot dog on a stick and constantly talked about the world outside Riverside.

The houses were quite quaint, ranging from Victorian to Craftsman. There was the old fashioned Italian family restaurant, the Mexican diner and the gourmet sandwich shop, which welcomed everyone from the ladies who lunch & golf to the large families armed with mini-vans. In this town of strip malls and green grass, I met some of my best lifelong friends.

Growing up, an only child, I gravitated toward friends with big families. They always welcomed me as the son, they never had. My best gal pal growing was Elizabeth. She always invited me on outings with her family. The Densmores consisted of five girls. Everyone was lovely, perfectly dressed and well mannered. Going over to their house meant, that freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and watching indie films (on TV) was inevitable.

Elizabeth invited me over to her grandma’s tea party. Like many parties to come, I was the only boy. I was excited to meet Riverside’s ladies who lunch (secretly don’t we all want to be a lady, who lunches?). We arrived at her grandmother’s perfectly appointed home, which was in the upwardly mobile community of Victoria. She answered the door and welcomed us in.

I’d always been a coffee drinker, but decided to try out tea. It was delicious, actually. However, I was met with a food group, very foreign to me and quite frightful, the cucumber. For years, I couldn’t eat a cucumber. The texture didn’t agree with my palate.

Instead of passing up the beautifully presented miniature sandwich, I bravely took a bite. Since, it was thinly sliced and came with cream cheese inside, I didn’t mind much. As the tea party progressed, a sea of very glamorous women and equally glam daughters arrived.

Surprisingly, I had a couple more cucumber sandwiches. A vegetable, which scared the living daylights, became my friend. After eating half of the desserts at the tea party, I once again tried to conquer my food phobia.

Till this day, I don’t like cucumbers. It’s still the texture. I must say, thanks to the tea party, some food phobia was lost. I ate more foods, which I would typically not bravely eat.

Gay Cowboys Never Get The Blues

In my junior year of high school, I hosted a senior citizen’s dance. It was for school credit and counted toward community service hours. Every Wednesday, I’d gather up with my fellow teenyboppers and come up with exciting ways to entertain the geriatrics crowd. We came up with a 50′s theme dance.

In a church hall, a bevy of old people gathered. We dressed in our most spiffy 1950′s attire. Being a certified wallflower, I didn’t want to dance. Instead, I volunteered to myself as the master of ceremony. I watched the young at heart strut their stuff to the sounds of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper & the Platters. Nothing wooed the crowd more than the sounds of country music. Albeit, the old people got tired of swinging each other and wanted a little line dancing.

Somehow, I was talked into joining in the Yee-haw fun. At that moment, my Madonna/Brit pop/80′s new wave heartbeat did a two-step to the sounds of country music. I smiled and really enjoyed myself. The music stopped and I didn’t listen to country music for over a decade.

Years later, I re-visited line dancing. While attending Judy’s birthday party at a country themed restaurant on Long Island, I was once again reunited with the sounds of states far from my New York bubble. Judy wanted to line dance and insisted I join her on the ride.

I kept tripping over my feet, as I swayed to the sounds of Martina McBride & Shania Twain. Like my sixteen-year-old self, I refused to show that I was enjoying all the dancing. Unlike years before, I had an excuse to enjoy all the most foreign style of dancing.

There in the midst of the two stepping arrived cowboys. They were Long Island cowboys. So, I decided to line dance a little better, just in case one of the fellows was gay. I also realized how handsome a guy could look in a most delightful cowboy hat. After my country infused weekend on Long Island, I returned to the city. Little did I know cowboy boots and a whole lotta Yee-haw followed me into the pop & hip-hop infused canyons of Midtown.

After a fancy event at a rooftop in Hells Kitchen, my gal pals decided to take me to a country music gay bar, the Flaming Saddles. Like any gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen, there were a bevy of perfectly manicured gay men. However, missing were the dance tracks often heard in the gay meccas. Country music filled the dodgy walls of the gay watering hole. Nothing could prepare me for what happened next.

As I finished the last drop of Jameson, the gay cowboys started dancing on the bar. The crowds hooted and howled as the sexy bartenders did one amazing and perfectly choreographed two-step. It hit me. “This never happened at the senior citizen dance I helped organize.” I am sure if it did happen, there would’ve been more grandpas questioning their sexual orientation.

 

 

The Lone Liberals

Cheerleaders, high kicks, pom poms, spirited crowds and a 90′s pop soundtrack, which would naturally evoke a couple funky dance moves. These were my high school prep rallies. When the cheerleaders did their enthusiastic claps and asked the question ” Do you have spirit? We have spirit, how about you?” My schoolmates would proclaim, ” We got spirit, yes we do, how about you?”

Everyone would proclaim this sentiment, but me. Although, I appreciated all the Bring it on/ Cheerleading fluff of prep rallies, I didn’t fancy high school much. “This shit is stupid” were my exact sentiments.

In fact, prep rallies were the perfect opportunity to drift into a land of daydreams, where I was free of football jocks, lockers & liturgy days. I attended a Catholic school. During those days, I was the lone liberal. However, one day I met another liberal girl, Grace. She had two moms and we were political twins. Together, we drifted into a world far from the high school norm and both made a point of not getting involved in high school activities.

On one of our many hang out sessions by the art room, she made a stunning announcement. ” I wanna go to prom,” she said. “Wow, really?” I asked, appearing quite dumbfounded. ” Yeah, do you wanna be my prom date?” she asked. As, I shook off the shock; the notion of going to prom intrigued me. I made an art form of avoiding homecoming games and dances, but the novelty behind it could be fun. “Ok,” I replied. She hugged me.

The lone liberals were off to prom. Next step was finding a tuxedo. My mom took me to the tuxedo shop where I rented a Ralph Lauren tux. I got my haircut and was ready to show some school spirit by attending the prom. The next day, I woke up with an unexpected visitor on my face. “Oh no, I have a zit,” I yelled.  It was big, red & located in the middle of my left cheek. Mortified, I went to school, thinking that I would be regarded as the boy with the giant zit for the prom pictures.

Like any good mom my mom decided to keep me away from traumatic life experiences. So, she put a little cover up on my zit. That afternoon with my skin clear and tuxedo looking quite proper, I was ready for prom. Grace’s moms took pictures. After meeting up with friends, we went to prom in a big limo. It was particularly exciting, since I had only ridden a limo during funerals.

The prom was my first high school event. To my shock, I actually had a splendid time.  My cynical self departed that night. The lone liberals danced the night away to tunes of the time. Christina Aguilera, N’Sync and B*Witched provided some of the evening’s soundtrack, while I got a nice buzz from all the free soda pop. I enjoyed wearing a tux so much, that I took a picture with all of my gal pals, just to commemorate the fashionable occasion. It was a rare night free of teenage angst.

After prom, I went back to jaded and un-spirited. I also became the talk of the school, since I was in a majority of the prom photos. Mission accomplished.  Needless to say, it was my last school event. Till this day, I look back fondly at my prom experience.

Indie Boys

Before I grew into the gay male version of Carrie Bradshaw, I was a suburban teenager. I spent considerable time at the mall, ate at hot dog on a stick, shopped for sneakers at Nordstrom’s, walked from my high school to the record shop weekly & spent endless hours at Borders creating wanderlust for exotic places in the travel section. However, the suburban lifestyle wasn’t for me. Therefore, I dreamed of being a gay boy in New York.

For gay boys spending their teenage years in Riverside, there was a glimmer of hope. “Back 2 the grind” was an independent coffee house. It had bands, arty types and gay boys seeking refuge from their more conservative surroundings. It was a wonderful place to meet boys without stepping foot in a loud sweaty club.

One particular night, I picked up my friend Richie. He lived in an old craftsman style house in Riverside. His room was adorned with kitschy posters from virtually every John Waters from Pink Flamingos to Hairspray. We would listen to some funky tunes at his pad, which would get us pumped up for a night out at the coffee shop, listening to bands & looking at cool art.

After listening to some funky folk music, I would drive us down to the coffee shop in Downtown Riverside. I used to ride around in an old Chevy Prizm, which my friends always teased me about. “Oh dude, you’re not gonna get laid in that car,” Was the usual reaction I received from driving the babe mobile. We met up with Richie’s friend.

There he was curly haired, glasses, slight scruff & reading Ezra Pound. Hello Mr. English major! After a night of vulgar jokes and riveting intellectual debate, I made the moves on Mr. English major. While Richie went home early with another friend, I took Mr. English major to the backseat of my car for a make out session.

Whoops, I felt a scratch on my face and then another. His beard was rough and after our little snog session, my skin was red. I looked in the mirror and it appeared that I had just experienced a facial.

“No big deal,” I thought to myself. Then I realized my mom was an insomniac & would probably be up watching the Trinity Broadcasting Network. “Shit!” I said goodnight to Mr. English major and started driving around with the windows open, naively thinking the cold wind would cure my reddish skin.

I have naturally rosy skin, but the irritation was a different shade then my usual pink. Taking the long way home, I knew I would get grilled. As I opened the door to our modest home while mom shook her leg in a frenetic pace. She did this all the time, the nervous leg twitch that is. Every time, I came home she had arms folded. Her body language was saying, “You were up to no good.” I really was up to no good though.

She stared me down as I entered. “Where were you?” she asked. ” The coffee shop talking about the bible,” I replied. ” I just really bull-shited her” was my first thought.

Mom fell for it and went back to watching a praise-a-thon on TBN. She ignored my odd skin tone. When I walked into the bathroom, I noticed something. “Wow, my driving around with the windows down worked.” I didn’t see any redness. My mission was accomplished.

Years later, I grew into a proper New York City boy. My options for places to meet men grew by infinity and beyond. I didn’t have to worry about being a little red in the face after kissing a scruffy boy.

In fact, being red in the face would be a badge of achievement. Before any date my roommate Morgan would yell, “don’t get pregnant” as I walked from our stoop to the subway. While strolling to the subway I though to myself, “If I knew I was gonna be the gay male version of Carrie Bradshaw, I would’ve learned to walk in high heels.”

Winter Awakening

“It’s the business everyone is dying to get into,” says my eccentric uncle in reference to his casket selling business. Growing up, funerals were an unfortunate staple. However, my family had a more laid-back approach to death.

Outings to the cemetery were a less than dreary event. My relatives would lounge in lawn chairs and spend time with our dearly departed relatives. There were never tears, but plenty of good fashioned arguments and laughter always ensued.

The actual funerals were filled with all the pomp & pageantry a Catholic could dream of. My mom and I would always walk into the funeral home. When we spotted the sea of natural redheads by bottle, mom would proclaim, “I see our family is here.” After hours of sitting and looking at our dead but beloved relatives, we had to brace ourselves for the actual funeral, which followed the next morning.

In our family, the staple funeral food was fried chicken and Stouffer’s lasagna. At the day of the funeral/burial everyone looked exhausted. I would look around at all the eyes, which were anguished with boredom. At that moment, I knew what they were thinking ” I hope they have fried chicken after the burial.” Personally, I was hoping for our favorite funeral food too.

After the burial ceremony, nobody wanted to stick around to see the casket go underground. My family was starved, raced out of the cemetery and headed to a relative’s house. We chowed down on that bucket of fried chicken like wild lions in the jungle.

As years passed our funeral staple faded. Catered Mexican and sandwiches were served for wakes. For a long time,  I kept associating fried chicken with our funerals.

It all faded one day. I spent considerable amount of time in Harlem. For me the charming neighborhood is the bright lights of the Apollo theatre, perfectly appointed brownstones, tall NYCHA (the projects) with majestic views of the city and summertime Italian ices.

Sylvia’s soul food is Harlem’s signature restaurant. Judy & I took a foodie field trip there. I ordered the fried chicken and waffles. Soon fried chicken went from funeral food to comfort food delight. Sylvia’s became my favorite place for deep fried poultry. It was also a nice refuge from the icy cold Manhattan sidewalks.

Nowadays, our family serves fried chicken at Christmas parties. Therefore, it’s a celebratory food for both our soul and senses. I haven’t made it up to Sylvia’s in a while, but still crave their fried chicken and waffles with a side of grits.

 

 

Twink Meet Bear

I used to be a twink (skinny hairless gay guy), but the inner bear in me wanted to come out and play. Like any gay boy living in New York City, I walked everywhere while eating pizza, hot dogs and cheesecake.

At the time, I had a speedy metabolism. Therefore, I could have that second helping of Italian food. However, there was someone inside of me begging to come out, my inner bear (hairy, slightly meaty guy with facial hair).

I moved to California and my inner bear finally made his grand appearance. I gained some lbs, but still delighted in all the foods I enjoyed in New York along with a vast selection of taco trucks. After a while, I let my beard grow and became an authentic bear.

It was a nice rebellion to the mainstream ideas of male beauty. I was scruffy, yet reveled in my body type. While walking along the sidewalks of New York with some love handles to call my own, it dawned on me. The same guys, who liked me skinny, also love me with some meat.

There is too much emphasis on body image. As the old cliché goes, looks fade, smart is forever. I came to realize that. In my world, I still rock the cardigans and ties. I also still love food and good whisky. Sorry, leaves are for rabbits, give me steak and potatoes any day.

Family Portrait

Gay marriage is illegal in most states. Yet, for those not aware, my people (the gays) throw one lavish shindig. Decadent cakes, fashionable bridesmaid dresses and of course, a DJ spinning every possible Madonna song.

I’ll admit to having a more cynical view on getting married. However, the fantasy of marrying a guy has not been a foreign concept. I imagine our wedding on a spectacular rooftop in the Village. He has curly hair, glasses and puts an artsy twist to his suit. While, most couples opt for more traditional attire. Everyone in my wedding would wear cardigans.

Afterwards, the hubby and I would settle into a beautiful Park Slope, Brooklyn brownstone. We would throw lavish dinner parties and grab gelato while walking along the neighborhood’s main drag Fifth Avenue.

We would then adopt culturally diverse set of children. They would all wear Lacoste sweaters and enjoy the same cultural activities that my hubby and I adore. Then it hit me. Oh, I remember when I was a kid.

Then the trauma emerges boogers, poop, and unspecified germs from the sandbox, private school tuition, crying, running around, stuffed animals thrown everywhere and countless hours of cheesy cartoon theme songs. Maybe, I will stay single for a long time?

Luckily, if I wanted both the ideal and not so ideal family life, gay marriage is legal in New York. I didn’t grow up in a gay home. In fact, I had a very traditional American upbringing. I do have a bevy of gay relatives making the case for genetics.

I didn’t have exposure to gay nuclear families, till I was in high school. My friend Grace had two moms and attended a Catholic school. We bonded right away. One day, she invited me over to help with organizing her room. She goes “we can play with my easy bake oven afterwards.” I tried holding back my excitement and agreed.

Up to that point, religion said gay families were bad. However, I had already come out of the closet and wanted to experience what gay families were really like. At that time, we lived in Riverside, CA. The suburb has a lovely neighborhood called the “Wood Streets.” It’s a historic district, where styles from Spanish to Craftsman merge in a beautiful architectural marriage.

My mom dropped me off. I didn’t tell her about Grace’s two moms, but certain she had an idea. They lived in an old house. I entered to one of her moms greeting me warmly at the door then showing me Grace’s room.

As expected, Grace’s room made mine (already messy room) look like an organized/OCD person’s wet dream. We shifted through toys, books and clothes. Afterwards, we both looked incredibly fatigued. We then spent time with her mom’s.

Unlike most religious fanatics who claim a gay family’s household is evil and has fire-breathing dragons living in the basement, Grace’s household was the complete opposite. Her moms were warm and friendly. We watched TV together, talked and found that we both had a common fascination with all things British.

They also had a huge book collection. I loved it. They had travel, literary classics and art books. It was a simply peaceful environment. I heard a car horn and it was mom. After saying my goodbyes, I headed toward the car. My mom who was very conservative looked at me and said “I get a really good vibe from Grace’s house.”  “You’re right,” I said with a smile.

My mom came to accept my gayness more as I grew older. She even attended my aunts’ mostly lesbian dominated Christmas party and had a great time. Growing up gay is never easy, but knowing that I have the right to live my life freely is absolutely priceless.

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