(10) I checked-out and listened to all the Broadway Cast Albums in our local library when I was in junior high school. I made mix-tapes of my favorite Broadway songs.
(9) I didn’t start buying rock and roll records until the second half of high school (Elton John, David Bowie, etc.). Prior to that, I loved listening to the pop divas of the day on the radio (late 60’s & early 70’s): Karen Carpenter, Cher, Petula Clark, Melanie, Dionne Warwick, Cass Elliot, etc. I knew the words to all their hits.
(8) During grade school, my dad had a basement full of Playboy and Penthouse magazines. I always thought the pictures of the naked women were creepy and would flip by them quickly. However, I enjoyed reading the articles and trying to make sense and understand the sex jokes in the cartoons. I especially liked the Forum section of Penthouse which always had a letter that started "I'm straight but one day..."
(7) I thought my best Halloween costume in grade school was the year I dressed up in drag and wore my mother’s red wig.
(6) Ever since I was very small, I wanted a doll house of my own. My parents did not buy a doll house until my sister was born. Although the house was not mine, I was allowed to furnish and accessorize it.
(5) Playing sports was never an interest of mine but I always took my time changing in the locker room for PE or swim lessons. I was always secretly scoping out the other guys. If I had to try out for a sport, I always thought wrestling or swimming would be interesting.
(4) I was envious of my little sister getting to take dance lessons. But I never spoke up to my parents about it. It would be many years later before I took dance classes on my own.
(3) I always thought Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly were funny and outrageous along with the other queer-type closet TV comics, Don Knotts and Tony Randall. I would try to mimic their routines.
(2) I was a band geek all through junior high and high school. I thought half-time shows with marching bands were the best part of football games. Seeing a marching band in a parade still brings a lump to my throat.
(1) The highlight, for me, of the Key Club ski trip I went on in high school was sharing a double bed with the most handsome student body officer in our class. Nothing happened.
National Coming Out Day: Celebrate October 11... If not now, when? Whether you're lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or not, be proud of who you are and your support for LGBT equality. A simple conversation can change the lives of people you care about. Coming out information and guides are available at the HRC site.
In September the New York Times Magazine did a major feature on middle-school youth coming out. Outlet, a local teen organization that we support is mentioned in the article. Outlet supports and empowers local GLBTQQ youth by providing counseling and community, leadership training & advocacy, and outreach awareness.