December 29, 2014


Charles, age 4
Longport, New Jersey (1967)

I'm from the South New Jersey shore. Philadelphia was our big city. Home was a beach town, so it was empty in the winter. Empty except for the “locals,” and being gay was a concept that didn't fit in with the “local” mentality. My parents were decent people, but they were locals, too. 

Being gay was a tough and lonely journey for me. I thought the boys were cool, but it was because I was attracted to them. I know that now, but I didn't back then. I attended Catholic schools, and had no issues about that.

My photo was taken by my grandfather, with me atop my father's desk chair. 

I loved superheroes as a kid, as they were people with great gifts who just seemed so "normal" on the outside.

Their “secret” was their hidden powers.

Suddenly, they became super-special, the people they really were. They stopped hiding. That transformation is the core idea that got me through it all.

As a kid I also loved Lee "The Bionic Man" Majors. He was the perfect real-world superhero: handsome, bighearted, strong, and sweet. And for vision and resolve, to overcome and triumph, I admired Abraham Lincoln. His story is amazing.

My parents were crushed when I came out. It hurts a loving child so much to disappoint his parents. But in time, that healed.

Today I live in Puerto Rico and I'm a successful lawyer. And being gay never kept me from anything. But I kept myself from things. Until I remembered that we are here to be a point of light in the world. Then, suddenly, everything began to change. I also fully realized that I was born this way. 

I already had everything I needed to be who I am meant to be. 
And when you realize that too, it's like your own personal 4th of July! 

So go and do your thing!

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

December 04, 2014


Shaun, age 6
Johannesburg, South Africa (1993)

As far back as I can remember, I always knew that I was gay and that I liked boys. Interestingly enough, within myself I never had an issue with it. But I was always worried by what other people would think or say. This is something so ingrained that I still worry about it to this day.

The problem with society is that being gay is regarded as not "normal." I read an example once that’s stuck with me throughout the years because it is so true: 

If an adult sees a boy and a girl playing together, they'll often ask playfully 'Is she your girlfriend?' or visa versa. However, if it's two boys or two girls playing, nobody will ever ask them that same question. 

These subtle hints in every aspect of our culture cause being gay (and the coming out process) to be very difficult for many of us.

I first came out to my friends as a senior in high school. 

They took it without even batting an eye, and my best friend’s biggest issue was that I hadn’t told her earlier.  I'm fortunate that many of those people remain close friends to this day, and it is directly a result of their acceptance that I am the person I am today.

I ended up having to come out to my family, because I had gotten myself into a situation where I needed their help. And without them knowing the boy involved was in fact my boyfriend, they wouldn't be able to understand the full situation. 

My mom took my coming out the best. She took some time to process it, but today she is my number one cheerleader. But my dad is the unsung hero in my life story. He immediately realized my situation and fixed it quicker than I would have ever imagined possible. 

I will forever be grateful to him for standing by me during that time.

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