Memories Of A Gay Child

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In writing about my childhood, I have often used the phrase to describe myself as ‘a child who would be gay’ or ‘a child who would become gay’. But I recently read an author who used the term, ‘gay child’. I have hesitated to use the term, gay child because it seemed to connote something sexual in childhood. But seeing the term used well has had me rethink my use of the term. Continue reading

Wait Till I Get My Hat

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I have never met anyone quite like my grandmother, or Gram, as we used to call her. One of my earliest memories of her is of the two of us walking down Walnut Street in Philadelphia when I was five or six years old. She was a fast walker and I had trouble keeping up. ‘Grab a wing, chicken,” she said, as she extended her arm to me and I hooked my little arm through hers. She loved that phrase, grab a wing chicken, and would laugh at herself every time she said it. Continue reading

Sharp Edges and Rough Spots

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For me, Philadelphia, the city I grew up in, was a weight around my neck when I was in high school. I felt I could not be my true self in Philadelphia. When I went back to Philadelphia for graduate school and worked for my father’s company part-time, I began to see what living in Philadelphia would be like. My parents had a wide network of friends. My father served on multiple boards, had business and political connections across the city. My parents traveled in certain circles that, had I stayed, I would have been expected to travel in too. I hated it. Continue reading

Rejected Shame

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I just finished reading a wonderful memoir by Alan Cumming, Not My Father’s Son. In an important part of his story, Cumming’s writes about the first time he masturbated in a clearing in the woods, “I am at peace. I am twelve years old, my jeans are around my ankles, and I’ve just made a big discovery.” He then sees a man at the edge of the forest watching him. He continues, “My heart is suddenly racing and my cheeks are flushed once more. I can feel something rising up inside me. I am instinctively resisting but it is fighting very hard for control of me. It is shame.” He concludes in a way that I love, “I lie there for a while in the dusk, then make a decision, little knowing how it will affect every facet of my life and fiber of my being for the rest of my life: I say no to shame.” Continue reading

Guilt or Why Do I Feel Bad? – Part 2

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I wrote in my last post about my wife asking me to fly up to Albany, NY to drive home with my son after his summer job ends next week. I told her I had other plans but felt quite guilty, and continue to feel guilty, for going to the beach for a long-planned visit to a friend’s house with my boyfriend, rather than picking up my son. Continue reading

Guilt or Why Do I Feel Bad? – Part 1

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Why does disagreement with my wife cause me such stress? Back in June, I planned a weekend at a friend’s house in Rehoboth, Delaware with my boyfriend. Last week my wife asked me if I would fly to Albany, NY next Friday to drive home with my son in his car after his summer job as a camp counselor ends on Saturday. She feels that he will be too exhausted from the end of camp and should not drive home by himself. Continue reading