My Life: Vignettes Over Time – Chapter I

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It is hard to know where to begin when writing a personal history.  Do I start as a small child already feeling different than my peers, or do I begin later when I first began to understand my attraction to men?  Let me tell this story through a series of vignettes over time. Continue reading

Different

Now, “different” is nice, but it sure isn’t pretty
“Pretty” is what it’s about
I never met anyone who was “different”
Who couldn’t figure that out

– At The Ballet from A Chorus Line

I knew I was different from a very young age, even though my mother, grandmother, and aunt tried to turn it into being special. As the character Bebe sings in A Chorus Line, I figured out that I was not like the other boys, and it was not a good thing. I did not engage in baseball on the playground, I was utterly disinterested in sports and could not get my head around the rules or players’ role in different games. Continue reading

Nantucket Reds

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Walking around Nantucket yesterday brought up emotions in me that date back to my childhood. My reaction to seeing a certain type of well to do men and women, dressed in elite preppy styles, full of self-confidence and sureness, implying a closed exclusive world, is not good. It makes me cringe inside and feel uncomfortable. It also encourages my contempt.  Continue reading

Hardwired Gay

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Based on my earliest memories, I knew I was different from other boys. It was not simply learned behavior, but from the very beginning, it was something at the core of who I was. Continue reading

Me and Football

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The men stood around the large 36-inch color TV, encased in the fine wood finish of an expensive 1960’s television. They spoke a language that was indecipherable to me. Grunts and cheers. Screaming at the TV. “Ah, Christ, that was a terrible call.” “Go! Go! What’s the matter with you?” They spoke a raw angry tribal language I did not understand. The violence of their shouting frightened me. I was probably five or six years old. Continue reading

Real Boys Are…

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I am fascinated by the subject of transgender men and women and their stories. Earlier this year I read Janet Mock’s new book, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. It was a wonderful book that I could not put it down. I am now reading another autobiography by a transgender woman, A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir by Kate Bornstein. This is a very different kind of book, but also quite enjoyable. Continue reading

Is The Gay Showing?

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As I went from teenager to adult, from student to white collar worker, I began to actively compartmentalize the gay man within. I walled off a corner of myself that was gay and it became my own private landscape. I would be attracted to a man on the street but it never took physical form. The attraction was walled off in my mind and emotions. While I went on to get married, have a child, and continued to experience professional growth and some success, I was on constant guard. Was the gay showing? Continue reading

Not My Father’s Son: The Power of Coming Out

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I never knew why my parents transferred me from public school to a private all boys’ Episcopal school in third grade, while my sister was sent across town to a co-ed Quaker school.
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The Boys of Summer

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In the early 1960s, my parents discovered Nantucket, long before the island became the popular upscale resort it is today. Each summer for a month, we would pack up the station wagon, tie the sailfish (a surfboard-like sailboat) to the roof, stuff the station wagon with clothes, diapers, a crib, my little sister and baby brother.  My father and mother would drive us to Woods Hole for the ferry ride to the island. We stayed in a small furnished cottage near the center of town that was part of a property of three cottages. The cottage we most often rented had a plaque above the door that named our summer home, After Cabin.
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