I had my first crush when I was eight years old. And, by “first crush,” I mean my “first gay crush.” I suppose one could say that there had been others. I still remember the first day of pre-Kindergarten when I marched right up to the prettiest little girl in class and gave her a huge kiss, right on the lips. I’d most likely seen a movie recently–probably one of those romantic films from the 50s and 60s my mother liked to watch where kissing scenes stood in for bedroom scenes–and had felt it would be cool (in the way that four-year-olds do) to emulate what I’d seen. It is, therefore, entirely accurate for me to say I kissed a girl and I did, in a sense, like it. The teacher had seen the impending-PDA coming seconds before it happened and, though she hastily yelled for us to stop, she was too late–llips had locked. I had a rebellious streak even when I was four and took great pleasure in her scolding me afterward but having no ability to change what had happened: I’d won, and nana nana boo boo.
My dear friends, if you don’t mind, and if you have the time, I’d like to chat with you for a moment. Turning points like this confront us in life from time to time and how we handle—or don’t handle—them can often shape the course of things to come in ways we seldom foresee. It may be that with the words I say here I will burn every single bridge of fellowship that’s been built during my brief life. I’m grateful that probably won’t be the case but, even if it were, it would be a small price to pay for the joy of being finally, truly honest about who and what I am.
What I’m about to discuss is no great secret and, in fact, I strove to be forthright about where I was—spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally—any time someone cared enough to inquire. It’s never easy asking someone deeply personal questions and it’s been my belief that if someone is bold enough to ask, I ought to be bold enough to answer. But first, and before anything else, I want you all to know something: I love you. The people with whom a man shares his life are his true treasure and I’m deeply grateful to have so many wonderful, generous, and kind people who I can call friends. It certainly makes what I have to say that much easier.