No one was surprised when I came out of the closet, and here are five memories proving homosexuality is as much a part of me as my dazzling blue eyes.
Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum recently signed a social conservative group’s pledge that claims homosexuality is a choice, and another candidate, Tim Pawlenty, said roughly the same thing when he remarked that “science is in dispute” about same-sex love’s origins.
These statements are not surprising: right wingers are constantly saying gay people “choose” a lifestyle because it makes LGBT rights looks like nothing more than a publicity tool to justify “sick” and “twisted” sex acts.
Of course, more rational people — and medical professionals, too — agree that biological and genetic factors play a role in forming one’s homosexuality, and as a gay man myself, I can say with certainty I was born this way.
Here are five memories that convince me I’m right. I mean, do straight 5-year olds boys just choose to be attracted to strapping gladiator statues?
JUST GIRLS HAVING FUN:
It’s unfair to make generalizations, but I imagine few straight boys of the ’80s and ’90s spent their precious childhood watching camp classics “Teen Witch,” “She-Devil” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” I certainly did, and so too did many, though not all, of my other gay friends.
And the explanation of our shared cinematic attraction is totally unambiguous: “She-Devil” stars both Roseanne and Meryl Streep, which is like a gay wet dream; and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” brought us all a pre-”Sex and the City” Sarah Jessica Parker longing for a last dance and the hunky Lee Montgomery; and “Teen Witch” features not only the standard “outsider-learns-how-to-fit-in” story, but magic and a slew of gay-ready singles, including “I Like Boys” and “Top That.”
For your viewing pleasure, I’ve included the trailer for “She-Devil,” the final dance off from “Girls” and the song “Top That” from “Teen Witch.”
GLADIATOR UPSKIRT ACTION:
I remember making a visit to the Cincinnati Art Museum and encountering bronze statue of a Roman gladiator. Mesmerized by the absolutely studly and stunning specimen, I snuck a peek up his toga. Even then I knew what I was looking for—sadly, it wasn’t there. I suppose casting a scrotum was too much for the artist.
Now that I’m older, I’m thinking maybe one of the men from “Spartacus” would be a better fit than a bronze statue.
COVERING MY ACE OF BASES:
I often tell people that one of my gayest moments — outside of the bedroom — was a three-week period in 1993, when I would cruise my driveway in purple roller blades while listening to Ace Of Base’s “The Sign” single tape, which also included the song “Young and Proud,” a track I liked way more than the over-played “The Sign.”
Even way back then I had the gay pride spirit.
[Note: there's no video for "Young and Proud," so you'll have to live with the lame song-over-still video.]
HAVE HEELS, BE WONDER WOMAN:
Cross-dressing isn’t necessarily the sign of a gay man, but I made sure my dress-up time was fabulous when I wore my older sister’s heels, and scrambled around the second-story catwalk about twelve feet above our living room, pretending to be Wonder Woman. (That little move she does in the center of this image? I mastered it.)
Little did I know that Wonder Woman came from an Amazonian culture, something far more aligned with lesbianism than anything I wanted, but, you know, I was young.
There’s debate in my household over whether this picture was taken after a birthday party, which would explain the hat, or whether I had been playing with my toys and simply wanted to look snazzy. Either way, I did it up right, and even managed to include a rainbow.
Again, that gay spirit runs deep within me, it wasn’t a choice and I wouldn’t have it any other way.