As a small-town gay kid, I knew to search for signs to point me in some kind of direction out of my airless, closeted existence because there was no map to follow, no promise that it gets better. By the age of 5, I knew I had something I needed to hide for a good long time to come if I was going to get along at all and not get hurt. People I looked up to put me down. My kindergarten teacher made fun of my choice of toys at playtime. My dad blushed and smirked when he confessed to friends and colleagues that I took piano lessons. Older kids called me names and dropped their wrists at me, which was just confusing: what exactly was the matter with them? I learned to steer clear of behaving like a girl with varying degrees of success. For as long as I could remember, life was merely an ordeal to survive. I had asthma. I spent much of my early years in oxygen tents. Quite literally, I couldn't breathe.
I found comfort in being by myself. I invented worlds that I alone ruled in the woods behind my house. I spent a lot of time seated at my mom and dad's stereo console, listening to their collection of Ink Spots and Mills Brothers records. I joined the Columbia House Record Club at the age of 8 and somehow knew enough to affix David Essex and Elton John stickers to my introductory-offer order form (12 albums for a penny!). As I grew up, I managed to find reassurance in what was available, and what was available in rural Wisconsin in the mid-to-late '80s was Top 40 radio and MTV. My radio was my salvation all throughout my endless coming-out process. Videos gave me the visual clues I needed to understand that there were in fact options. Musical options. Lifestyle options. So many choices. So many ways to be.
Complete article at Huffington Post : http://huff.to/r8NuNY