The 10 Defining Moments of My Life (so far) — #1: “Gay”

10 04 2010

Back during my film school year, I had to come up with a list of ten defining moments of my life, like taking a snapshot of a scene and describing what was going on (it was an exercise in creating stories, not just randomly coming up with stuff).  Keep in mind these are things I came up with two years ago and some stuff I might bump off now for others.  And with that, in no particular order, here’s the first one! (not necessarily my #1 moment)


I was running around the playground in the third grade, like all third graders.  I can’t remember where exactly I heard it from, but someone had mentioned the word “gay”.  At that point in my life, I had long known, but I couldn’t find the word to describe it… or something.  Feeling utterly joyful that I knew who I was, I dashed around the schoolyard, shouting “I’m gay!  I’m gay!”  I was so elated that I dared to even whisper into the ear of one of the supervisors (who was wearing a shiny reflective vest), sitting on one of the pale blue benches.   I heard her calling out behind me and attempted to avoid confrontation with her by talking with my friend Jessica, who was standing next to a gnarly tree.  But the supervisor didn’t let up; she approached me and asked where I had heard such a word.  I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I do remember her lecturing me on the usage of the word, that it only meant happy, and nothing else.  I stood there, humiliated and crying, not fully comprehending why this stranger was telling me what I was feeling was something else when I knew it was who I was.