I’m Andrew Borin and I’m from Los Angeles, California.
So growing up in Los Angeles, it’s obviously a pretty big city and I am fortunate enough that I never had to deal with homophobia too much. And the fact that my parents were completely fine with me being gay at a very young age. Between me wanting to take ballet lessons or saying I wanted to be a fashion designer, they didn’t really care. I think part of that was my uncle, who is gay, lived right next door to us.
He and his partner were just like really interesting characters. They lived next door, I remember they had a gold Rolls Royce and they were great guys but, um, they would have these fights that were better than “The Real Housewives.” It was just hilarious but also really intense, like his partner would come out with a butcher knife and start stabbing the Rolls Royce. It was just always, always drama.
One night, my uncle was in his house and he went he went downstairs and, um, his partner was in the kitchen and his partner took out a shotgun and blew himself away, just right at the dinner table. And I really remember that…his partner had AIDS, and luckily in the aftermath my uncle didn’t, but he just felt so bad that he could have even possibly infect my uncle that he took his own life. At the time, you didn’t really have much hope about those things and, you know, everyone was still really scared about it. It was heartbreaking after that. My uncle couldn’t stand to live in the house and moved away. And I think that was the first time I had a moment where I felt bad for being gay, because I kind of looked at it as like, this is the life I’m going to have to lead, like I understood that there…that it wasn’t easy anymore. That there was something more…it made me scared at the moment. And I think that kind of made me retreat for a while. And it took me a couple years until I really got to high school to start being okay with myself again.
It took a lot of education for me to realize that being gay is okay.