I’m From Dayton, OH.

by Chuck

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

I seemed to realize at an early age that I was different. Only I didn’t realize why at first. This was a difficult time, but I made it through those awkward years of my life. I finally realized that I was attracted to boys in grade school. The sixth grade to be exact. Being raised Catholic, I always heard it was wrong, so I hid it from people.

During the next several years, I really got frustrated and just wanted to tell everyone. When it came time that I should be dating, I went out with a few girls. They were nice, but it just wasn’t right. While visiting with one of my cousins, he asked me what I was doing that weekend. I told him I didn’t have any plans. He asked me to come over. I didn’t know at the time, but he was setting me up on a blind date. I only went out with her twice, and on the second date she asked me if I would marry her. I just said I’m not ready to settle down yet. I never did talk to her again. I thought to myself, this is only the second date, and she wants to get married.

Things were starting to look better now. I had just graduated from high school. A month later I moved into my first apartment. I had just come home from work, and the phone rang so I answered it. It was the girl my cousin set me up with from before. She wanted to know why I stopped calling her. Before I could answer she said, “I think I know why.” So I asked her why. She said, “I think you’re queer.” I didn’t lie, and said I was. She hung up. After her hanging up, it felt good, just telling someone I was gay!

Even though it wasn’t widely accepted being gay growing up in the late 60s as it is today, I finally felt really good and started living my life as a gay person. I didn’t hide who I really was anymore. My family accepted me for who I was and didn’t really judge me. The only one in my family that had a problem with my lifestyle, and still does, is my oldest sister. We haven’t spoken in years. It’s her loss. I consider myself a good person. I treat everyone the way I would like to be treated. I am now 55 years old.

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