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I’m Andrew Start and I’m from Spokane, Washington. Spokane is sort of the big city/small town of Washington state. So it definitely has a small town mentality so growing up gay in Spokane there’s not a lot of outlets. You don’t really see it reflected in the culture anywhere. And as a kid, my interests were really just into musical theater, I think like a lot of gay youth.
So I auditioned for a show at the local Civic Theater called “Me and My Girl”, it was a tap show, and I got cast. And I met this woman in the production who had done several shows with Civic Theater. For some reason when I was auditioning she just was instantly drawn to me. From the first day of rehearsal she sort of approached me and befriended me and I–and she was older, she was 20 years old and I was 15–and we just started cultivating this friendship and I don’t know if she was trying to mother me or protect me but looking back on it now I get that sense. So we became fast friends and we started hanging out every night after rehearsal. Her car–she taught me how to drive, we started smoking cigarettes and doing all kinds of things that, you know, were kind of above the age that I should have been partaking in. And sort of inch by inch we started a sexual relationship together.
It was kind of just like an awkward sexual friendship for a really long time. And then about a year later I sort of said, you know, I’m finished with this. I think that I’m gay. And I’ve explored this enough and I want to see if there’s anything to find amongst the high school guys, the guys that were in my community now. And now I was more ingrained in the theater community and was meeting a lot more at least curious youth my age, you know like 16 or 17 years old. And so we sort of split up. And I thought it was over and I had actually started seeing a boy that I met in the community. And I got a phone call at home one day and she was crying and very upset and I didn’t understand so I said, “I don’t really want to talk, I think this is over. Can we just let some time pass?” And she said, “No that’s not what’s going on.” She said, “I went to the hospital today and I’m pregnant.” And I just tried to recall how that could happen because we’d always been safe. Except for once. And we conceived a child.