What We Can Learn From "Born This Way"


It’s been around for less than a month, but already, the site Born Gay Born This Way has dozens of childhood pictures, as well as stories both heartbreaking and hilarious.

The site is the brainchild of Paul V., and started with the image at left. Paul writes:

When you look at this pic, do you think his mom or dad prompted him to cock his heel and swivel his knee like that? Or his in-command, arms akimbo stance? I bet not!
What is he, all of 4 years old here?
This little gay boy knew exactly how he felt and wanted to pose, on his own.

And that’s what the site is about:

Some of the pix here feature gay boys with feminine traits, and some gay girls with masculine traits. And even more gay kids with NONE of those traits. Just like real life, these gay kids come in all shades and layers of masculine and feminine.

You’ll find adorable snapshots and humorous tales, like this one from “Angela.”

Looking through pictures of me in elementary school, I always have to remind myself to look for the boy! I laugh as I look through old pictures of me, because I think ‘How did I not know I was gay until I was 22?!?!’

But also lots of sadness, like “Helio” from Brazil:

I grew up in conflict, because by age 8, I wanted to know what it felt like for those “queer, freak, or abnormal people” my mother always secretly insulted at home.
When I was 15 I came out and suffered a lot. I was judged, humiliated, and even attacked many times – and my mother was the most aggressive person doing this to me.

All of the kiddie photos are adorable, and each story is unique. It could be argued that these tales are preaching to the choir — it’s not like right-wing homophobes or “chosen lifestyle”-believing wingnuts are going to check the site daily. But as long as young people are terrified to come out, as long as gay people are harassed, assaulted or bullied, as long as same-sex marriage is illegal or not recognized, we need to be flooded with images and stories that remind us of the human faces behind the issues.

As Paul V. writes:

The sooner we teach all children that being gay is as normal (and biological) as being straight, then maybe it really WILL get better, and we can save some young lives in the process… struggling gays kids of today can see themselves in the faces & stories of the gay kids of yesterday, to LIVE to create their own memories.

Born This Way! [Main site]

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