I was born in El Paso Texas, to a Latino father and a very white Anglo Saxon mother. My parents were both very charismatic and very beautiful. My mother divorced my dad when I was two years old. We left El Paso and came to California and I never saw my father again till I was 18 years old. I'm the last of the David Del Valle’s and the legacy will die with me because I'm gay and I'm not going to get married and have children. Rejection for me was the continual parade of stepfathers I had. Some of them were nice to me, some of them looked at me as an obstacle. It's very difficult for a woman with a child to find a man that is willing to raise another man's kid. I couldn't fully appreciate this when I was little. I had a series of little plush animals that I would play with and talk to because I was somewhat lonely. But because of it I kind of made up for it by being gregarious and funny. I found out that I had a sense of humor, because my mother kept taking me in and out of schools I was always the new kid and when you are the new kid in a school, everyone was already disliking you so you have to work very hard to make them like you. So I spent most of my childhood making people like me and now everybody likes me because I have had a lifetime of practice.
But rejection was something I always feared. As a gay man I think one of the reasons why I’m so apprehensive to let my feelings be known to someone is that I don't want to be rejected. All of this stems from a lifetime of sitting in a darkened bedroom with a stuffed animal listening to my mother argue with her various husbands. Some of whom wanted to help me, some of whom felt like I needed to be with other boys and be more athletic. My mom was so afraid I was going to get hurt she wouldn't allow me to play football. I joined a wrestling team finally. I didn't tell her. I forged her name because she would never give it. So the physicality and the eroticism I feel about well-built men is based almost entirely on the upbringing I had and in a way, looking for a father. I've always been looking for daddy and as a gay man that is such a cliché but it is part of my DNA. I need approval from men. I always had it from women. If I had been a straight man I would have been married with a bunch of kids right now. I do find myself now completely in raptured in my gay identity especially at the age I am. I've always had someone in my life. This three years since my mother died which I thought was going to be the end, we were so close that I figured...I remember the day I realized that people die. I was frightened of the dark and I went into my mother's room and I slept on the foot of her bed and I woke up in the middle of the night, I was about six years old and I looked over to her and all of a sudden, because I had had a turtle die; I think this is why they give small pets to children so they learn about death. I put the connection together that if the turtle could die my mother could die. I sat there in the night looking at her sleeping and I couldn't imagine life without her because I was so attached. So when my mother final did die instead of being suicidal she did me the biggest favor in the world she became full-blown dementia and she didn't know me. It's very easy to say good by to someone who doesn't know you. So she allowed me to say goodbye. Then I immediately went to El Paso where my father behaved so badly. I was able to say to his face, I’m so glad I didn't stay with you. You're an awful man. I didn't pick my parents and I rejected him. That is my rejection, always wanting a man to accept me because I was always looking for a father, because mine was completely unavailable and distant.
I had a stuffed animal until I was 30. I got it when I was 10. I had Foopy which was a little dog with long ears. I kept it on my bed when I was in college. I didn't talk to it or anything. It was there and sometimes when no one knew it I would sleep with it. I got it when I was 10.
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