I am a gay man and grew up in New York. My family was always comfortable with that but when I was younger, when I didn't know exactly who I was, in middle school, I was bullied.
People used gay as an insult but then they started using my name as an insult, ‘oh that is so Colin’, instead of that is so gay, which I thought was really, for a kid who is in seventh grade, it was not too easy. I would say that really shaped my life, in that I basically learned… it kind of raised my defense mechanisms. Being an outsider made me learn to appropriate myself for all situations because I had a fear of being made fun of, but then in another way it kind of turned me into a chameleon. I can really talk to anyone in any situation while also being authentically myself.
It inspired me to be confident in myself and to feel good about my sexuality, and that no one should ever put any words in my mouth.
I didn't have any stuffed animals when I was little, I had a blanket. It was my comfort blanket. I really liked having something that I knew was mine and would keep me safe. I lost it and then my mom re-made it for me. I cried, I was in fifth grade so it was important to me.
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