“Throughout childhood I was always the outsider. Geeky, socially inappropriate, independent and protective of my freedom, the natural tendency to fit in didn’t rule my life. And it’s not because I’m a natural rebel. Nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, this was the 1980s and individualism was not yet in vogue.
The challenge is that I wasn’t accepted on any level. Flamboyant and dressing in a classically feminine/androgynous way but also possessing what was called a “robotic demeanour” by students and educators alike, I hardly fit in. But I didn’t choose to be an outcast.
Even though I didn’t want it, I was forced to accept that being the odd person out was my world…and little did I know it would be my future.
It was little wonder then, in my last year of high school, that when I was found laying on the couch cuddling my boyfriend that I was homeless for the first time. Growing up in those earlier decades filled with homophobic violence, the looming spectre of death that only AIDS could provide, the ever-present need to stay alive – that sheer grit of survival – became real. But now that I chose to live life as a gay person on my own terms, and not having the luxury of the option of ever being in the closet at any rate, there was freedom to choose my own life. So that’s what I did, finding a rag-tag group of friends that became my version of a family.”