My sister and her husband moved to Indianapolis shortly after they married. Terry worked as a car salesman, then ran a car detailing service, while Tammy worked as a secretary, office manager, and finally Assistant Director of Sports Information at a small Methodist college.
It soon became obvious that their son Joseph, born in 1990, had no interest in either cars or sports. He liked acting, singing, dancing, and modeling. When he was eight years old, he appeared in some local tv commercials. When he was twelve, he starred in a community theater production of The Little Prince.
He was also interested was cooking. He won a chili cookoff at age thirteen, baked homemade bread and pasta, and insisted that the family try every ethnic restaurant in Indianapolis, from Ethiopian to Indonesian.
He started taking Japanese in junior high and went on a study tour of China in high school.
As a teenager, Joseph was tall and slim, with curly blond hair and striking brown eyes, very handsome, and very fey, swishing and limp-wristed, with that nasal "gay accent" voice. He wore bright pastel shirts and tight bulging jeans and plastic bracelets.
Definitely gay, I thought.
His parents didn't think so.
At age 12: "He's got a girlfriend at school he hangs out with!"
At age 13: "He joined the community theater to meet girls!"
At age 14: "He'll be discovering girls soon, and then, watch out!"
At age 15: "He's so handsome, all the girls will be lining up to date him."
At age 16: "He's shy around girls, but he'll come around...."
At age 17: "He's much too busy to date...."
At age 18: "He's going to the senior prom in a group of friends, not with a girl."
I tried my best to let Joseph know that it was ok to be gay, without actually saying that I thought he was:
The full story is on Tales of West Hollywood.