Bailey, age 10
Carlsbad, California (1997)
This photo was shot at a dance recital. I was inspired by Fred Astaire and my grandmother to start dancing. I used to LOVE wearing costumes, putting on makeup, and wearing my grandmother's heels and stockings. It was an innocent moment for me, because I wasn't aware that people were judging me. I just knew what I liked and I was proud to express that.
|"One! Singular sensation, every little step you take"|
I'd watch old musicals, inspired by the fashion my favorite characters wore, and I'd try to emulate their style.
I loved musicals like Chicago, Barkleys Of Broadway, Gypsy, Singing In The Rain, Fosse, Cabaret, All That Jazz, Anything Goes, Grease (1 and 2), Hairspray, Puttin On The Ritz, & Rocky Horror Picture Show.
One example of very eccentric clothing I'd wear to school was an outfit that was a cross between Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in Grease:
Red velvet shoes or black leather disco boots, velvet bell-bottoms, tight-fitting white shirt, and black leather jacket.
I'd get teased and made fun of in school and kids never really understood why I dressed that way. It was a moment I realized I would just continue to pour my heart and energy all into my dancing and artwork. That helped me focus on being who I wanted to be.
Later in the early 2K's, I loved music like Spice Girls, Britney Spears, No Doubt, The Cranberries, The Pixies etc. I remember standing in line for the Spice Girls dolls when they came out - I had to have all of them!
Seeing this pic now reminds me of who I am and who I will always be. To this day, I like the color red and I'm completely enthralled with clothing and costumes. I work as a fashion stylist, and my passion and taste for those things has really never changed. It's great to see that I was truly born this way!
My family was always really supportive of me being a dancer. I was raised by my grandparents and my Grandmother was just as enthralled by dancing and the fashion. She'd spend hours at the dance studio watching me dance, and would give up her whole life to see me happy. I owe a lot to her and her support.
I would like to say to the youth to keep on doing what you want to do. Never let anyone suppress your freedom to express who you are. You never know what sort of creative outlet you can explore, unless you're honest with yourself, and who you are as a person.
You can't ever let society tell you what is right and what is wrong - you have to find that out for yourself. There are others out there just like you, so embrace the fact that you are special, and own it. It's not every day a kid like you is born, and soon the world will understand and cherish you. It's not your fault that people don't understand what they soon will learn to love.
Bailey's first, same sex crush:
A boy who lived next door. We'd explore each others bodies, but neither of us knew what being gay meant. But, the connection felt so right and strong.______________________________________________________
Click here - "Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay" book
Click here - "My First Gay Crush Blog"