I felt attracted to girls at a very young age. I came from a large family in the Lake Minnetonka area of the Twin Cities and every morning in summer we kids were released after breakfast to explore the neighborhood around the lake. I would often be alone, preferring to fish on the dock by myself because I always felt ‘different’. When I did hang out with other kids, it was Teddy and his older brother. At age six I became obsessed their 14 year-old sister. Her movements fascinated me, especially when she came out of the shower, wrapped in a towel with her hair wet.
The next year we started a ‘Pull Your Pants Down Club’ with another group of kids who lived in a nicer neighborhood about a mile from my home. Everyone would gather in a tree house and look down each other’s pants—I remember having no interest in what was inside the boy’s pants. One day, a girl named Cindy asked me to play doctor at her house. It was the scariest thing that had ever happened to me when her mother walked in and caught me examining her! We both had our pants off and Cindy’s legs were spread on the bed. Her mother sent me home, instructing me to tell my mother about the incident, which I did, 20 years later. We had a good laugh over that!
I was never sexually abused as a child but a man in a car exposed himself to me when I was eight. I remember not thinking too much about it, in fact, it didn’t seem important enough to mention to my Summer nanny when I returned home. I did, however, tell my mother in the evening and her reaction scared me more that the incident. I was expecting that she would simply explain to me how there were sick people in the world and drop the issue. Instead, she surprised me by calling the police who arrived in a squad car to interrogate me about all the details of the encounter.
I got my first official crush at age 11 when I started at a new school. I was in the 5th grade and she was in 8th. She was older, more sophisticated and beautiful. I followed her around the small town we lived in, at a safe distance, just to be near her. I was almost relieved when she graduated grade school and moved on to the all-girls high school that I would eventually attend and the crush could be renewed.
So, 4 years later, I started at the all-girls high school, hormones racing, and met my first lover. She was different from the others, newly arrived from the South and experienced with boys. But, as in the line from Gone with the Wind: “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful but men seldom realized it when caught up in her charms”—she literally charmed the pants off me. She set her sights on me, sensing my inner lesbian. Looking back, I see that I was sort of a safe alternative to boys. I was at school (no boys there), easily manipulated, and willing to do whatever she wanted me to do. I was in love and lust.
Our relationship lasted a tumultuous year until my mother caught us in the act. The girl’s mom pulled her from school to avoid scandal and I began a four-year period without girls. I was so depressed that I nearly became one of the Gay suicide statistics so common today. I had a number of crushes, mostly on older women and dated innumerable males but never slept with a boy. It was not until college that I actually came out.