I once knew a boy called Richard. “Richard?” you say, “I must know more!” Never let it be said that I don’t know how to scoot my reader to the edge of his seat.
After thirteen years in San Francisco, I am now back where I started, in Colorado. Denver, to be quite precise. Nineteen blocks from the house I grew up in, to be even more so. When I visit the old neighborhood in San Francisco, a Big Gay Memory of some kind lurks around nearly every corner. First dates, tearful good-byes; here is where I ignored the drunken heckling of a passing mendicant and slipped the ring on my husband’s finger, and there you see roughly where my pants hit my ankles while stumbling home from a particularly memorable Dyke March. Yes, fond memories at every turn. Who are you to judge me?! Oddly, though, even though I grew up here, in Denver there is really only one such corner. Probably due to its proximity to Cheesman Park, the one place in 1980s Denver that two men might not be harassed for holding hands, I had more than one Big Gay First (of most of which I’ll spare you the cowboy boot-related details) on the corner of 9th and Gaylord. Richard’s mother worked with my aunt in Washington, D.C., on the staff of a Congressman from Oklahoma, and we had more than one Big Gay Adventure (last one, I promise) in the District, but when I think of him, I always remember him standing on the corner of 9th and Gaylord. Where, in jean shorts and a cardigan sweater, he would secure his place in history as the First Boy Who Ever Kissed Me. Continue reading