Moments in Public
Around 2 June 1955. 1 min read.
At the end of second grade my parents finally let me have a bicycle. (I'd been riding my tricycle balanced up on two wheels all year.) But in a devastating social blow for a young boy who was already perceived as "queer" and a sissy, they decreed it would be a girl's bike - so my new little sister would be able to use it after I outgrew it. My bi-gender girl side secretly liked having a girl's bike, but it ruined the one athletic bond I could have had with other boys.
That summer also included the only out-of-state vacation I experienced as a child. The highlight was Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. I was enthralled...
In third grade I was the male lead in the multi-class operetta, playing a scarecrow in a cabbage patch full of fairies (the female ballerina kind.) Rehearsal prepared me for everything except the reality of it being night, the auditorium totally dark, and the two piercing spotlights, at my eye level back along the side walls, utterly blinding me. Somehow I managed, we spread so much glitter around the stage it was still obvious when I was in high school, but my abject crush on the lead fairy was utterly crushed as soon as the performance was over. School officials decided I was getting too much approval for intellectual things and would be banned from the performing arts. I didn't get another significant role until I was a Junior in high school.