Frankly, there's so much more to being gay than just who you are attracted to or who you have sex with. A person's sexuality is a part of their character and spirit, it's part of how they exist in the world. To tell someone that they can't or shouldn't be gay, or that it's unnatural or wrong, is like telling someone that their true being is not worthy of being loved to the same extent as everyone else. It's like saying that there are two classes of human beings, those that are worthy of being genuine in the world and those that aren't.
Though I had wanted to, back in the 1980's I didn't talk about Scott Baio with my sister, and I didn't tell any of my friends how cute I thought Christopher Atkins was in The Pirate Movie! I certainly didn't say a thing about how I felt when I saw a movie magazine photo of Miles O'Keeffe as Tarzan, or Dolph Lundgren in the live action Master of the Universe film! Nope, not a peep to anyone.
Christopher Atkins in The Pirate Movie, 1982
Scott Baio as Chachi from the TV series Happy Days, circa 1980 "Wa wa wa!"
It's well known that Scott Baio is not gay and is also very conservative ...but it's free to look! ;)
Miles O'Keefe in Tarzan the Ape Man, 1981
Dolph Lundgren as He-Man in Masters of the Universe, 1987
Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses, circa 1989
Brandon Lee in The Crow, 1993
Later in the early 1990's during my late teens, I said nothing about how stunningly handsome Brandon Lee was as the Crow or that I had a crush on the rebellious Axl Rose! I also didn't have a high school sweetheart to steal kisses from, nor did I attend the school prom with a handsome date. I missed out on all of that.
In fact at one point a cute guy in my school that I had a huge crush on, and who I thought was way out of my league, much to my amazement had asked me out on a date but I refused and told him that I wasn't gay. Internally I was quite fearful of facing the reality that I was gay and the possibility of being "outed". Even though I was thrilled and flattered that he was interested in me, I wondered if his asking me out was just a trick to find out if I was gay so that he could beat me up. Maybe it was foolish of me to think that; I was a genuine ball of confusion back then. Thankfully my puppetry and art work gave me a way to stop worrying and find peace of mind whenever I needed to. In the long run, that's quite honestly how I survived high school. My puppets saved me! :)
In retrospect, I've always hoped someday that I might find out if my high school crush was being genuine when he asked me out, but even with all the social technology nowadays I have no idea what's become of him so I'll likely never know.
Despite this, I can at least take comfort in knowing that I no longer have to hide my true identity as I did back in high school. Today my true spirit is free.
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Last Updated Aug 2017
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The original contents of this blog including text and original photos are TM and © Mikey Artelle, 1988, 2017
This excludes the pictures that were found online including those of Chachi from the TV series Happy Days. (Scott Baio, thank you for existing! You are a handsome, dark haired, hot stud muffin of boyish 70's perfection! ...and cute too!)