The following are two photos of my room from when I was in High School.
I swear no one knew I was gay.
On the left wall:
Mirror. Light up goose lamp with grass skirt headdress. Year-round Christmas lights. Plastic shopping bag from super trendy store in the Beverly Center called "Heaven" (which I had never been to, but been told it was super cool by a friend who did go.) Signed album cover by Lauren Bacall. Signed album cover from Manhattan Transfer. Signed tour poster by Amy Grant.
On the right wall:
Hugo Boss Ads. Valentino Ads. Calvin Klein Ads. (all the ads were pulled from "W" Magazine back when it used to be newspaper sized and made great free posters.) A globe hanging from the ceiling with a plane circling it.
Here's the other side.
Left wall: Profile of Paul Reuben's (a.k.a. Pee Wee Herman). Calvin Klein Ad. Pee Wee Herman for LA Eyeworks ad. Grace Jones in sunglasses. Calvin Klein himself (!) in a Calvin Klein ad. Handsome man in sunglasses. Paul Schaeffer. Pee Wee Herman. Hot shirtless guy.
Calvin Klein underwear ad with men and women. Hot guy with shirt open ad for Basic Elements. Amy Grant poster. Two Calvin Klein collages. A palm tree lamp. A tiki carving from my grandmother. And going off to the side another fashion ad (probably Calvin Klein).
As I would put up or take down any pictures from my wall I would count. How many men versus how many women. I needed to make sure no one would think I was gay. Because I was not gay. I was just nervous about being perceived as gay. And I needed pictures of hot shirtless men on my wall.
I always counted Lauren Bacall and a fully clothed Amy Grant as equals to any guy in underwear. See? Balanced. Just as many men as women. If it was a one page ad with the same guy repeated in different clothes, he counted as one guy. Good lord, how would I ever balance it out if I had to count him as 12?
Occasionally I would put up one of those Calvin Klein ads with men AND women in them in their underwear. Having to look at half naked women was the price I had to pay to make sure that no one thought I was gay. Because I was not gay. I just didn't like that the women were half naked. It just had to be wrong to objectify them like that. I only had the men up there as inspiration for me to stop eating ice cream and start running. Yeah. Inspiration. Don't you see?
It was all a big choice you have to understand. Obviously I needed to be gay. Looking at all those fashion ads totally pushed me over the edge.
I probably should mention that the one wall you can't see in any of the photos is painted in an oil based super shiny FIRE ENGINE RED. My parents will never be able to paint over it. Luckily that room is upstairs.
Years later I would have the chance to meet my idol, Calvin Klein. True to celebrity meeting form, I was literally dumbstruck. I had babbled on and on about how I HAD to meet him and why I HAD to meet him and that I would DIE if was so close and did not actually meet him!!!
Lyle went up to Mr Klein, introduced himself, pointed towards me and said how I'd love to have a photo taken with him. He came over, Lyle introduced me and I tried to not foam at the mouth or throw up. Then the photo was offered and everyone waited for me to go over to the available side of Calvin Klein. I was rooted to my spot. I could not move. I did not speak. And this is the photo of my shining achievement.
Vote No on Prop 8, November 4th!