I owe so much to my mom, and the fact that she brought me up in San Francisco. Without both, surely I would not be the person that I am today. My childhood, though unorthodox to most, was awesome. Parents typically take their time introducing their children to life. There is a sheltered period that, in my opinion, can sometimes go on for too long. Rather than sheltering me, my mother took it upon herself to take me everywhere as if I were a small adult. She enabled me to experience different cultures and lifestyles. When I had questions, she answered them honestly without censorship. I am eternally grateful for that now. I would not be as adaptive in life had it not been for her parenting choices.
At 5 years old, I remember a man getting out of a black Porsche on Fulton Street. He was wearing a beautiful suit and tie, carried a Louis Vuitton briefcase and wore dark aviator glasses. What stood out to me was that he was wearing a pair of brown and white wingtip stilettos. They looked like shoes that you would wear. I asked you why the man was wearing girl’s shoes. You bent down eye level to me and said that people can wear whatever shoes or clothing that they want to – so long as they feel good about it. To make light of the situation, you asked me if I thought he looked nice. I nodded my head and you said that you agreed. As we walked past him, you told him that you loved his shoes. He smiled and said ‘Thanks’.I was 7 years old when you decided to explain why Dianne Feinstein was so important to the people of San Francisco. Ms Feinstein had taken over after the assassination of Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk. You explained to me who Harvey Milk was, that he was brave, intelligent and that he wanted everyone to be seen as equal.
When Mayor Agnos failed at helping the overwhelming homeless population, you insisted that I treat the people sleeping on the streets with respect and kindness. You took the time to explain to me the many ways that people can become homeless and that they deserved respect as human beings, just like everyone else.Not long after that is when I began to notice men walking hand in hand down the street and showing affection to one another. When I commented, you explained to me then what it meant to be gay versus straight . It was what first motivated me to study people who were excessively tattooed, pierced or otherwise eccentric. The creatures of the night (prostitutes) and pimps were always entertaining to watch. The people riding the Y&M, like everyone else. You never instilled upon me that a lifestyle was wrong or unacceptable.
You took me to events at Davies Symphony Hall, the San Francisco Opera House, the Geary Theater, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museo Italo Americano, the Presidio, midnight showings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and to the gay pride parades. You encouraged me to eat sashimi, calamari, foie gras and oysters on the half shell. I loved things that most children’s palettes do not respond well to. I had become a very sophisticated child without ever realizing how extraordinary it was. I know now that you did all of these things on purpose, and I thank you.Lastly, you introduced me to my beloved San Francisco 49ers. Your season’s tickets between 82 and 92 fueled my onsession with football. Some of my best memories were created there at Candlestick Park.
Despite all of the mistakes I have made – and all the challenges that you and I have faced and overcome… You did a great Job!I’m just sayin….