From the February 2011 magazine.

February 2011: OK in my skin

AA taught him not to take any flak for being gay

"I learned from the straight people in AA in Muncie, Ind., to love who I am."

Growing up in rural Indiana, I never planned on being an alcoholic any more than I planned on
being gay.

I had a relatively normal childhood. I was the next to last of five kids. My dad worked in a factory and my mother was a homemaker. When I was 2 or 3 my mom would lie down with me for my nap. After I got her to sleep I would get up and do all the things she wouldn’t let me do. One day I had a cough. She was asleep but I remembered her saying I could have some cough syrup. I couldn’t reach it, so I climbed up on a chair and onto the kitchen cabinets until I could get to that bottle of cherry-flavored codeine cough syrup—yum. I drank the whole thing. My memory fades after that, but I’m told my grandparents had to help take care of me because I talked nonstop for three days and nights.

-- Dan S.

Indianapolis, Indiana

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