From the March 2013 magazine.

March 2013: Getting to Know Myself

Going to extremes to “prove” he was not gay fueled his need for booze

Today I am thoroughly convinced of two things: I was born gay, and I was born an alcoholic. There was never a choice about my homosexuality; and, after I picked up my first drink, there was no choice about my alcoholism either. (I was bred from a long line of alcoholics.) Nevertheless, I spent many years in denial about both truths.

From a very young age I was aware that I was different when it came to sexual norms. While all the other boys were out playing sports, in which I had no interest, I would find alternative activities, entertaining myself or hanging out with my sister and her friends. Many times I remember being ridiculed by my peers because I chose to hang out with the girls instead of playing football or baseball. It wasn’t until the age of 14 that I finally found some common interest with the other boys in the neighborhood: alcohol. My whole world changed—I was finally becoming accepted.

-- Rick A.

Ferndale, Michigan

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