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My name is Patrick Hanley and I’m from Galveston, Texas but I live in Philadelphia now with my dog Bailey.
I was pretty fortunate to grow up with a family who indulged me in a lot of my…gayer behaviors – even when I was really young and they weren’t actually gay they were just eccentric little kid behaviors. So like, my grandmother, when I wanted her to paint my fingernails wouldn’t paint my fingernails she’d paint my toenails so that none of the kids would see, except that then I would go down to the park and take my shoes off to show them because they were fabulous! So they were really good about like not cringing or balking or making a big scene when I asked for ballet lessons or told them I wanted to play the flute in the band or told them I just didn’t want to do cub scouts anymore because it was so not my scene…
So in 1992 there was this Chuck Norris movie that was about Karate and so everybody started taking karate lessons so I did too. I was like ten and I developed this really ridiculous crush on one of the kids in the class and I wanted to invite him to go on a picnic. So I told my parents this and they were so polite about it, they didn’t scream or tear their hair out they just said, you know, “Why don’t you write him a letter and invite him to go on a picnic?” So I did, I wrote him this florid love letter about how we should go on this picnic to the local elementary school park and then they told me they would give it too him – which they didn’t because they were also very good about protecting me from unnecessary cruel kids who don’t really get it; that you just want to go on a picnic and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I don’t think I ever, to this day, have had one conversation with him. We went to the same high school and I think, by the time I was older, I was mortified by the whole thing too. He was very straight, to. So not going to be a good match there.