When I entered public school I began learning that boys are to do "boy things" and girls are to do "girl things". My parents, as accepting as they were, began to secretly buy me barbies, or say I could only dress up in the house. I know that they were only trying to help me and something felt totally shamed and wrong. I could no longer freely play in the yard wearing girls clothes.
As the the years passed, I grew and evolved tremendously into the confidently gay man I am today. Cut to last year when I found what I had learned as a child about HIV/AIDS, and my fears of DRAG -- appeared in my adult life.
I think it was the movie Philadelphia, with Tom Hanks, that introduced me to the HIV/AIDS virus. It was 1993, I was young, and didn't know what my sexuality was. Sure, I had done what most adolescent school boys have done with other boys, but I didn't know what any of that really meant. After seeing this movie, I remember a huge fear and stigma around the disease forming.
"People who are gay will get this and die."