Alexander Zuccaro of Tom’s River, N.J., says he never really fit in on the playground. Describing himself as artistic, he says he wasn’t that interested in playing sports with the boys but didn’t really want to hang out with the girls either.
I can remember growing up always feeling strange, odd, and different, not just for being gay but being artistic as well. I never really hung out with the boys who wanted to play sports, but I didn’t really want to hang out with the girls either on the swing sets. I wanted to do my own thing.
Alexander first realized he was gay at 5-years-old thanks to a Hercules pillow set, a secret comfort he could turn to when he couldn’t explain himself to his friends at school. The pillow was his “boyfriend,” he says, and made the perfect companion:
I remember Hercules was on my pillowcase, and I remember thinking to myself, “This is my boyfriend.” And as a 5-year-old, I was making out with it. I was kissing it and holding it and thinking, “Oh, my God, my boyfriend is here with me.”
By kissing my pillowcase, he couldn’t talk back to me; he couldn’t make fun of me or ridicule me or tell me I was wrong. It was something that was just natural, and I could just do without any problem.
This is Alexander’s true LGBTQ story:
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