Imagine you are cleaning out your attic one day and find that dusty old box of photos you have stored deep in the corner. You know the one. Now imagine picking through each photo, smiling with fond memories. Then, before you even have time to gear up, it happens. You come across that one picture you forgot all about. The one of you sitting there on the front stoop all ruddy and dirty and happy as a clam. It all makes sense now. You think: I should have known back then.
This, or some variation of it, is what one imagines the contributors to Paul Vitagliano’s new compilation “Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing up Gay” (Quirk Books, 2012) felt when they looked with fresh adult perspective on the various “telling” moments captured in their childhood photos. To see themselves, albeit often much smaller and with more hair, reflected back in the timeless moments of their youth proved to be quite the profound experience for each author.
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