To all the men I’ve loved before

David Cassidy Rick Springfield Keith UrbanBY CANDY PARKER

Sorry, boys — you’re beautiful, you’re talented and you have great hair, but after coming out as a lesbian nearly two decades ago, I think it’s time I bid you a fond farewell.

Yes, it will be difficult. No, there’s nothing you can do to make me change my mind. In this instance, it truly is me, not you. So let’s just get this over with, shall we?

Dear David Cassidy —

Ah, David. You were my very first celebrity crush. I was barely 10 years old, flipping through channels on my 13” black and white television when I stumbled upon an early episode of “The Partridge Family.” From the moment I discovered your feathery-haired, hazel-eyed wisp of a man character, Keith Partridge, I was a goner.

While many lesbians-in-the-making back then had it bad for Susan Dey (your show sister, Laurie, who I secretly hoped you’d marry if we didn’t work out), I became fixated on you, plastering my bedroom walls with tear-out images of you from 16 and Tiger Beat magazines.

I played your albums (both solo and with the made-for-television Partridges) endlessly, either transcribing every song lyric into my prized notebook or strumming and singing along, never letting the fact that I could neither play the guitar nor sing deter me in any way. Our voices sounded so perfect together, David; confirmation that our love was destined to be.

Oh — and I wrote short stories about chance meetings with you, tales of moving in next to the Partridges or serendipitously making your acquaintance on a camping trip. (I wasn’t entirely selfish in my creative writing, mind you. My sister was absolutely in love with Donny Osmond back then — I know, there’s no accounting for taste — so that’s why I made sure he was on those imaginary camping trips with you so she could fall in “Puppy Love,” too.)

Partridge Family Up to DateWhile as a child I never saw you in concert, I’ve seen you several times as an adult – including an appearance at the Birchmere just last year. (I’m sure you remember me sitting at that front table, clapping and singing along to “Point Me In the Direction of Albuquerque.” Yes, I know it’s your favorite Partridge Family song, too, but that’s not enough to keep us together.)

I hate to do this so close to your birthday — yes, I remembered. How could I ever forget the April 12 birth date image from the “Up To Date” album cover?  But you’ve not aged very gracefully, the DUIs are stacking up and I have a thing for girls.

They say you never forget your first, so please know that you will forever hold a place in my heart as my virgin teenybopper infatuation. (And, no, you can’t have your lunchbox back.)

Dear Rick Springfield —

Oh, Rick. How do I begin to say goodbye to you? You were there for me as I headed into my 20s and I was dealing with the fact that David and I just weren’t going to happen any time soon. You were just what the heart doctor ordered, another long-haired, guitar-playing dreamboat.

You hit it big just about the time MTV broke on the scene – you know, back when they actually played music videos – and I lived for every airing of “Jessie’s Girl,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” and “Human Touch.” Your video production values weren’t all that great, but you looked pretty hot playing the guitar and punctuating your performances with well-timed, but seemingly pointless, karate kicks. (Yes, I know you’re into martial arts, but enough already with the high kicks, okay?)

Rick, I know you’ve probably always wondered who it was who went to see “Hard to Hold ” in the theater. In this bittersweet moment I’ll reveal that it was I.

Yep, I actually paid to see that five times. Clearly, I was in love.

I’ll always remember you for allowing me to see a slew of 80s one-hit wonders as your opening acts at Merriweather Post Pavillion —  Tommy Tutone (“867-5309/Jenny”), Corey Hart (“Sunglasses at Night”) and Aimee Mann’s ‘Til Tuesday (“Voices Carry”).

Sadly, my affection for you has faded somewhat over the years. I bought your ego-ography — oops, I meant autobiography —  “Late, Late at Night,” several years ago but never made it through it and 1988’s “Rock of Life” was the last LP of yours I purchased.

Please know that you will forever remain among my top three celebrity guy crushes and I’ll always be indebted to you for my karaoke success with “Jessie’s Girl.” (News flash: That song is a huge hit at lesbian bars.)

Dear Keith Urban —

This is a tough letter to write, Keith. I’m not sure how to explain my infatuation with you, though I know it must end.

You see, I’m not a huge country music fan and I’ve been a card-carrying lesbian since 1996. So we could never work. Besides, Nicole (or Nicky as we like to call her, huh?) has stood by you through so much. It just wouldn’t be fair to her if we were to continue.

It won’t be easy to get over your guitar-shredding, country-crooning Aussie ways. Your long hair (before the semi-recent cut, that is); your slight lisp when you speak (it makes you seem vulnerable) and the way you teared up during the mass wedding during the 2014 Grammy’s just melt my heart.

I’d be less-than-genuine if I didn’t confess that you’re the primary reason I watch “American Idol.” (Well, at least since M.K. Nobilette left the show earlier this season.) And it won’t be easy to see you on the screen each week, though directing my gaze toward Jennifer Lopez will help lessen the pain somewhat.

As a final goodbye, I’ll be deleting your most recent television performances on the Grammy’s (“Cop Car” with Gary Clark) and the Country Music Awards (“We Were Us” with Miranda Lambert) from my DVR. I know it seems silly, but I’ll otherwise never get over you as even now I find myself watching you in this video more than Miranda, like a good lesbian would.

Goodbye, boys, and thank you all for being so pretty. You see, my crushes on guys like you were like baby steps that eased me into recognizing that I actually liked girls. And for that, I will always love you.

One Response to “To all the men I’ve loved before”

  1. Lorraine Howell

    But Candy, what do I do about Johnny Depp? He is a little bit on the fem side right? So I can keep him for just a bit ….


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