I first heard about homosexuality as
a child growing up in rural eastern Colorado. My parents had purchased
a set of Funk & Wagnall's and they were kept in the bookshelf in
my basement bedroom. I was an avid reader and spent countless hours
reading article after article. It was the article on Sappho that I read
the most often. I related to that article on a deep soul level, even
though I knew by then that I could never be a lesbian. Still, I could
not stop reading, and eventually found a slim volume of her poetry by
Mary Bernard that I kept well hidden. It was some of the most beautiful
poetry I have ever read. In fact, I need to find a copy of that book
and read it again.
In those days, there were only gays and lesbians. At least that is how the whole community was described, and often with a disparaging tone. I knew it was not considered a good thing to be a member of either of those groups. And that was long before kids commented "that's so gay!"