Coming out in the summer of ’63 was hard. So very hard. And living in a small town, where everyone knows everyone else, it was basically impossible. You couldn’t tell anyone. Not your family. And not even your best friend.
No matter how much you loved him.
I had known there was something different about me for a very long time. But the things my father said about men who loved men terrified me. When a gay couple had been arrested for simply making out in an alley one town over, he called them “perverts” and said that people like them should be locked up.
I tried to fit in. I tried to ride it out, hoping it was just a phase. I had a girlfriend — three years and counting — and she was eager for us to get married and have children, and to do all the things that that entailed. We weren’t kids anymore. We had our whole adult lives ahead of us.
Lord help me, I did try to fit in.
But there was that hot summer. My best friend and I had been inseparable since before I could remember and that night was no different. Unable to sleep because of the oppressive heat, we snuck into a public pool to swim. I swear, skinny dipping was not my idea.
Love was right there in front of me, but small town America in 1963 was a very different place.
My mind raced. I knew I mustn’t, but how could I resist?
AMANDA MANN I was nearing the end of “Becoming Lily,” when I realized I had never done a gay story with the same sort of tone as “Caught by My Roommate’s Boyfriend” and “I Was Turned at the Costume Party.” Next thing I knew I had this story in my head and just had to write it down. It’s sweet, hopeful and contains some great, hot sex! What more could you ask for?