In Fairy Tales, a Gay Man Finds Acceptance and Love
Gays With Kids is pleased to introduce Michael Strouse, our newest blogger. This is his first blog post.
I am reasonably sure that my love of science fiction in my pre-teen and teen years signaled my general worldview more than my teenage self would believe. While influenced by a secret love for Will Wheaton, science fiction for me was a progressive fantasy world that gave me the acceptance that I didn’t find in my suburban 1990s home.
I didn’t find a love of fairy tales until I began to work for Disney in New York City. For the first time, I could imagine a world of love, not just acceptance. It didn’t hurt that the first Disney movie that came out during my employment was “The Hunchback of Notre Dame," one that wove the themes of acceptance, compassion and love into a truly wonderful score and theatrical setting – something this theatrical gay felt spoke just to him!
My progression from employee to Disney devotee didn’t take very long. I wished my life into a fairy tale. After all, if Snow White and Cinderella could find love, why couldn’t I?
Though it’s silly, I’ve learned a few things from those fairy tales. Like Cinderella, I’ve had my fair share of mean people in my life and worked hard to keep my head up, despite being different.
I also know that it’s better to surround yourself with true friends, not just those who look the part. Those dwarfs from Snow White were certainly not the most glamorous but they were loyal and true!
And Peter Pan – it’s not just that he made it okay to wear tights, but he also embraces believing in oneself, not taking things too seriously and well, not growing up!
Ahh, and my favorite, Sleeping Beauty – know your true love comes at the right time and in a way it is destined to be! Let’s just say that my first meeting with my husband could have gone better. Our eventual first date was five years after that and thank goodness it waited until we were both a bit more grown up and ready.
Fast forward 20 years and I am pretty sure I’ve found my fairy tale. Surrounded by a handsome and supportive husband and two beautiful and adventurous children, I look at family portraits and hear that choral ending that rises as “The End" pops up on the screen. Except in my version, thankfully, there is no fade to black.
Oh, I should mention, I still like “Star Trek," too! There’s an escape in both – fantasy and sci-fi – but also a lot of reality! You just have to look for it ...
I’m very excited to be writing for Gays with Kids and hope you’ll enjoy my thoughts, adventures and maybe even a few good stories along the way!