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Kevin Gerdes shares his story in this new segment of LGBT Stories called, "Me."
This isn't easy.
I'm about to go on a journey opening myself up to the world. Y'all know parts of me, but not everything.
I've tried to sneak in parts of me when narrating episodes of other's stories but not too much. It hasn't been about me. Honestly, I'm not sure where to even begin. But here goes nothing. This is "Me."
My name is Kevin, I am 33 years old, and I live in Los Angeles. My life has been nothing short of excitement (good or bad) from the moment I was conceived. I was having a conversation years ago with my mom about my life, and she mentioned to me that she always worried about me and what kind of life I would have. She said that she found out about my father's infidelity when she was pregnant with me. Can you imagine the impact that daily anxiety would have on a child being formed in the womb? If I am any indication, I'll say this... I fit the bill of a Gemini just perfectly. Then to make matters worse, I was born with my umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. Things just didn't seem to be in my favor from the beginning.
I have 3 brothers. Two older and one younger. I grew up in a small city in Maryland called "Pasadena." I asked a high school friend of mine many years ago why they have never moved from Pasadena; his response was, "I was born in Pasadena, I was raised in Pasadena, and I will die in Pasadena." Maryland is odd, its got a weird East Coast mentality mixed in with a southern's heart.
I grew up never being black enough for the black people, not white, so I didn't fit in with the white kids, and generally, everyone thought I was Pakistani - and that's just not the case.
I also had a family of cousin's which consisted of 3 more boys, all just as much of a force as we were. Growing up, I would literally get stopped and asked, "Hey, you're one of those Gerdes brothers, aren't you?" Or, when I went to high school - 9th grade, I got there, and one of my teachers on DAY ONE says to me, "I taught your bothers Jay and Phil, nice to meet you." There was an odd tension in that conversation. Like, I just knew I had big shoes to fill. I could not go anywhere, ever, and have any sort of anonymity from my brothers. I wonder how many of you can relate to this?
And then, there was the fact that I was gay. Gay in Pasadena, Maryland. NOT. FUN. Not fun at all. Honestly, I didn't know what the hell jerking off was until I was in 8th grade, let alone why I was feeling the ways I was feeling about other boys in school. All I ever heard was how wrong, and disgusting being gay was. I remember the first time someone asked me if I was gay. I was in 8th grade. His name was Josh. He walked up to me at George Fox Middle School, I was walking past the library, and he says... "Kevin, I have a question... everyone keeps talking about it, are you gay?". I immediately reply, "No! What are you talking about". He looked at me and said, "Ok" and walked off.
It was here that my entire life changed. The moment he walked away, my eyes looked directly to his ass, and they thoroughly enjoyed the sight. I said to myself, "Shit Kevin, you are gay." It was as though someone gave me permission to know something fundamental about myself. Needless to say, I was not ready to shout from the hallways, my newfound identity. I keep that shit under lock and key. I didn't even want to admit it to myself.
It was after this that I began taking to the internet to search for answers and thrills. But more of that, next week. Imagine I'm winking there.
I did mention in last week's episode that I was going to talk about how LGBT Stories came about in this week's episode. The more I got to thinking about things, I realized that its best to stay focused on telling my story as it happened. What I will say is that LGBT Stories is not the first show I've produced. I did have a podcast called "The Real Life Show" first. It was a great show, but it wasn't the right time, or narrow enough. After struggling with so outwardly advocating for the LGBT community through a new show i.e., this one, I decided to launch LGBT Stories. Annnnnd, that's all you're getting.
I hope that this segment of the show is enjoyable to you. It's new for me to share so many things like this with you. Still, I believe as my story unfolds, not only will it allow you all to get to finally know me better, but it'll also help people around the world struggling with their sexual identity.
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INTRO/OUTRO SONG: "4 Letters"
Available now on Spotify