This is the 10th anniversary of my first gay summer. I had come out the year prior, during the early winter of 1997/1998 (take that, Ellen!), but hadn't made any gay friends. The spring of 1999, I began hanging out with our openly gay religion teacher, Mr. Z. Mr. Z. impressed upon me the importance of self-acceptance regardless of how I choose to "be gay." Up to that point I really wasn't sure what I was going to do about the whole thing--I certainly didn't want to be gay or meet other gay people. But after that, I was ready to start seeking gay friends, besides the other closeted gay guy at school.
So that summer, I met my first gay big brother, Christopher, who took me to Ferndale, MI (the gayborhood) and Pronto in Royal Oak (my first gay bar; I still remember hearing Kristine W's "One More Try") he gave me my first gay literature, One in Ten: a guide for gay youth, and I picked up my first Between the Lines, Michigan's LGBT weekly. Not to mention safe-sex literature and talk: this was (what we thought at the time) the tail end of the AIDS plague; they'd lived through it, lost friends to it, and were looking out for me.
Please continue reading: Gayneration Gap: Where have all the gay big brothers gone?