Yesterday, I listened to throwback American top 40 the 70’s on WTIX New Orleans and Barry Manilow’s I Write the Songs comes on… Funny I can remember an entire conversation with the girl across the street when this song was first out.
She was in love with Barry Manilow and I sort of already knew that was foolish but I didn’t really have the words to explain why. Of course, there’s the whole celebrity crush level of impossibility, but i think I knew he wasn’t interested in girls. But I don’t know that I knew the word gay (was it in common use in 1976). And if I knew the word homosexual, I don’t think I would have used it because it included the letters S-E-X.
So instead I said something about him having a big nose and I remember being embarrassed but that’s what I came up with instead of saying what I really thought. Mostly I’m not even sure if the neighbor girl would have known what gay was. Her life was much more sheltered than mine.
And here I am 35+ years later and I’m embarrassed all over again for my child-self but not because of the gay-thing. Instead it was because I ended up having to defend my position of big nose equals unattractive. Funny the things you remember.