That's one of the things that is different now from when we were kids, @rkyjockdn , EVERYONE KNOWS GAY PEOPLE EXIST. I had NO idea. True, if I'd been born and raised in a city rather than the rural Midwest, I might have known. But reading that LIFE magazine article was a real eye opener. And, of course, the down-side is that was the ONLY information I had about being gay -- and since it was all about how we're all psychotic degenerates that at best need to be "understood" and "tolerated"… didn't exactly give me a good sense of my sexual identity. Took years to overcome that bull shit.
I was somewhat the same. I didn't have a clue about homosexuality. I lived a very sheltered & privileged life. The most I guessed was that some men were "sissies" and not masculine. I didn't even suspect until my early 20s that sex acts between men were possible. REALLY!
Yeah, innocent & naive in the extreme. And what contributed to my being in denial for so long.
I knew I liked guys, loved to see their naked bodies, and had no interest in women. But I couldn't imagine any sexual potential with a man.
As I began to learn about this homo thing, I associated it with weak sissy behavior, and wanting to wear women's clothes & makeup. Well, I didn't do anything remotely like that.
So therefore I must be "normal" and straight, a new word I had recently learned. And by then I had joined the Army, rode a motorcycle, lived half the time outdoors and loved it, didn't even remotely fit the faggy stereotype.
Well, maybe once, when I was a young pianist of some distinction, a singer, architectural student, writer. But then I had a nearly fatal & disfiguring accident, and all that was gone, including what marginal physical looks I had. That's when I chose the military path, the proper place for ugly moronic "Deltas" (if you know your Aldous Huxley).