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Grammy-winning musician Melissa Etheridge recently shared her experience growing up gay. "I remember crying one Christmas because my grandfather bought me a truck," she says. "I remember crying because I knew that it wasn't normal for girls to want a truck.

"No one talked about 'gay' in the '60s and '70s. I was in high school [when I realized] that I was this thing that I had heard in the girls' locker room: 'She's a lezzie.' I thought, 'Uh-oh, this a dirty horrible thing that I am.'"

Melissa came out to her parents after she went to college. "They went, 'Yeah, we know,'" Melissa remembers. "Then they said, 'Look, we don't understand it and we can't help you with it because we don't know anything about it—but as long as you're happy.' That's all that a kid needs to hear from their parents is, 'Hey, as long as you're happy, we support you.'"
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FROM: When I Knew I Was Gay
Published on November 17, 2005

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