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I had a really wonderful upbringing. We were a tight family. It was wonderful to grow up with so many siblings. We were all just a year or two apart, and we were always so supportive of each other. I learned everything from my older brother and sister and taught it to my younger sisters.
I had an older brother, an older sister and a younger brother, and though I look back fondly on my childhood, I think that when you've got four siblings sharing the same resources and a single kids' bathroom, it's going to get a little tense at times.
If I tried to shout over my older brother, my mother told me keep quiet. If I tried to shout over my little sister, my father told me to shut up. I found the best way to be heard was to lower my voice and actually speak when I had something to say.
I performed adequately at school, but in comparison to my older brother, who set the record for the highest cumulative average for our high school, my performance was decidedly mediocre.
It's an experience I'd like to add to the chorus, that these blue-collar, macho men, like my older brother, had the capacity to say: 'I don't care, I love you anyway.' There are young kids thinking: 'I'll never come out because it's too hard in our communities.' But I'm saying maybe your story can be similar to mine.