Show & Tell

Thu. October 25, 2012 12:00 AM
by Greg R. Baird

From a very early age, like most kids, I loved everything about the Halloween season. From the decorations and the school parties to trick or treating in the best neighborhoods with the neighbors that gave out the big candy bars. It truly was a great time and I made sure that the season got its credit all though the rest of the year.

As a young gay boy growing up, I had a vivid imagination and enjoyed performing for my parents friends that came over for dinner or just a party. One of my things I enjoyed doing was running to my closet and getting out the previous years Halloween costume and walking out in the middle of the party to entertain and do a little act. This would happen at anytime of the year. My parents, would rolls their eyes, while I made their friends laugh to tell me how cute and talented I was. I often made sure I had another costume in my bedroom closet to put on for Act 2 just in case my audience wanted more.

My Mother had a love for piano music and the flamboyant, very gay performer, Liberace! To encourage my brother and me to play the piano better, my Mom got tickets for the family to our very first concert, to see Liberace! To this day my 84 year old Mother claims this was a huge contributor to why my brother and I are both gay.

The night of the concert was sold out and our seats were in a balcony area with a great view of the stage. As a kid who liked to perform and dress up, the best thing I ever saw as a young boy happened. The lights were turned off and Liberace came out in fancy suit coat with hundreds of small lights on it.. It was pure performance magic!

That following Saturday when my Mother had gone grocery shopping, I slipped into my parent's closet and took one of my father's favorite suit coats. I went to my room and with our Christmas tree lights; I tore holes, glued and creatively strung the lights through the coat thinking this will be my best performance ever!

That evening the monthly bridge party was held at my house and 30 people gathered in the living room to play cards, drink and eat. My audience was set! An hour into the evening, I plugged the largest extension cord I could find in the nearby hallway and walked out with my arms out stretched like a showman, into the bridge party. Many laughed, some their mouths fell open and my parents had a look of horror. My Dad was most shaken as the coat I was wearing was a special designer suit coat he had bought that past summer. He yelled out in the party to my mother, "Well, you are the one who had the idea of taking the boys to see Liberace!"

I was grounded for a week, the coat was removed from the house and Show & Tell became a long distant memory of how for just a few minutes, a young gay boy was able to show his true colors, even if I had to plug it in.