Lack of a Gay Identity

Memoirist and Author
The writer gives thanks to those who have made it easier to be gay today.
  • Transcript


Augusten Burroughs: I’ve always known that I was attracted to guys, to people of the same sex, since I was a little kid and I was raised without any religion. As a matter of fact, I used to get Jesus and Santa confused when I was a child. So I was raised without religion and I didn’t go to school. I didn’t go to high school. I didn’t go to junior high school for any length of time. And then at a very early age I was plunged in to this extraordinary living situation when I was- when my mother gave me to her psychiatrist and his family to live. So my sexual orientation was nothing I ever questioned or struggled with or thought about; I’m right handed and it’s just a fact so being gay was exactly the same thing; it was just a fact.

And it’s always been like that for me in my career and all my life. It’s never been something I struggled with. I’ve been asked and I’ve actually been criticized by some people in the- who have misinterpreted.

When asked by the gay press, “Are you proud to be gay?”, I have often replied, “I’m not proud because I haven’t accomplished anything. If I had been the child of evangelical Christian parents, I’d be damn proud. If I had worked for my identity, I would be proud but I never--What did I do? I’m proud of the gay and lesbian people who came before me and made it possible for me to take it for granted but I myself haven’t really- haven’t struggled and overcome anything.” I’m not proud of being right handed. Now at the same time would I change and be straight if I could? Never. Never.

No interest and would never do it, never do it, so I’m really happy this way but it’s not like I accomplished something; I took a driver’s test and passed. I was just born knowing how to drive.

Recorded on: April 30, 2008.