Michael Aaron

How can this be my 40 year high school reunion? I’m not yet 40!

Forty years ago this month I was moving to Ballif Hall at the University of Utah. My first time living on my own. I’d received a full scholarship to study … civil engineering. I think we know how that ended up.

A few months later, I’d find myself with a crush on a red-headed boy in Calculus I. He introduced me to a bunch of gay boys and ally girls who hung out at Liberty Park with their trunks popped open blasting music, dancing, and laughing. And kissing. It was the first time I saw two guys kiss each other who weren’t me.

I then noticed an ad in the classifieds section of the Daily Utah Chronicle that said they had meetings of gay Catholics at the Newman Center. While I was raised Catholic, it was more of a Christmas/Easter Catholic thing. I never attended, but I looked for that ad every week seeking connection.

I saw gay porn for the first time at a house party and I remember being amazed that such a thing existed.

In short, I was introduced to a community I didn’t know existed.

To think how this community has expanded over the past 40 years and the progress made in that time.

While at the reunion I will see people I grew up with, studied with, learned the basics of socializing with, and got past the awkward teen years with, it is the time I left and met a red-headed boy and a community where I feel my life actually began.

So, maybe I am just turning 40.

Michael Aaron

Michael Aaron is the editor and publisher of QSaltLake. He has been active in Utah's gay and lesbian community since the early 80s and published two publications then and in the 90s.

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