Mark, in his own words: “I just love being gay. I love that I have the gay gene and that it makes me in demand. People want my opinion and my advice. Suddenly I’m an expert on everything fabulous.
Gay in the 80’s was not like being gay today. I was called sissy, faggot, a bitch.
At 17 I met Cole who was 35, and I came out to my Mother. She said my love is unconditional for you, but who is this man? He was a butcher who worked for my sister in law’s family and I wanted to move in with him. He was older and experienced and he swept me off my feet. After a month we traveled across the US to Vermont to meet his family. It was a great incredible time of my life. I was free, away from home and on my own.
We moved back to LA and I found out that he was a cheater and a Liar. I met Bobby who was also gay, and we lived as platonic roommates for 8 years. But during this time I did not date at all. I surrounded myself with female friends and straight people. I was a straight hag. I was not living the life of a gay man, but I plunged into my art and found a creative outlet in oil painting, 3-D triptych art, and collages. This I incorporate today in window display and visual merchandising.
At 26 I moved into West Hollywood and started living life for the first time as a gay man and opportunities started arising. I came out to my employer and this allowed me to be more myself at work. I was comfortable in my skin and clients would set me up on dates.
The ducks were in a row, but that does not make it easy. I was afraid to date or go to a bar by myself. Although I wanted a relationship I had to deal with my own insecurities. I still had a hurdle to overcome before I could have my happy ending.
2 years ago I was united with a sister that had never been in my life. She is a lesbian with 3 kids and her partner has 3 kids too. They joined houses and formed the Gaydy Bunch, like the tv show. My new nephew just came out at 13 and he did it in such a supportive and loving environment. What a great time this is for him. It is very brave of him.
I feel so normal in that I’m considerate, kind and I want a loving life-long partnership. That’s what I’m looking for now. At 50, I’m insecure since most 50 year olds want a 20 something and I don’t.”