Albert: It's taken me awhile to feel comfortable living in my own skin. I was born and raised here in New Orleans. I grew up Catholic. The high school that I went to was kind of gay friendly, but I didn't really come out, so to speak. People would ask if I was gay because of the way I talk, but I didn't say squat.
Friday, March 22nd, 2002 I was in class with a classmate who I had been having a little physical interaction with. He wanted to go into the bathroom and hook up. So, we were in the second floor, boys bathroom [having sex]. The next thing I know there's a knock on the door and the chief custodian walks in. She sees the guy with the condom still on.
I scurried out of there. They had a security guard looking for us. They eventually found me. The principal made me tell him what happened and made me call my parents to let them know what happened.
They weren't too happy. I was forced out [of the closet] when I wasn't ready. I got expelled. I ended up going to an alternative high school for two semesters and I was able to get my diploma.
Ever since then my mother has been on me about being gay, and how being gay is a sin, and that I'll go straight to hell if I don't repent, and change my ways, so that led to a time of depression and confusion for me, because I didn't really feel love. I knew my parents loved me and everything, but I didn't feel like I had their support.
I was able to go to college for two years and then Katrina happened. I went up North to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated and came back.
BW: Why did you come back?
Albert: My Cat. My little queen was sick, so I wanted to spend as much time with her as I could. I had to put her to sleep. When you lose someone who didn't reject you for being gay, and just made you feel loved... it was the hardest thing I ever went through. Out of the entire household she was the one that was there for me.
Part of these collections: Coming Out