I was born in Romania and socialized there as a boy through the age of four. I came to New York City not speaking English, landing in the rich diversity of Queens. Race and gender differences were strongly highlighted, along with the overt homophobia of the early 80s.
Like many boys, it felt safer to suppress my sensitivity, tenderness and longing for closeness with other boys, though a part of me resisted. When I pressed male friends for deeper closeness, I was often met with bullying and homophobia. Thanks to mentorship by some really great older men, I began over the years to value the full range of myself and my broad emotional experience. I persisted, and it paid off.
Today I try to be a support and protector, a loving father and upright member of my community. I love supporting people in discovering themselves, offering a safe space for them to be honest and brave, to explore things like non-binary identity, and whatever is most alive for them.