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Teenage Diaries Revisited: A Gay Teen’s Family, ‘Evolved’

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
May 6, 2013

Name: Amanda Brand

Hometown: Queens, N.Y.

Current city: New York, N.Y.

Occupation: Massage therapist

Then:

“My mother’s always yelling at me, ‘How are you supposed to find a man?’… I tell her, I’m like, ‘I’m not interested in men.’ “

Amanda is gay. Her family is conservative Catholic, and when she was a teenager, her parents were convinced she was only going through a phase. Back then, Amanda recorded a diary about coming out to her parents and to the world. “When I was in first grade, I remember one day we were playing a game that was kind of like Sleeping Beauty, where like the prettiest girl on the block fell asleep on a picnic bench. And you know, somebody had to go and wake her up, to like, kiss her and revive her, and it would always be one of the boys. And I always felt like I wanted to go and revive her.”

Now:

Amanda sat down again with her mother and father, in the same house where she grew up, to revisit her tumultuous teen years. Not only have her parents accepted her sexuality, they’ve even helped counsel other families dealing with the same thing. Her mother says, “We were brought up being taught differently, but I think we as a family have really evolved.”

On recording her teen audio diary:

“It was strange to carry around this big tape recorder. It was a big clunky clumsy thing, but I’m really proud of what became of it and the results from the whole experience.”

Produced for All Things Considered by Joe Richman and Sarah Kate Kramer of Radio Diaries, edited by Deborah George and Ben Shapiro.

You can subscribe to the Radio Diaries podcast at NPR.org. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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