dominick Apparently I was talking to one husband and not the other. But, honestly, it was all very platonic. I was just talking to him about Chicago, because he had just visited there.
anaheed Are you from Chicago? I used to live in Chicago.
anaheed Like Wrigleyville. What about you?
anaheed That’s the same—Wrigleyville is part of Lakeview! What street?
dominick North Sheridan.
anaheed That’s really close to where I lived. I lived on Greenview and Addison.
dominick I know where Addison is! I dated a guy who lived on Addison.
anaheed Was it me?
dominick I mean, it didn’t work out.
amy rose [To Derek and John] And where did you guys grow up?
john I grew up in Atlanta. In the country.
derek I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, but when you say that I feel like I automatically have to preface it and say that I like grew up in the county and not—
john Not the actual city.
anaheed My husband is from Baltimore. Which part of—
derek I lived in Owings Mills.
anaheed That is where his parents lived! That’s crazy!
dominick OK, can I be honest? I lived in Chicago, but I grew up in Michigan.
anaheed Shut up! Me too!
dominick Shut up! Where?
amy rose She’s making all of this up.
anaheed First Detroit, then Madison Heights—you’re gonna see the trajectory here…
dominick You moved up!
anaheed Then Bloomfield Hills.
dominick [Screaming] I grew up in Bloomfield Hills!
anaheed What are you saying to me? What school did you go to?
dominick I went to University of Detroit Jesuit, like the high school? It’s all boys.
derek You went to an all-boys school?
dominick It was a compound. It was fenced in, the only manicured part of Detroit.
derek I would be very uncomfortable as an expressive gay male to go to an all-boys school. Even though there would obviously be other gay people there…
dominick There wasn’t.
derek I just feel like it’s oppressive. First of all, uniforms disgust me.
dominick It was a big frat house!
derek Yeah, it’s gross. I could never.
amy rose [To Dominick] What was that like for you?
dominick I mean, I can never be bullied, because I’m just not the type of person who can be bullied. For the most part I got along with everyone. I was fucking part of the Christian Service Society!
anaheed Were you Christian? Are you Christian?
dominick I am. My family’s like fucking Baptist Christian. My grandfather’s a Baptist minister. But I consider myself more nonreligous.
john What does your grandfather think of you?
dominick He doesn’t. And that’s sad.
anaheed Are you out to him?
dominick Yeah. With much of my family, it’s just not very much a non-talked-about topic. And I guess that’s sad, but it’s also kinda like, we could do worse. Like, I have a great relationship with my grandfather even though he’s totally like, gay people are just totally on the opposite side of the spectrum from the whole Christian religion. I guess it is sad that we don’t talk about it, but that’s kind of how we both survive. And I can’t blame him—he’s a fucking man of his time. He still loves me. He calls me every day. He considers me a son.
anaheed Were there really no other out kids at your high school?
dominick There were a few other out people at University of Detroit, but…I hate to like toot my own horn, but I was [more] accepted. I don’t know, I was like that “acceptable gay kid.”
anaheed Do you know what made them see you that way?
dominick I don’t know.
anaheed Is it because you’re so pretty?
john He is pretty!
anaheed He’s beautiful.
john It’s annoying. It bothers me.
dominick What? Stop!
john It does!
dominick I don’t know. But I can get along with anyone, and, as you know, Michigan is very segregated.
dominick It’s very black and white. And I grew up on very much the white-privilege side, but I also was black, and I had a black family. So I can talk to anyone.
amy rose What about you guys?
derek Um, I didn’t really have to come out, which was kind of relieving. I went to an arts high school, the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology, which is like one of the best art schools in Baltimore besides Baltimore School of the Arts. That was a really great experience, because it made me really expressive at a young age. But that was also difficult for my family.
anaheed How so?
derek Because school was such a free atmosphere, but it was like a bubble. And then I would get off the bus and be subject to whatever people had to say about whatever I was wearing. So I would say that my family was worried more so than, like, had a problem with it. They wanted to make sure I was safe.
anaheed Did you say that you didn’t have to come out because they already knew?
derek Um, the coming out… My mom was in the basement washing clothes, and she asked me to come down there.
anaheed Did she find something?
dominick My parents did.
derek She was like, “Derek, I’m not gonna tell you how to live your life or whatever, but the one thing that I want for you is to be safe.” And that’s all she said!
anaheed Aw, she’s a good mommy.
derek You’re gonna make me cry! [Actually tearing up] She’s like, “I’ll always support you, whatever you do.”
dominick That’s beautiful.