Filed Under:

Teenage Diaries Revisited: A Gay Teen's Family, 'Evolved'

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. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

He Died At 32, But A Young Artist Lives On In LA's Underground Museum

When Noah Davis founded the museum, he wanted to bring world-class art to a neighborhood he likened to a food desert, meaning no grocery stores or museums. Davis died a year ago Monday.
NPR

The Strange, Twisted Story Behind Seattle's Blackberries

Those tangled brambles are everywhere in the city, the legacy of an eccentric named Luther Burbank whose breeding experiments with crops can still be found on many American dinner plates.
WAMU 88.5

State Taxes, School Budgets And The Quality Of Public Education

Budget cutbacks have made it impossible for many states to finance their public schools. But some have bucked the trend by increasing taxes and earmarking those funds for education. Taxes, spending and the quality of public education.

NPR

Listen: 'Web Site Story,' NPR's Musical About The Internet — From 1999

Found in our archives: an Internet-themed remake of West Side Story from the dot-com bubble era. It begins with Bill Gates and features the sound of a modem but isn't as obsolete as you might expect.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.