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

'Star Wars' Editors Defy Hollywood Conventions

In a film industry often dominated by men, there's at least one exception: Many editors are women. Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey speak about their work on the new Star Wars.
NPR

Florida Says Its Fruits, Vegetables Are Safe From Invasive Fruit Fly

Since September, Florida has been fighting an infestation of the Oriental fruit fly, an invasive pest that threatened more than 400 crops. The state declared the insect eradicated as of Saturday.
NPR

GOP Debate: Scalia's Vacancy; Trump Puts Jeb On The Defense

Republicans let loose on each other in last night's South Carolina debate. Rachel Martin asks NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson about it.
NPR

West Point Students' Plan To Counter ISIS Online Strategy

The State Department sponsored a contest to find the best ways to combat ISIS propaganda online. A group of cadets from West Point got second prize. Rachel Martin speaks with team member CJ Drew.

Leave a Comment

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