I live in Astoria, I’m 71, and I’m a gay senior. I married my wife in 1970, and we have two kids. They all know about me. Coming out wasn’t nearly as difficult as leaving the kids, the house, all the friends.
I was born in Manhattan in 1918. In fourth grade, my family bought a bakery, and we moved to the Bronx. Those were very prosperous times for us. Our closets and tables were always filled with bread. When the stock market crashed, times were tough, but we pulled through.
It was a challenging path that led me to become an Alternative to College Counselor. When I was in school, I was an academically-focused student, so I stayed just under the radar of my own counselor. I’d meet with her once a year, she’d tell me I was on track to graduate, and that was it.
Twenty five years ago, I came to this country with my three daughters. I visited New York once before I moved here. As a visitor everything looks wonderful but when you move here with a family, it’s completely different. It took me three months to get us our own apartment.
I first came to the Forest Hills Senior Center fifteen years ago. At that time, I didn’t know many people here, and I’d never taken a Tai Chi class. I am originally from Taiwan and spent many years traveling the globe for my career, so new experiences never intimidate me.
My first memories of QCH are from when I was four years old. I attended the Early Childhood Program, which was great for my parents since they both worked. When I was 11, I joined the Afterschool Athletics program.