Steven Gaines, who has authored numerous best-sellers including the East Hampton-based "Philistines at the Hedgerow" was a special guest at the East Hampton High School Gay-Straight Alliance meeting yesterday -- which was also National Coming Out Day.
The room was packed, not only with the approximately 20 members of the GSA, but also with faculty, school board members, and staff -- including Principal Adam Fine, Superintendent Richard Burns, and Assistant Superintendent Robert Tymann -- who came to show their solidarity and support.
Mr. Gaines spoke emotionally of his own childhood. "I didn't know any other gay people growing up," he said. "And words like 'gay' didn't exist. Just 'homo' or 'fairy' or 'faggot.'"
He fielded questions from students after his talk. Most of the students and faculty at East Hampton High School sported rainbow ribbons to support the GSA on National Coming Out Day.