Was your first love gay? Website encourages people to share experiences through old photos

Marie Claire speaks to founder of new website which encourages users to post snaps of ill-fated unions

Alex and Damian
Alex and Damian
(Image credit: Eyevine, Rex)

Marie Claire speaks to founder of new website which encourages users to post snaps of ill-fated unions

So, your first love was actually gay? There's no reason to hide all those old snaps away. Celebrate that ill-fated union by posting them online instead. We spoke to the founder of myhighschoolboyfriendwasgay.com, Damian Bellino (pictured with his date Alex before his highschool prom).

So, what was the inspiration behind your website?

People assume that gay guys have no experience of dating girls, but they are so wrong. Most of us did before we came out, with hilarious results. So we decided to ask people to share those experiences through their old photos.

How was the response?

Phenomenal. Thousands of people around the world have sent us their snaps.

So what's your story?

I asked my best female friend to the prom. I remember her looking great in her purple dress, but thinking, 'wow you're so beautiful and I love your clothes, but why don't I want to kiss you?' I was so confused, but I didn't have a label for my feelings.

So in a way the site is a place for people to bond over a tricky stage in their lives?

Yes, it's about looking at past tragedy and laughing because of how far we've come. There's a sense of relief that we no longer need to conform.

This article appears in the current issue of Marie Claire - on sale now.


Editor in Chief

Andrea Thompson is Editor in Chief at Marie Claire UK and was named by We are the City as one of the UKs top 50 trailblazers for her work championing gender equality.

Andrea has worked as a senior journalist for a range of publications over her 20 year career including The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Channel 4, Glamour and Grazia. At Marie Claire UK, Andrea oversees content, strategy and campaigns across fashion, beauty and the brand's purpose pillars. Her weekly newsletter and column Andreas It List showcases her curated edit of the very best in fashion and beauty. Andrea is a keen advocate of women's empowerment, sustainability and diversity and is a regular speaker at events on these themes. She sits on the committee of the British Society of Magazine Editors where she acts as Vice Chair and looks after Diversity and Inclusion and regularly mentors young women from under represented communities trying to break into the media industry. Follow her on instagram at @andreacanwrite