Thanks to Brad over at Gilley’s for tipping me off to this (albeit inadvertently through Facebook). He linked to this new photo essay/blog titled Born This Way. In it are images submitted by people who, in hindsight, can see the gay coming in their childhood photos. By the looks of it, the first post was published on Sunday, and already there’s a pretty impressive collection.

Born This Way is Paul V.’s project (and yes, Gaga’s next album title). Paul V. is a DJ based in Los Angeles, but I’m really hoping he sticks to this project. There’s such a heart to the pictures that makes it so super charming and even funny — but in a good way because you’ll likely relate to it.

Paul V. was inspired, if you will, by the recent teen suicides as well as the political movement and rhetoric around Prop 8 and DADT. Initially he thought his idea would be great as a book, but after sitting on it for a while, he told me he just wanted to get it out there. And it’s caught on — like wildfire. “I’m a little inundated but it’s great,” he said. “The first photo (above) was from a MySpace friend. I just thought if any pic ever proved that we feel what we feel and it comes through, this was it. I was heartbroken by the suicides and if  young people find this blog and realize there have been gay kids forever, they see they aren’t alone.”

More from the site on Paul V.’s intentions:

This project is not about furthering stereotypes. But, it might prove that we’re all born with both chromosomes, and perhaps gay kids are just able to express their opposite X or Y without even trying? I dunno – I’m no scientist.

But this IS a statement in sociology. Because no gay person CHOSE their sexual orientation or identity – just as no straight person did either. So for all those religious and political leaders still blathering that lie? S T F U !

And the sooner we teach all children that being gay is as normal (and biological) as being straight, then maybe it really WILL get better, and we can save some precious young lives in the process. That’s my biggest goal with featuring your pictures, and stories.

I’m hoping a certain office colleague will post the below image from his younger days. It’s priceless — as is the video below it from the Born This Way site. But you’ll have to tilt your head to watch.