Here I am, one little Ricky surrounded by a pile of Lucys, tapping my little boy heart out.
I loved dance. (You can be sure of that since the competitions my studio entered were named "I Love Dance" and I have a closetful of first-place trophies to prove it.) I was pretty damn good, too.
And then came the bullies and the hormones and the pressure to fit in and be liked. And here's what sucks: they won. I quit. I got chubby. Then I got into swimming and water polo. It took me a few years and a chronic injury to find my way back to theater. But I never got back to dance.
I didn't have the strength to do it all; to stand up against the rest of the world who all pointed and laughed and keep dancing anyway. I couldn't do it. And it is genuinely one of the biggest, if not the single biggest regret I carry.
There's a line that Stanley Tucci has in "Shall We Dance?" that goes: "A straight man who likes to dance around in sequins walks a very lonely road." That line burned itself into my memory the first time I heard it. Because it me.
Or rather, it was. And I miss it. And I regret letting the bullies win.
So, Lara Spencer, your meager apology is too late and too little (and are you joking with the stock photo?). DO something to make amends. Volunteer at a dance competition... Work for an anti-bullying campaign... I don't know what, but you need to DO something. Because some little boy somewhere out there just threw out his ballet shoes because of you.