10/20/2011 09:56 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

True LGBTQ Stories: Ann Helfrich of Pleasantville, N.J. Reveals When She Knew She Was Gay (VIDEO)

I'm From Driftwood is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit forum for true lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer stories. Earlier this year, founder and Executive Director Nathan Manske and two companions successfully completed a four-month, 50-state Story Tour collecting LGBTQ stories from towns and cities across the country. They're pulling some of the most relevant, important and sometimes just enjoyable stories from their archives and sharing them with HuffPost Gay Voices.

Ann Helfrich is from a town called Pleasantville, and after you see her demeanor and listen to her story about when she first realized she was a lesbian, you'll find it difficult to imagine her being from anywhere else.

"I always had half of me that knew and then half of me that didn't know. Half of me was totally in denial. The half of me that was disappointed when my softball coach got married. I was like, "What the fuck?" Or when Darlene got a boyfriend on Roseanne... what are you talking about?"

She goes on to say that as a young girl, one of her friends taught her a game of kissing Michael J. Fox whenever he appeared on the TV screen. But Ann was tuned in to another program altogether.

"I tried to do that, I tried, I wanted to be able to kiss Michael J. Fox, but it wasn't... it didn't... it was... it just didn't work for me. I would try, and I felt it in my body it wasn't right, and the person I had a crush on, that I really wanted to kiss, was totally Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island."

Taking cues from her friend, Ann decided to add her own twist to the kissing-the-TV game.

"I remember the TV being here, and I was standing up. ... I would wait for her, you know in the credits, when the circles come up, you know? So I would wait for her circle to come up, I remember waiting, 'and the professor and Mary Ann,' you know, and I would 'kiss' Mary Ann. I loved Mary Ann, she was so sweet."

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