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Let me tell you.  In my late teens/early to mid-20s, the Backstreet Boys were a huge part of my life and I’m not afraid to admit that.  Their music and their exposure helped me feel like I was a part of something bigger than myself.  It allowed me to engross myself in something I felt was really important to me.  I could also identify with millions of other people in their shared love for the group.

I own all of their albums, know all of their songs, and am familiar with all of their backgrounds. I’ve seen them about five times in concert, not much compared to many others, but for someone who doesn’t attend many concerts, that’s a vast majority.  I’d say Backstreet concerts consist of about 75% of my total.

They were the first “real” thing (other than video games or comics) that I totally focused my attention on and made important in my life.

During the times when I felt lonely beyond all belief, Backstreet was there to get me through.

There were many times growing up as a gay kid where I felt extremely lonely in knowing that in most situations I couldn’t be who I was.  I was still new to meeting people and as a very isolated, overprotected kid… socializing wasn’t my strongest suit at the time.  With all the albums, videos, television appearances, I began to really feel like someone was there for me…like they were there for me.

Kind of a nutty thing to say, but it’s true.  We’ve all been in such a lonely state where you feel like noone in the world cares about you, and with Backstreet around I never had to feel like that.  I’m so extremely grateful to have them when I did.  I think it helped me acclimate through those sensitive early teen years without a lot of that emotional baggage that normally goes along with that time.

In a time when friends and finding a boyfriend/girlfriend was the most important thing to an emotional angst-ridden teen/early adult, I didn’t really have to deal with all that.  I had my video games, comic books and the Boys.

And like any fan of the “boy bands,” we all had our favorite.  My favorite Boy was Brian Littrell.  He was the fun-loving, kooky, athletic one of the bunch.  It was his soft raspy voice that spoke to me much of the time.

I remember putting on the tapes, and later the DVDs, and seeing his smile would make all of my cares slip away.  He’s such a pleasure to watch perform.

One of my first big ventures in the online world was running a Brian fan site for a number of years.  You can still see traces of it in searches but I’m not sure if it’s still out there.  It was called Brian Littrell Adorations and I put so much work into that site.  It was hosted by Angelfire and was long before building a website was super easy.

I got multiple books on HTML and Frames (Frames!! what’s that???) and put together this big site with all kinds of photos, news updates, articles, tour dates…and I was connected to many different Backstreet sites building a huge community between us.

It’s funny how as we grow older the things that are so important to us when we were younger seem to fade to the background and don’t seem as important as they once were.  It’s amazing to think back and know how engrossed I was, and then look at my life now and see that level of love for something is more subdued now.  Although I still feel the same kind of dedication, it’s just not at the same level as it once was.

I think that happens to us all.  When adulthood and responsibility takes hold, certain things end up taking a backseat.  Don’t get me wrong though, I’m still a die-hard Backstreet Boy fan.

So who was your favorite?  Backstreet or N’Sync?  We already know where I stand ! 😀

I’m also gonna leave you with a favorite video of mine.  Classic Backstreet, and a great song that helped me through my loneliness.  Thanks again Boys for all the inspiration you gave me throughout the years!