Waking Up The Sleeping Giant (Dante)

Rejects's picture

In my last journal I wrote about my family and how I came about, and this time I'm going to discuss my first encounters with racism and my bisexuality. These two topics will be a common theme in what I write here.

Very few people know I'm biracial, and even fewer know I'm bisexual. I have no problem with that either. Some of you reading that might think I'm ashamed or embarrassed about it, and you're partially correct . It's not my racial background or sexuality I feel bad about, it's the uphill battle I (we?????) face of breaking the chains of perceptions and stereotypes that serve no purpose except to prevent us from being accepted. Yes, the reference to slavery is intentional.

I have dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and slightly olive skin and look like a typical White kid, and nobody has ever asked me if I'm biracial, and because I'm into sports and metal being gay or even bi hasn't ever come up. What people don't know won't hurt me.

My first real memory of racism happened the summer before I started second grade, and it opened to door of me questioning things. I was in Cub Scouts and we were having a swimming class at a local community center, and swimming was (and still is) one of my favorite things to do. Another Black stereotype there (WE don't swim!).

It was the first time I can remember changing naked in front of other boys, and I noticed that there were differences. Some of the boys looked like they had mushrooms, some looked like a hot dog, and mine hung down like a elephant trunk. I hadn't had any kind of sex ed yet so I had no idea why everyone looked different.

Before I put my trunks on a older boy said my dad must have been Black for me to look like that and seconds later my fist met his face. I don't think I understood what he meant but I knew that calling me Black was meant as an insult. I was almost kicked out of Scouts but when I told what happened I still remember the look on everyone's face. It was like I said something you're not supposed to talk about, and now I understand that.

I never saw that other kid again, and that night the neighbor that later became my godfather gave me a simple explanation of why some boys look different as he was giving me a bath, and Mr. Joe (what I call him) made me feel okay about my body. He's one of the few men in my life, and I can trust him. He doesn't know I'm bisexual, so maybe I don't completely trust him?

After that I noticed other boys checking me out when I peed at school, but I didn't care. When you're a little kid and you gotta go, what do you really think about other than getting relief? I looked too, especially at the boys that pulled their pants/shorts and undies down when they peed. I would get a funny feeling about liking what I saw but I didn't really understand that (yet). I had a mental note of what each boy looked like too.

I went to a "diverse" elementary school, and in the second half of third grade I was placed in the school's gifted classes. It was a good thing because I was no longer bored with my schoolwork, but it was also bad because I was with new classmates that I didn't really know. Starting over isn't fun when you're that age, and being different doesn't help either. It's also where I met Spencer, my first real Black friend. He introduced me to a lot of things, including the reality of racism and was my first taste of being gay.

Spencer was a new transfer student and lived in a rough part of town, and was one of the fat kids in school. He had bigger boobs than most seventh grade girls and always wore baggy hooded sweatshirts, no matter how hot it was outside. He always wore shorts too ( I liked looking at his legs). He was also the smartest person I knew, and we just clicked instantly.

We had a lot in common too. He also lived with his grandma, didn't have a father, and boys would stare at him when he had to pee. The first time I saw his stuff I remember wanting to put it in my mouth, and that scared me. If you haven't figured it out yet I like watching boys pee, I don't understand it but I can't help it .

Eventually our grandmas met, became friends, and that summer Spencer and I would spend most days at Mr. Joe's house. It was fun, we did all kinds of things, but Spencer would never take his shirt off, even when we went swimming in the shallow pool in the backyard. At his house in the summer I never had a shirt on, even when we ate.

I've always been athletic, and Mr. Joe and I would do stuff like play catch or throw a football around, and Spencer wasn't really into that. A fat stereotype? Maybe. One day Mr. Joe showed us some pictures of him as a teen and he was into wrestling, and I got that funny feeling when I saw him in a singlet and I noticed his bulge. He told us it's one of the toughest sports but also the funnest and I had to try it.

Mr. Joe weighed us and took some measurements and shoes sizes, and the next day he told us there was a surprise in the basement for us. He had bought a wrestling mat and showed us some basic moves, and for a fat kid Spencer was really strong. We were hooked on wrestling, and Mr. Joe turned his basement into a basic home gym and had us work out, doing stuff like pushups and pull ups and short sprints. Spencer starting losing weight and the wrestling became more intense, and one day Mr. Joe gave us singlets and wrestling shoes of our own to wear. He always has been very generous with my friends and I, and this is a good example of that.

He worked at home doing computer stuff, and left us to change and wrestle together while he finished a project he was working on. That's when things between Spencer and I got awkward.

"I'm not wearing that!", he said. "Noooooo way!"

I was pissed at him because Mr. Joe was doing something cool for us and he wasn't going along with it. We argued about it and it was the first time I can remember us having a fight. Spencer gave in, but he wasn't happy about it. He took his shoes off, and then pulled his sweatshirt off, and saw his bare chest for the first time, and I wanted to touch the nipples so badly but he quickly put his hands over them as soon as I got a good look. I had the funny feeling again, and I didn't like it. He turned around and stripped and I stared at his bare butt like it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. He looked like the older girls at school from the back.

We didn't think to keep our undies on, and Spencer had trouble figuring out how to get the singlet on, eventually figuring out how to pull it up and then stretch the shoulder straps into position. The singlets were shiny blue, and once I had it on it felt funny being under something tight like that naked. I could see my stuff and when Spencer turned around his was real noticeable too, and we both laughed at each other. I couldn't help looking either, and I liked what I saw.

We wrestled for a while, taking turns in each position, and Spencer used his weight to his advantage, easily pinning me. In a real meet we would have never competed against each other, but this was good practice. He then slammed me down by pulling my arms out really hard and was on top, his stuff poking me. It felt funny but good, and instead of getting up right away he stayed there. It started feeling weird, and when I told him to get up he started sliding back and forth, and I just froze. I knew it was wrong but I didn't want him to stop.

He stopped when Mr. Joe came down the steps and we just stretched out on the mats, hiding the reactions I didn't understand yet . Mr. Joe told us Spencer's grandma would be there soon and we changed, facing away from each other. Mine looked like it did every morning when I woke up, and it confused me. Why was I feeling this way? Why did I like what he did? Why did I want to play with his boobs? Why did I like seeing his butt?

That day I woke up a part of me I'm still struggling with, a sleeping giant that won't just go away.



Outkast's picture

I applaud you for writing

I applaud you for writing what I hope will be the first of a number of journals discussing racism, which is still rampant in our country. Being biracial you have a different outlook on the it, and based on what you wrote, you don't have typical African-American features.

Your first sexual experiences are somewhat common I think. Boys can peek at each other at urinals, and changing in the locker room happens on a regular basis. Your wrestling encounter was probably uncomfortable, but the area Spencer rubbed against can be very sensitive in guys, even though they don't like to admit it.

The only thing I'd suggest is just writing about one topic per journal, you took on a two difficult subjects at once when separate journals may have been easier to do.

Still, I love what you and your friends are writing and I check Oasis daily for updates from you all. I understand that since you are the only one with easy online access it's harder, and I'm sure that's frustrating as well!

I'm a bit disappointed that these journals are not getting more feedback from Oasis readers, I think they could really benefit from what we can offer to them?


jeff's picture


A neighbor who sets up wrestling mats with singlets for the local kids? That has the potential to go in a bad direction. Hopefully not...

Of all the racial stereotypes, you get insulted by that one?! ;-)

"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

Perhaps We Should Leave's picture


Having dealt with abuse as a lass, I must admit that reading through this, I became deeply worried about where it was going, like Jeff. I honestly expected the journal to end on a disturbing note.

I always thought wrestling was a bizarrely homoerotic sport, especially considering the machismo involved. It's not surprising it got you thinking.

* * *

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.