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WJ

January 2000

Hello everyone, and happy new year! It's rather odd, actually, to be wishing everyone a happy new year in the middle of December (which is when I wrote this).

Assuming we passed January 1 with few or little problems, I'm looking forward to the new year. It's going to be a nice new clean start to things. Generally I find new years depressing. I think it's the thought of a chapter of life coming to an end rather than a new chapter beginning. This year seems different somehow. Perhaps it's the rolling of the calendars out of the 1990s and into the 2000s. Maybe it's because I'm just a little bit happier than I used to be. Or maybe, just maybe, it hasn't hit me yet since it's only the middle of December. In any case, it doesn't matter, so there's no point trying to figure it out.

As I mentioned in my last column, I went to a gay youth group 3 weeks ago. Last Thursday (December 9) was my third time going. TS has come with me each time, and I imagine she will continue to do so. It was great going; I really enjoyed it. It was great being around other gay/bi/les teens too. I felt really relaxed around them and I felt I could be myself. I don't know what else to say about it. Basically, it was GREAT. I encourage everyone to find a local group and go. It's a great experience!

Recently I was nearly outed at school. I was sitting in a class one day with 3 friends, one of which is TS, the other knows as I came out to her recently, but the other, (lets call her AR) doesn't know, and I don't really know her that well. We were talking about music, and I mentioned something about "how bad the music was last night" (last night being Thursday, at the youth group). AR then proceeded to ask some questions about the youth group. TS told her it wasn't a religious one (as AR implied it was), and after a couple seconds of silence, she said "it's a gay thing... my friend's gay". I was on the verge of having a heart attack. Other people in the class heard and clued in (including AR), and asked, "you support gay people [my real name]?" They weren't being horrible about it, actually, which I was surprised. They were really surprised and thought it was great that a supposedly straight guy supported "them". I didn't really respond, I tried to calm things down and change the subject so other people wouldn't hear.

Luckily it was the final class on a Friday. I went home, and went to bed for over an hour. I was more scared and depressed than I had been in months. I thought it was certain that AR would make the link and realize I'm gay. If she did (or does) that, there's no doubt in my mind that other people will find out and a rumor will go around the school.

My school is absolutely horrible when it comes to homophobia. No one seems to understand anything, and everyone's always calling things "gay", and most of the stupid straight male population calls one another "fag" or "faggot" all the time. I don't want to be out at school, so hopefully you can see why I was so scared. To add to that, my cousin goes to the same school, which would probably mean my family would hear about it. I don't want my family to hear about it that way.

Thankfully, I haven't heard anything about it since. I wasn't able to get hold of TS until Sunday to smooth things over. It was probably good that I didn't, as it gave me some time to cool down. When we talked, I told her how I felt, but she didn't understand. She, as usual, thought I was over-reacting and being paranoid. I know I can trust her not to tell anyone, but I'm afraid little things like this will happen again.

Anyhow, the point I'm trying to get at -- why didn't AR make the connection and realize I'm gay? My thoughts are that I'm not what most people think gay people are like. To me, I am in some aspects, but not many people (so I've been told) can pick up on it. I asked TS what she thought. She thinks that they just assume I'm not, and can see me supporting gays, because I'm "not like other guys", says TS. In that, she means that I'm not loud, obnoxious, a jerk, sexist/racist/etc and whatever else. I'm quiet and open-minded, apparently. In any case, they haven't made the connection, and I hope it stays that way. It's not that I'm uncomfortable with people knowing, it's just that I would be harassed constantly about it if everyone knew.

I'm going to have to cut this column short this month. I've been so busy I've barely had time to write this much. I promise I'll do a big update and go a bit more into detail about the youth group next month! Have a great January, and again -- Happy New Year!

As always, any comments, criticisms, questions, clarifications, suggestions, etc., can be sent to me at wj888@usa.net. Everything will be read and replied to!


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