February 2000

Hi, everybody. My name is Charles and I am gay.

I always wanted to say that to a big audience. It takes a lot of guts to say, and I should know that, because I've been facing that my whole life. This is my first Oasis column so I thought I'd give you the background, to put my life in perspective.

Welcome to the world of Me. My life is sort of that 'fairy tale story' (pun intended) that most gay teens never thought would exist. You see, right now I am a full 17 years old and have been out to my family for close to 4 years. My mom and dad, respectively being a lawyer and software engineer, were great about it from day one. My sister, three years older than me, was in a Grade 11 Drama class at the time, so I never had any worries about her either.

Over the past three years of high school, I have come to terms with myself and many different aspects of myself. By now, having reached Grade 12, I am completely open about my sexuality at school - anyone who wants to know, knows. I have lots of supportive friends, and a number of fairly good friends in Toronto's gay youth community that I can rely on.

I could also add that I tend to do quite well in school. This semester I am taking three OAC (Ontario Academic Credit) courses, which are basically Grade 13 classes. I'm getting high 90s in these courses, which happen to be chemistry, physics and computers. Plus, I'm in a well-respected youth choir, and I enjoy singing in it.

So now you know the good side of my life. Still, it has its downsides. Right now, there's nothing particularly exciting about my life. School is good; but it just runs in the background, and doesn't really have a great personal effect on me, although I quite enjoy my studies. To add, my social life sometimes feels lacking, being that I don't know where to draw the line between my time and school time.

And of course, there is also the source of virtually all teenage angst, especially gay teenage angst. I don't have anyone that I am —so— close with that I can share anything and everything, someone who inspires me and brings a sense of meaning and purpose to my life. That person could be a great friend, a boyfriend, a lover, a confidant, anyone. It's just that even my best friends are just that, friends I can talk to and who don't judge me; still, they don't seem to be as exciting and wonderful as what I feel is missing from my life.

Maybe it's just me, doing that to myself. Saying that isn’t fair to my friends, because they really are the best support I could ever have. Perhaps I'm just being an unexciting person, and that makes things feel a little duller. It could be that I just don’t know what I want. I'm sure I could put the effort in and make my life a thousand times brighter. But on the other hand, it feels like I might not accomplish anything, or I might let school slip, or I just might plain do it wrong and wreck the good things that are already there in my life. I'm so comfortable with where I am, that if anything were to change, it might well be too much.

So now you've heard the type of rant that runs through my head on a typical school day. But seriously, I'm not that gloomy a person. I can be pretty fun, understanding, sensitive, and anything you ask. Anyone who sits down with me and actually cares to talk to me, will discover a really complicated and amazing person, and I'm hoping that in the months to come, I'll have some stories to share with you, our readers, that will keep you up on the happenings of my life.

In case it has struck you by now, my writing looks a little inconsistent. I wrote half of this thing at school one day, and came home and edited a little more into it, cause I had been having a less-than-happy day. I’m probably not alone among Oasis writers in doing that. It’s just that I wanted to take a few moments to talk about the fascination I have with learning. The past week has been absolutely amazing in my sciences. I am learning brand new things in chemistry, namely organics, and in physics we are studying light and trying ways to measure its wavelength. Okay, so probably most of you won’t find that too interesting, but to me it is just astounding that we can use simple materials to measure a quantity that is so minuscule, on the order of a millionth of a millimetre. I also have a deep interest in the French language, as I have almost mastered it and plan on becoming fluent.

Have a great winter, or summer for any southern hemisphereans here. See you next month, when you will probably hear about my adventures in the weeks coming to and leading from Valentine's day, the most bipolar day of the year. Bipolar I say, because anyone who is loved and has someone to love, is insanely happy and proud and satisfied on that day. Anyone who is not taken as such, gets to feel depressed, lowly, unworthy, and generally bad compared to others. (WOO HOO, you can already sense the optimism!)

Take care, and welcome to my life :-)

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