March 2000

Hello all. Seeing as this is my first contribution (hopefully in a series of many), I feel compelled share a little about myself rather than really write. First off, my name is Jerid, and I'm a 16 year old queer skater who lives in a somewhat-rural town that just happens to be the religious center of Virginia. For those of you who are somewhat out of the loop (shame on you!) Lynchburg is home to, in my opinion, one of the most infamous evangelical icons in America, Reverend Jerry Falwell. Growing up in this town has been somewhat of a bitch, but coming out here was pure hell, with Rev. Falwell and his bigot minions having control over literally every aspect of this town. We don't even get movies here without his church putting up a fight (do you have any idea how long I waited to see trick? It wasn't exactly the best movie ever made, but that's beside the point, I liked it). And no, I'm not going to go on about how much I loathe this town (although it would be quite easy for me to do). Actually, I have other issues beside that one.

Well, first of all, let me start out this story by posing the question: Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a boyfriend in this town?!? Quite difficult, I might say, but I did manage to find someone a few months ago. Nick was the first boyfriend I ever had, and the only one I have ever had at this point in my life (granted I'm only 16...) He was an honest and caring person who had great morals but low self-esteem, which is always a bad combination. We dated for a few weeks and I was happier than I ever had been in my life. When I had to leave one weekend to go see RENT (VIVE LA VIE BOHEME!) in Norfolk, we called each other every other hour to check in on the other. I had never felt this kind of feeling to anyone of either sex, and Nick told me he had never been so in love with anyone. We had our first kiss nearly a week later and I was beginning to think that I was in love, but I realize now that wasn't the case. The day of our two month anniversary he called me to say that he wasn't comfortable with the relationship (oh, did I forget to mention that Nick was extremely closeted?) So we decided that we should take a short break (NOT a break-up) and we'd see where we were in a few weeks. So my life went on, minus Nick from the equation. I saw it as a way to relax from having someone else depend on me all the time and just to focus on myself for a while; I mean, I knew in my heart that everything was going to work out so I didn't worry about it. Three weeks later I ask him how he's doing and he tells me to fuck off, he never wants to see me again.


I still don't know what happened next. All I remember was being in a total rage and telling him off in front of a crowd of about forty people, all of who still have no idea what my ranting was about. A friend told me later that I called him everything on God's green earth EXCEPT gay, which it turns out, he decided he's not. In fact he started dating a girl less than a week after my screaming fiasco, and she dumped him shortly after because he never talked to her. So that brings this whole story back to me. After this whole experience I was devastated, mostly because I was alone again. At first I couldn't bare the thought of having to be on my own again, and having just told off the only other queer person I knew, I didn't have anyone who could empathize with me. I was an emotional wreck, but the funny thing was that I didn't shed a single tear; I think I knew deep-down that it was never going to work out between the two of us. I mean, honestly, punks and preps just don't mix.

Now that I'm currently detached again, I'm taking the time to appreciate exactly what it means to be single. Contrary to popular belief it's not always a bad thing to be single; it's being alone that blows. I've tried to make something out of it, and tried to learn something from it. I know now that you're not always gonna be alone in life, even if you live in the most conservative of towns. And I realize that I need to set my sights a little higher than the dime-a-dozen libido-driven guys that there are so many of out there. I want more than that out of life, and I want to be in a relationship where I'm not the only one giving. So no matter what crap that life throws at you, focus on what you really want; it'll make you a lot happier in the long run. The right guy will come along eventually if you just wait for him.

Oh, and Nick? In the words of the fabulous Angel Dumott Shunard, " I'm more of a man than you ever will be, and more of a woman than you'll ever get."


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