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Jon D.

March 2000

Hey everyone! I've been reading Oasis for some time now, and I've been thinking about contributing for a while. First, let me introduce myself. My name is Jon, I'm 19, I live in Southern California in Lancaster. I currently attend Antelope Valley College, which the locals affectionately call "Tumbleweed Tech." I'm working towards transferring to a university where I will major in either linguistics and translation or computer science. (I'm sure my struggle to make up my mind about what I want to do with the rest of my life will eventually find its way into my articles).

Now, with that out of the way I can get down to some of the more interesting stuff. I'm not really sure where to start. Since this is my first article, I guess I'll give a brief little history of my life up to this point in time. I was born in Queens (no pun intended), New York City. I lived there with my mother and grandmother until I turned 13, at which point I moved to California. Let me tell you, my mother couldn't have picked a more boring place for us to live! Lancaster California would fit right in in North Dakota. Being an outspoken Catholic guy from New York in a conservative backwards city was not easy, people here either thought I was crazy and annoying, or they were scared of me. I went from a place where I could eat any kind of food in the world, to a place where people thought Chef Boyardee was classy Italian cuisine. Oh, and another nice fact about The Antelope Valley (which Lancaster is part of), is that it's the child abuse and hate crimes capital of the State! Pleasant, eh? All that being said, I like it here. We have pretty mountains. Pretty mountains are nice.

I got through middle school, which was a very unhappy time in my life, mostly for the same reasons it is for everyone else. Then I entered high school, which wasn't really too bad, but wasn't exactly fun either. I was struggling with my sexuality, and up to my junior year in high school, I managed to not deal with my feelings at all. You see, I'd always felt different from other guys, but I didn't realize (or maybe didn't want to realize) what exactly was different. I knew I was attracted to men. I used to brush off my attraction to other guys as "extreme admiration." Yeah, I admired them alright! I admired their butts, arms, and legs! I thought I just looked up to them, or at least that's what tried to think. So, instead of just embracing my feelings, I became this non-sexual person. I didn't date anyone. I knew I wasn't interested in girls, but I wasn't ready to admit to myself that I was interested in men. Anyway, a close friend of mine started to call me a fag whenever we were around other people, and she would act like she hated me, and then when school was over and we were walking home, she'd act as if nothing even happened..... that pushed me even further into the closet. The last thing I wanted to do was prove her right, I didn't want to be that which she was telling everyone I was. What was even more confusing for me was the fact that I was pretty masculine, which I thought a gay guy couldn't be. Well, all this stuff kept building up in me until I was a little volcano of teenage angst, with white hot ash and all!

Strangely, my acceptance of my homosexuality was quite dull. One day I woke up, and I just couldn't take feeling bad about myself and who I was anymore, so I just stopped. Just like that. I don't know how it happened, it just did. One day I was praying for God to change me to be like everyone else, and the next I was praying for a cute boyfriend! And you know what happened next? I GOT ANGRY!!!!! I was SO angry for being made to suffer through all that crap. I was angry that I couldn't have just developed normally, and accepted my sexuality normally. I hated the people who made me feel guilty about myself. I hated that people dared to tell me that God couldn't love me as a gay man. Most of all, I hated all the time I wasted being unhappy. It was quite a strange experience. My friends noticed a change in my behavior and commented that I seemed more relaxed than they had ever seen me. Which was true, I finally knew that I would not spend my entire life miserably alone, trying to be something I wasn't for reasons I didn't even understand! I felt a sense of relief that I cannot even begin to put into words. One night I made a vow to myself: I would never again lie or be made to feel bad about my sexuality. (cough, foreshadowing, cough)

I've come a long way since then. I began coming out to my friends during senior year of high school, which was a little less than 2 years ago. Last year I came out to my entire family, who all support me. And, by the time you read this, I will have been with my wonderful boyfriend for over a year. I'd say that's pretty good progress Now, I know this seems like many other articles here on Oasis, but I don't intend for my writing to be a running account of my life. I hope to tackle some issues that I think are important, fun, or just weird. I'd write more, but I think it's best not to cover too many topics in one article. Hopefully I didn't bore you guys too too much, and that you'll all write me an e-mail telling me what you thought of what I wrote. I hope you'll all read my next contribution!

Remember, "El tiempo da buen consejo", which roughly translates to: Time gives the best advice. Please take care of yourselves, and if you're out there struggling with your feelings, realize that you're not alone.

Jon D.

buko@networkone.net

AOL/AIM screen name: JonCA19


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