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Jonathan P.

July 2000

When I was a very small boy/Very small boys talked to me/Now that we've grown up together/ They're afraid of what they see/That's the price that we all pay/ Our valued destiny comes to nothing/I can't tell you where we're going/ I guess there was just no way of knowing/I used to think that the day would never come/ I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun/My morning sun is the drug that brings me near To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear/I used to think that the day would never come/That my life would depend on the morning sun...

---True Faith by New Order.

To tell, or not to tell

Once upon a time long ago when I was young, I knew a beautiful guy named Jonathan. I picked him up really. I saw him standing in the commons and somehow felt....drawn to him. He wasn't the best looking guy in the world; five nine, scrawny, black hair cut short, glasses. But I found him to be very attractive and...alluring. It was this alluring quality he had that I begun to seek him out, literally. I wanted to become his friend. Each day I saw him I felt more and more drawn to him, not sexually mind you but for something deeper. That ever happen to you?

Anyway. I was at Best Buy one day when this boy came in. He was looking at some games and I just walked up to him and said "Don't you go to Lakeside?" He blinked a few times but then with a glimmer in his eyes replied: "Yes!" I was actually unprepared for this little meeting and so I was slightly taken aback, saying my first then backing away quickly. Somehow we said the right words and a conversation was born. We walked around and took quick notice to our names, the best in the world; Jonathan. I met his dad, who was not too keen on my new earring but accepted it without a word.

Jonathan and I became very close, very quickly. We shared as much time as we could with each other. I of course prodded the issue of sexuality but his replies were simply that he wasn't and didn't really care about people who were. We went to town together, dinner together, the Phantom of the Opera for hells sake together. We did everything. I was quickly falling madly in love with this boy who wasn't exactly twink of the year. But another side of me was quickly shying away and becoming more and more reserved, embarrassed, and afraid. The side of my sexuality.

Jonathan and I never went beyond masturbating in front of each other, that's as far as it went. Now-a-days I don't think bodily exploration with friends goes on that much, too taboo, too wrong, too....gay. We knew each other through and through, or so he thought. Then one night it all came to head. We were standing in the living room and he looked to me and said "Jonathan...I love you. I really do." And I stopped. At that moment I felt like I had never felt before. A surge of energy was rushing through me. I knew Jonathan wasn't gay, but to be loved by someone outside my family, to have someone to tell you they love you is such a wonderful feeling.

Later that night as we lay aside each other on the floor, I told him to ask me a question, any question and I would tell the truth no matter what. I knew what his question would be and I was prepared to answer it. I turned away and looked at the wall. His mouth opened and I heard his voice ask the question. I felt the weight of a thousand horses lift off my shoulders as I said yes. Tears falling from my eyes; my heart pounding. What the hell was I doing?

Like I knew he would, Jonathan said he did not care. I was elated and was talking a mile a minute, eager for him to ask me questions, to talk about it. We talked for a while and then went to sleep. To make a long story short, as time grew on, Jonathan and I became further and further apart. He began to resent my sexuality, his church upbringing fighting against the reality he knew, making things very difficult between us. We soon stopped talking all together. It took a summer or so for us to get our heads clear, his and mine. When we came back to school, Jonathan and I began talking to each other again, like friends should, sitting next to one another in Science class. But I never stopped thinking about what broke down that friendship in the first place......

Skip Ahead four years.

Today I'm a different person than I was when I first came out to Jonathan. I think often of why our friendship deteriorated down to nothing. Up until now I thought it was just he was unable to handle my sexuality. But today, the older more wiser part of me, thinks that it might've been a lack of trust that pushed us apart. Jonathan was pushed out of my life by horrible parental intervention, events that no one could predict or prevent. But there isn't a day that goes by that I don't remember Jonathan, think about where he is, what he's doing, or how his life might be. It's thoughts like these that make me bite down hard on my blanket late at night, wondering how I could've made the situation better, what I could've done to preserve our friendship and assure that we'd always be friends.

When two people become friends, they bond because there's something there that binds them together; we all know this. It may be their personality, your laugh, their knowledge, or just some good looks. Whatever the reason people become friends, especially close friends, they build a sense of trust between each other. When you make this magical friend, and if you do become good friends with them, and you haven't come out to them, when is the best time to do so?

This whole nostalgic remix of my life came trampling back to me when I was downtown a few weeks ago at a little known coffee shop. I was standing outside waiting for it to open, not really knowing when they would, I had been there for some three hours. A car pulls up and out climbs a gorgeous boy. Oh I'd say six feet, skinny as a rail, short brown hair kinda hanging below his eyebrows; parted in the middle. He carried a blue back pack and a walking stick.

The boy was by far cute and intriguing. I said hi, he said hi back, and we began to chat about the paintings and such in the coffee shops window. I was attracted to him, but I wasn't quite comfortable to say "Hi, how are you, I'm gay" like a lot of gay people I know. I'm more reserved about my sexuality, not branding myself or telling people off the bat, rather keeping it to myself until I'm asked.

All through the night, which lasted some 8 hours, this boy and I hung around downtown, from the gamers shop to the coffee shops and back again. It was fun. I've stopped stereotyping people to be gay or not to be gay, or at least I'm on that road (Thank you Brian) If the straight population were to say: "he's gay!" they'd probably point to this boy. It was just that feeling I had. When Jonathan and I were friends, before the talks on sexuality, I had the same feeling about him too. I dunno maybe it was just some wishful thinking of actually finding someone cute and daring.

For the most part I ignored this feeling and continued to act myself. This boy had and still has no inkling as to my sexuality. I'm afraid that if I come out to him I will break this trust and closeness of friendship we've built. It's silly I know to hang a friendship on your sexuality, but the friendship he brings me, I'm not yet ready to gamble on. If I come out to him, then he may resent me for wanting to be his friend based on the fact I'm gay. A sort of friends-for-sex type thing. I only made friends with this boy because I'm gay and I like him. This of course was only partly true, now far from the truth.

I like my new friend not for his looks anymore. There comes a time in gay-straight friendships when looks no longer mean anything, when your gorgeous best friend stops becoming this icon you look at, dream of, and wonder about every day. Instead they become a friend, a blind face with no particular features or talent, just a friend and someone to trust.

Now I sit at my dilemma. Do I tell my new friend that I'm gay and possibly ruin this? We've only known each other for three weeks. Last Saturday he placed his arm around my shoulders and called me his second best friend. I didn't feel anything. Sure I know there are a lot of you out there, especially the flaming radicals, who will say OFCOURSE YOU SHOULD COME OUT TO HIM!! I'm not gay unless I come out to him. I shouldn't LIE and not say anything. I have to "come out" some day, I can't just sit in the closet forever. oh god no, dear, woe is me, I feel the weight of a thousand fags on my shoulders, must scream out, must proCLAIM!

Bullshit.

Life is a puzzle and sometimes those pieces just don't fit. I think we should choose our sexuality outbursts carefully. True our sexuality is something that's pretty much hard wired into our psyche. If you've ever tried to go against your sexuality because of depression, pressure, or worse, RELIGION, then you know how hard it is to betray something so ingrained in your body, mind, and soul.

Some day I will come out to my friend, but not now, not this soon. His acceptance is not a main factor in my day to day life. Even though there is that small fear that if I tell him, he will resent me for not saying it earlier, not "branding" myself and letting everyone know where I stand. Being gay isn't some label to wear on your jacket. We cannot let ourselves become labeled and persecuted the way the Jews were in Germany, a yellow patch on their chest so everyone would know, could point, and stare. We can't let the world push us into wearing a lavender Q on our chest.

It's your sexuality, your friends, your choices.

And it's my life.

I probably may never tell my friend downtown about my sexuality. I only see him on weekends when I can go down there. But we are ever nearing that day when we'll exchange phone numbers and converse and hang out during the week. I think we should not run around with a rainbow flag, but instead reserve ourselves to who we want to know. It's not from fear or embarrassment of being gay. We must choose the right time to come out, the right time to make our grand entrance. Our lifestyle is what makes news headlines. AIDS the big epidemic in the gay community. Being Gay goes against God's will. Gays party and drink and do drugs to no end.

Headlines.

"two guys snuggling everynight watching Friends doesn't make for as many flashy headlines." -Jeff Walsh.

The point of my article, which I do need to reiterate, is that when you meet someone, ask yourself if then is the right time to come out. It's all about being comfortable. Coming out to someone is not a way of warning them, telling them first off that your gay so they know how to treat you. It's a big decision that can change your life forever. It all just seems so much like the Holocaust when Jews had to state "I am a Jew!" in front of everyone because they were outcasts. Let's not allow the homosexual person become an outcast. It's your sexuality, the same way its my life. I'm going to wait and choose the right time to come out and tell my friend. When the time is just right, when I feel I'm ready, then I will tell him. If he accepts it, then I'm happier for the both of us. But if he doesn't accept my sexuality and turns away from me, then I won't feel as though my sexuality is the reason. We should never think our sexuality is the problem. But somehow taking this route will help me choose my friends better, and see something in people I've never seen before. I was his friend to begin with, then his gay friend, which side will he take, which part of his soul and mind will he show me.

As said. Your choice, you make the decision when YOU want to. Not when some great movement, peer pressure, or fear of retribution from the GAY COMMUNITY itself pushes you into it. It all breaks down to how you feel about yourself and your sexuality, because no one can control it but you.

Godspeed.

Jonathan P.

i3mk7h@hotmail.com


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