October 2000

My name is Jared and I am a sophomore at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I am studying Political Science and Communication Studies in the hopes of maybe someday attending law school. I came out at school at the beginning of last year and it was the best thing I've ever done. By having my closest friends and roommates know, it just made my life so much easier.

By coming out, I have been able to live a normal life based on truth, not hiding. I have met many people I would have never otherwise been able to meet had I not been a member of the "gay community." While my coming out went very well and with no real problems, it is not a choice to be made hastily. Additionally, I have not officially come out to my parents. When I tried to quietly drop some hints about my sexuality, they pretty much freaked out. They deemed my homosexuality a "phase" and threatened that they would no longer support me financially if I were gay. Because of this, I am not out to them. I am not out because it is not a choice I am willing to make right now. I value my education and my future. These things would be most definitely endangered by coming out to them. I guess that's a really verbose introduction to who I am. As a college student and (mostly) out gay male, I hope to somehow be able to shed some light on gay issues of importance to those around my age and maybe even dispense with advice.

The past few months have been really incredible for me. I have entered into the most serious relationship I have ever been in. My boyfriend and I have been going out for nearly 5 months and things seem to be getting quite serious. Although I often worry about his age (he's 25 and I'm only 19) and the fact that we don't have all that much in common and our lives seem to be heading in vastly different directions, I am truly happy. As happy and content as I now am, I also have many conflicting feelings about life as a gay man. Like many of my fellow adolescent homosexuals, I definitely worry about the future. Will I have kids? Will I be able to get a job? Will my future be as secure as that of my straight friends? I guess what avails my fears when it comes to these issues is knowing that I am living my life for me. I am not going to live in some fantasy world to appease the hegemonic notions of a heterosexual world. I will live with whom I want, where I want, doing what I want to do. We all only live once, so why not be true to ourselves and be happy? I plan to have kids one day; I am not willing to give up that opportunity just because of my sexual orientation.

Well, I guess this article has been sort of a laundry list of things. Who I am, what I believe, what I want to do with my life. Hopefully, though, all of you maybe have something of a grasp of who I am and what I stand for. In the future, I would be honored to shed some light into my experiences and my impressions of gay life. Oasis is a great forum for all of us to share our visions and our stories with all of those others out there just like us. Take care and stand up for what you believe. It is our generation of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered individuals that will lead the way for all that follow us.



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