Sam Barnhouse

February 2001

Hello Everyone!

I know that it has been a VERY long time since I have written a column, but I now have so much free time I just don't know what to do with myself!! Okay, kidding, I am still as busy as ever, but I have been able to rearrange my schedule to fit the important things in as well. I would also like to give a fair warning: This column is long, and may be emotional. Proceed at your own risk....

I also would like to state that once again my intent is to share my personal experiences, situations, and results. When I don't have too much to say about my personal life (which will happen frequently), I will talk about current events relating to the LGBT community. Also, when I feel that a current event takes precedence over my experiences, then I will discuss that subject. If my advice, or point of view helps even one person, then I feel that I have accomplished something.

First off I would just like to say that being alone sucks. These past ten months have quite frankly been hell. Around Valentines Day, my wonderful sister decided to divulge some precious information to my Mother. Well, it was a Thursday night, and I was just getting back from work, around midnight or so, and my phone rings with a long distance ring (I was living in Phoenix at the time, and one of the phone companies has cool distinctive rings). I go over and check the Caller ID box and it says 'Unavailable'. I figure, okay, it is either a bill collector or my Mother. Well, I pick up the phone, and answer "Hello?" I hear nothing for about 2 seconds, so I instantly recognize the call as my Mom, because she lives in the bush part of Alaska, and there is a satellite delay on the phone. She waits for about 10 seconds and said, "Can you talk?" I then respond, "Of course I can." She then asks me if there is anything that I want to tell her. I immediately recognized the tone, and I instantly began to shake, and I head for my room with my portable phone in my hand.

At this point I did not know what to do, and I was sure that I was not ready to come out to my mother yet. I don't know why, but I knew that she was going to take it exceptionally bad. She asked me, "Is it true?" I didn't know quite how to respond, except I just remember saying: "Is what true?" At that time I could sense that she was getting emotional, and after denying any and all accusations, I remember ending the conversation abruptly, saying that I couldn't talk right now, and then I immediately hung up the phone. I proceeded to run to my roommate, crying like I had never cried before, and he asked me what was wrong. I told him that my Mom had found out that I was gay. He tried to calm me down a little, and it helped some, but it was not a total help. So, I called my former training instructor at the company I worked for, who also happened to be gay, and he helped me calm down a lot more. I told him that I could not function, and he told me to go and get a little bit of vodka and drink it, and then go to bed. I did, and I remember crying myself to sleep that night. I cannot recall a time when I cried so hard in my life. Over the next 2 days at work, I could not take hardly any phone calls at work (I worked for one of the cable companies, Cox Communications), and I had to tell my Team Leader that I was having some family problems, and he said that it would be okay, and I managed to pull through the day.

Well, now it is Friday night, again, after work, and I decide to call my sister. I knew it would be my sister that told my Mom, because I had only told one other person that would talk to my Mom frequently, my Grandmother, and I knew that she wouldn't tell Mom. Well, I dialed *67, to block my name from showing up on her Caller ID, and then I dialed her phone number. Well, she picked up the phone, and when I responded, she asked me why I came up as 'Anonymous.' I told her that I didn't want her to not pick up the phone, because she knew it was going to be me calling. Next, I asked her why she told Mom. She stated that she did it because Mom could tell that there was something wrong with Mary, and she did not want to disclose the information. Well, if you know who I am, and you know my family, you would understand what happened next. My entire family has a tendency to be comforting, and other people like to talk to us. When this happened, apparently Mom just broke down, and hung up the phone on Mary.

Over the next month or so, I tried calling my Mom, just to let her know what was going on in my life. We used to talk once a week. Each time I called, she didn't really say anything she just listened. I think over 3 conversations she said about seven words. She did discuss things with her Superintendent at the High School. He told her that if nothing else she should call me and tell me that she loved me. I did receive a call from her, and she did say that she loves me. Again, I cried, and I told her that I loved her, and I will always love her. That happened at the beginning of March 2000. Now, ten months later, I haven't heard from her once.

Skip ahead to September 2000. I get a wild hair up my butt, and decide to quit my job, drop out of school, and move to Texas. Well, by now my Grandparents are visiting my Aunts in Dallas, and Campbell. I arrived in Dallas on Sept 24, around 1PM.

Well. This article actually turned out to be quite a bit longer than I expected. Why don't we call it a day here, and I will finish what happened next month, and I also want to talk about underage relationships. I didn't want to cut it off like this, but ya know time is precious. So, until then, remember to always be proud of who you are, and never, NEVER give up hope!!!


Sam Barnhouse


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