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Sam Barnhouse

April 2001

Welcome and thank you for returning to my column at Oasis Mag! My mood has improved significantly after last month's article, and hopefully my mood will continue its upward climb for a little while.

Hatred

Hatred is plaguing our community. We are victim to it every day, everywhere. I have been victim to a form of hatred from my own family. Recently one of my cousins was at his father's house for about one and a half weeks. When he came back over to his Mom's house, he was very standoffish, even downright rude. I am not going to go into details about the actions he has done; suffice it to say that I have been in the most uncomfortable situation in years.

Now, I realize that he is my family, and I do also realize that he is only 14 years of age. I also remember how much of a hellion I was at that age. But I do not remember being as terrible and racist as he. As a part of my family, he should be understanding, not show grudges, and be tolerant, not vindictive, and mean. I understand if he objects with my sexual orientation, however, he at least could act civil around me.

I was teaching as a substitute teacher at the local school the other day and when the day was over, I exited the building. When I passed the busses that were picking up the kids for the day, a couple of the high school girls stopped me. One of them asked me: "Sam, can I ask you a SERIOUS question?" I replied, "Sure thing!" She then said, "I just wanted to verify a rumor..." I then interrupted her and stated that it was false. Now, as an aside, I am almost always out. However, in this case, I knew that it would get back to my cousins, and they would proceed to directly report to their father. When this happened, their father would come down hard on my Aunt for having a homosexual live here, and having their kids around me. Now, she said, "So you know what the rumor is? You aren't gay?" I told her that that was correct. She said that one of my family members was spreading it around, and I guessed the correct one, and she said that she couldn't say. While she was saying that however, she was shaking her head in confirmation.

This is a terrible incident. It is typical of a lot of small towns around the nation, and it also appears in a lot of larger cities as well. It is my opinion that education about homosexuality or bisexuality should be taught in the classroom at an early age. Now, when I say early age, I mean no younger than grade 8 in school.

Acceptance

Now, I was planning on talking about trust this month with hatred, but I instead decided to talk about acceptance. Concluding my life story, I want to tell you about my acceptance. Now, I promise, this isn't going to be long, but short and sweet.

Once, about three years ago I wasn't fully acceptant of my sexuality. I highly disliked feminine acting men, and I just didn't understand how men could dress in drag. I was reading in a recent article from OUT Magazine, and in it, they described the character Jack from Dawson's Creek. They explained in the interview with the beautiful Kerr Scott how he (Jack) felt disconnected from the gay community. That is exactly how I felt. I wasn't afraid to show it either. In earlier (about two to three year ago) articles that I wrote (I lived in Montana at the time) I freely discussed how terrible I thought it was to act feminine. About one year ago, while I was attending the Gay Pride festival in Phoenix, AZ, I was introduced to some drag queens (who looked absolutely fabulous BTW), and got to know them. For the first time I actually felt like I was a part of the gay community. I then forged relationships with some people whom I knew where gay at work, and they in turn introduced me to some feminine acting men. I realized for the first time that I was wrong about things. Since then, I have changed my views dramatically. I would also like to apologize for any discomfort, or any insults that I might have given to anyone for my previous article. I realized that I was discriminatory, and racist to a portion of my own community, and I am sorry. I regret those thoughts and even the articles that I wrote, and for the record, as I live out here, just 40 minutes from Dallas, I still have several strong friendships with some feminine acting men, and also drag queens.

Love to all,

Sam Barnhouse

sambarnhouse@hotmail.com


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