August 2001

Homosexuality: America's Newest Four-letter Word

It has been nearly two years since I last submitted an article to Oasis Magazine. I was 21, and in the midst of a rather unspectacular sophomore year in college when it occurred to me that I needed a little time away from this grand forum of sorts called the World Wide Web. So, I left and spent most of my time finishing up a year that I prayed would just be over.

Now, why would I pray for it to be over? The answer to that is I that had never felt comfortable at the place I was attending school. Quite frankly, it was a backward town full of bigots and homophobes. The school in question is located in the middle of America's heartland in a town of 10,000 people. The descendants of the town were and still are to this day mainly of Dutch origin. The main church of the town was 'The Reformed Church of America'. The college that I had went to was affiliated with this church.

Anyway, you are probably asking yourself right now what does this have to do with anything? Well, don't worry, it'll make sense soon. Toward the middle of the second semester of my sophomore year an openly gay professor on campus had his office burglarized. It was left in ruin and on the door, spray painted, were the words, "God hates fags!"

I had been pondering leaving the place for months but what happened to this professor made my decision to leave very easy. I no longer wanted to attend a school where those who stood up for what they are were frightened. I guess that ultimately they won because in the end one less gay person roamed 'THEIR' school.

What makes it so hard for people to accept homosexuals? When did homosexuality become America's newest four-letter word? I guess it doesn't really matter. Part of the problem today is that coming out instantly puts a bulls-eye on your head. Frankly, who wants to be the next Matthew Shepard? The fact is, like all causes throughout history there have been causalities. Matthew won't be the last before the war is won.

Since leaving the 'the little hell on the plains' I have been much happier. I became involved with the gay and lesbian group at the new college I attended (I graduated this spring) and helped to bring a broader understanding of our cause to the community. It was neither easy nor always fun but it left a lifetime of memories. Eventually, one day, I hope to work to promote the acceptance of gays and lesbians. After all is said and done, maybe we'll be able to stand not as enemies but as human beings with the same goal in life; to live, to be loved and to make the world a better place.

Who knows what the future will bring? All I know is that living life in the dark is a travesty.


If you have any questions/comments about this article please feel free to send me a line or two. If you just want to talk then I'm all ears. I can be reached at boyblue99@hotmail.com. You can also visit my web site at http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Cafe/5999/ and leave comments there. See you next issue.

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