Oasis

Coming Out

By Terrence Wood

I wrote a letter to explain who and what I am to my friends and fellow students. Labels are for food: I tend to agree. I first came out to three female friends at a party after a play.

We were outside smoking cigarettes, and they (two lesbians and a bisexual) were talking amongst themselves. Out of nowhere I said, "I'm bisexual." They just stared at me in silence. After having said that, I wanted to explain myself. Instead, we all finished our smokes and silently went inside.

I felt hollow. I wanted to tell them there was more to my being bi then the act of having sex with men and/or women. When I got home after the party, I wrote the following letter:

To feel someone's hands on my body. Sensitive, gentle, delicate. Having someone caress my face and body. A person whose hands are sweet, soft, tender, soothing and delicate. Not an aggressive person, but tender; who will feel me with sensitivity and not force, who will hold me with intimacy and not immediacy. Who will kiss my lips and not force the tounge, who will bed me with tenderness and not urgency, who will love me with commitment and not with a score card. Who will date and know when both are ready for sex. Who will take time for foreplay before sex. Who will be there as a friend and even as a lover, who will please/pleasure me without threat, who knows the difference between love and sex and keeps the two in proportion to the relationship, who sticks with love and sees sex as a symbol of ones affections and not as a result of a few drinks.

That is my sexual orientation.

Three days latter, I showed the letter to my best friend, whom I had a crush on before I found out he was hetero. He read it and said he really liked it. From there on in, the letter went around our circle of friends. They were really accepting, and said things like it was amazing, cool,and beautiful. Some of them asked if I actually wrote it, and others wanted a copy. At first I was nervous as hell, but after a while I was cool. Most people in my program now know about it and surprisingly enough its not a problem.

Looking back, I realize I didn't label myself like food, as much as list the ingredients that define my sexuality.


Terrence Wood, 20, is a first year Dramatic Arts student at Algonquin College, Ottawa, Canada.
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