by Eric Wilcox
May 1996

Greetings! First of all, I'd like to say thank you to all of the positive feedback I've gotten regarding my premiere article in Oasis. It really makes me feel great to know that people are reading and relating to my writing. For those of you who are reading Oasis for the first time, I encourage you to go back to the April issue and have a look-see at all of the wonderful articles.

This past month I had something very interesting happen to me. I was at a party on a Saturday night, and most of my friends were there. It just so happened that the one person I didn't know too well happened to make a remark about gay people that wasn't exactly flattering. One of my friends stood up for me and told him that such comments weren't welcome. It wasn't a big event, no one was angry or upset, and it ended without much notice. But when I heard that one of my friends cared enough not to tolerate anti-gay comments, it made me feel very good. I'm so glad I have friends like this. If that friend is reading, I give you my thanks.

But lets get off of our "ultra-happy article" format and discuss another thing that happened to me this past month.

A good friend of mine, who we will call Angie, came out to me and said that she was bisexual. I tried to support her in any way that I could. I was very "honored" to be one of the first people she told this to. And weeks went by, and we had our little chats about which guys/girls we thought were cute, etc. Then one day she told me that she had come out to her best friend Samantha, and the response was not at all what she expected. Samantha seemed shocked, and even said that she wanted nothing to do with Angie. Of course, Angie was incredibly upset. The words that came out of her friend's mouth were incredibly depressing, and not at all what she had imagined.

So I thought I'd discuss the incident because I know that things like this happen very often. Basically, I would conclude that the attitude put across by Samantha was an attitude out of shock. I cannot believe that any person could just throw away years of friendship. Things really wouldn't be any different then they were before, and so its hard to believe that it was anything else but initial shock. But for Angie's sake, I had her talk to Samantha and explain that nothing would be different, and apologize for catching her off-guard. Basically, I wanted her to show that she still cared immensely about the friendship.

Angie called and talked to her, and everything seems to be okay now. It was just an obstacle that the two needed to overcome. Its important not to let things like this weigh down your personal pride or self-esteem. I have been fortunate enough not to have experienced something like this, but many E-mail letters have shown the same thing happening with many other people my age.

I don't mean to depress any of you by this-- it is an easy obstacle to overcome. But I just wanted to point out the coming-out process isn't all roses-- especially for teens. Ta Ta for Now! And please E-Mail me with comments, experiences, etc.

Eric Wilcox is a freshman at Case High school in Racine, Wisconsin. He is currently trying to start gay/bi youth activitesa and groups there. He is an artist, poet, writer, and he's in the school band as 1st trombone. He is very enthusiastic about helping other youth his age who are gay/questioning. He can be reached online at Eric@oasismag.com.
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