by Matt Barton
June 1996

I had originally offered to write for Oasis back a few months ago, but since then I've been busy doing other things like working, sleeping, and spending quality time with my boyfriend. Fortunately, today I have plenty of time to dwell into the dusty corners of my mind and pull out some rather meaningful writing.

Since this is my first article, I should cordially introduce myself. My name, of course, is Matt Barton. I'm nineteen years old, gay, and living in Indianapolis, Indiana. I'm currently on hiatus from college. In the fall, I will be returning to school at Ball State University located in the hick-town of Muncie, Indiana, as a history major.

I didn't come to terms with my sexuality until I was about sixteen or seventeen years old. Before that, I always had an interest in other boys. It wasn't until later that it all finally made sense. But some damage was already done. I had become sexually active.

I fooled around a little with some of my friends. Nothing real extravagant, trust me, but enough to confuse me as to the difference between love and sex. Granted, these small and hormone driven encounters were with other boys, but I knew that I wanted more because all that was between me and those other boys (who were straight and gay) was sex.

I stumbled through my remaining days of high school hoping and wishing for some magic man to fall from the sky and land beautifully in my arms, just in time for me to take him over the threshold. Okay, that didn't happen. So, I did the next best thing.

During the first week of May 1995, I attending my first meeting of the Indianapolis Youth Group. Nothing quite compared to that. It was a blessing to see, for the first time, gay couples that are my age. It was absolutely incredible.

The IYG was the only place I could find support from those who I can relate to the best: my peers. At that time, I hadn't come out to my parents. They had a clue, but they never brought up the subject. So, that wasn't that stressful of a front. They did wonder, however, why I never brought my friends over. I would just say, "I don't know," or something like that to avoid any further discussion.

In September, with support from my best friend Amy, I wrote a letter to my parents explaining just about anything I can think of in regards to my sexuality. I left it at my parents house, and immediately bolted out for yet another IYG meeting. The next day, up at Ball State, I got a phone call from my mom. She goes, "Matt! We already know this!"

So, you know, the rest is history.

Matt Barton is a nineteen-year-old in Indianapolis, Indiana. He may be reached via e-mail at mbarton@iquest.net, or visit his home page.
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