by Robert
August 1996

Well this is my first time writing so bare with me. I'm 15 years old from Nova Scotia and have been wondering whether or not I should write here. Then I saw Matt's column who is also from Nova Scotia and I said what the hell:)

I'd first like to thank Jeff Walsh and any other people/groups who formed this online magazine. It's helped me out a great deal with my coming out, pretty much did it all. I've read the magazine from the start and it is an oasis.

So I guess I told my first person of me being gay before March Break. She was like shocked. Asked me a million times if I were joking or not and then had all kinds of questions like how do you end up that way and she commented on how surprising it was. Never thought it would be me. So it was a big deal back then in my mind. I just started telling my friends and they didn't care except for one. She is really into religion, I'm not saying that's bad, just that I'm not into her beliefs. She told her parents about me immediately and she wanted me to go to a few Sunday sessions to church with her. I never ended up going, I don't feel like there is nothing I should have/want to change about myself. God made me this way and I shouldn't want to change it.

Next I told my mother. I was more comfortable telling my mother than my father because your supposed to be a real man. I knew my dad would take it OK and he is not into things like big boys don't cry and being a real man and he is a good person and all but it just felt to weird telling my father. So after mom got home from work we went for a drive and parked in an empty parking lot and I told her there was something I had to tell her and handed her the paper that read "I'm Gay". I knew she would take it OK and she did and she didn't care. I didn't want her to tell dad but she did anyway and it worked out for the best. They just cried a bit, just being shocked at it, dad said he was sad that life for me would be harder, I try not to look at it like that and try not to use it for an excuse for being down or why I would be having a bad day and so on.

I told my best friend a few months ago and his reaction totally surprised me. After him being over here at my house telling me how he would be on the IRC at a relative's house doing some gay bashing. He was sooo OK with it, he's been like that all through it. Which is great. So pretty much all my friends/close acquaintances know. What was the best was being at the grade 9 prom. I didn't know of all the people knowing what they did about me. But it was only people I knew who knew thankfully. So we were all at a table for 12 and everyone at the table knew and didn't care, it really felt good. Was the best night I ever had.

What was surprising about people at my table who I knew but not well who knew and the next day I'm getting up and there they are at my door and me in my house coat, them asking me to go play tennis with them. That's such a great feeling of acceptance. I'm the kind of person, once I get a bit of it I want more and more. I just finished Jr. High school last year and will be starting high school next year. I am thinking of coming out to the world. I am expecting the worst. I know it won't be like that but if I expect it and it isn't like that then I get a pleasant surprise.

I have talked a bit about it with my parents and they are supporting me but don't think it would be the greatest idea for me next year. I'm doing it a bit to get the ball rolling, such as getting other youths to come out. But I'm mostly doing it for myself, to stop pretending, to really see who is my friend and who isn't. I really hate not being myself and being so comfortable with being gay, not being able to express that. My family and friends are really supportive, they/I joke about it and are totally comfortable with talking about it. I often have to watch myself with what I say to people to whom I am not out. It has almost slipped out a couple of times. So I guess I'll see what happens.

Another thing I'd like to mention is the Internet is a great way to get in touch with people like yourself when there is no one to identify with offline. All those nervous first nights on IRC. My hands would be shaking doing a listing of all the gay channels and then to go into one. Typing gay on the computer screen made me sweat. I have no clue why but it was so unnerving. Just thinking what if someone found out and thinking it would be the biggest thing, but hey it isn't. So until my next column, everyone be happy and I hope you enjoyed my first post and hopefully the first of many to come. Feel free to email me, even though I'm paranoid right now about someone I know reading this, I enjoy getting mail, as most people do.

Robert is 15 years old and lives in Sydney, Nova Scotia, where he is beginning high school this year. He can be reached at robert@oasismag.com.
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