[oasis] [columns]

Ray Harrison

March 1997

Being out, staying out

It is another Friday night here in Calgary, and yet again, I am staying in for the night. I just don't have the ambition to go out and party with my friends here on the college residence, much less with my gay friends.

I am about 75% 'out'. My parents know, my closest friends know, and the agency where I am doing my social work practicum knows. The only other part of my life the does not know is my college roommate, and the college residence where I am the President of the Residence Council. My roommate is totally homophobic, and if he ever found out I was gay, I actually fear for my life. Isn't that sad? I am in an institution where sexual orientation is protected, but my college is still very much homophobic. It would be such a scandal for the 430 residence students if they found out I was gay! I just hope that I can keep it quiet until I graduate at the end of April.

I may not have my way though. I started to write as a way to sort out my thoughts and now I am writing for a Canadian national magazine. I was just asked to be on their cover. Wow! Me? It was less than a year that I was so far in the closet that I refused to admit to myself that I was gay. I have to be prepared to be noticed by the gay community, as well with anyone else who my notice my face on the magazine. I believe I am prepared to confront whatever may happen. I no longer just have self-acceptance for myself, I know hold a lot of gay-pride.

My life has changed so much these past six months. I am involved in an international relationship. David, my partner, and I met on the Internet and quickly became friends. To make a long story short, I went down to Idaho to meet him, and the result was us falling in love. We chose to stay together, and since then we have seen each other once a month, a vacation to San Francisco, and the decision for me to move in with him after I graduate.

We face many road blocks ahead of us in the future. In a few months I am leaving my friends, family, and home behind to start a new life. I know this is what I want to do. I love him with all my heart.

It is very hard for me to sit here alone, and be separated from him. I miss him dearly. We are extremely close. We talk over the Internet, by phone, and video-teleconference all the time. We work out our feelings together. A big fear that I have is that he will grow tired of me once we are together. I know that this is untrue, I am just scared. I feel so strongly about him that one day I want to marry him. I know that may seem almost funny when I say that. I believe that we should be able to do just what the straight community does. We are human beings that love, hate, cry, laugh and smile too. What is wrong with wanting to marry the one you love so much?

Life is funny. One minute I am ashamed of who I am, the next I am in a relationship, advocating for the gay community, and happy with who I am. I feel I have the support, and strength to get through any road blocks I may encounter. (I hope)

[About the Author]

1997 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.