[oasis] [columns]

Tristan Paine

March 1997

Where to start, where to start? I won’t bore you with all that stuff about me… you can check it out at the pages about me. I will tell you that my name is Tristan Paine, and that I lead a relatively boring life in western New York. I do all kinds of junk like the Big Buddy program, which pairs elementary kids up with high-schoolers, and I’m also in the choir, and on and on the list goes of my extracurricular activities.

The reason why I’m writing this, is because I saw everybody else’s columns, and I said: "Hey! I love to write! Why don’t I try?" So here I am, sitting in front of my computer, wondering how I’m going to fill up like three pages without double spacing. If I can’t do it on school reports which I’ve researched for days, how am I going to do it here? Ack!

Well, hmm, let’s see. Like I said, I live in western New York. Any of you who’ve ever visited know that it’s comparable to Siberia in temperature and weather. Right now it’s like three degrees with a with a wind-chill factor of something like negative thirty, and it’s snowing like the devil. It’s sickening!

My parent’s are divorced, and my father lives in Arkansas. My sister (10-year-old child of terror) are supposed to be flying to his house tomorrow, but I doubt it’ll happen if this keeps up!

Let’s change topics and talk about coming out for a while… is that okay with everyone? Good.

I began coming out about six months ago, in June, when I told one of my best friends that I was bisexual. I knew that I was gay, not bi, then, but I was too embarrassed to tell her. After that, I came out to my mother, which may have been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

I went to !OutProud! first, and read/printed all of the pamphlets they had, most importantly the pamphlet for parents, and the pamphlet for coming out to your parents. Then I compiled this list of gay people and put it together with a list !OutProud! had, and printed that out. I also stuck the addresses of three of the closest PFLAG institutions in the area. Then I contacted a woman at the closest of the three PFLAG’s and talked to her. Finally, the big night came and I asked my mother to join me down in my room.

I was so nervous. I handed her the folder with all the stuff in it and pointed to the title of the pamphlet (something to the effect of "Dealing with your Child’s Gayness") and bit my lip. She just kinda looked at it, and then at me. I really don’t remember too much of what happened after that, except that we talked for a real long time about it. I was surprised and just how well she took it.

I’ve come out to a few of my friends too. My two best friends from when I lived in Connecticut (I moved to Western New York last January from Connecticut) know, but only one of them has replied to my e-mail, through which I told them. I know it was kinda informal, but oh well.

Basically, the only friend who knows here, where I live now, is a girl. And even though it’s really great that I can talk to her about guys (she’s a real perv…) and stuff like that, it still leaves me "longing" for more. I guess what I want is a real relationship.

It’s really hard to do that around here though, get a relationship that is. This is a small town, and people are primarily homophobic. I know of one person who’s "bi" (I think he’s gay… *beep* *beep* goes the gaydar…) but he’s not my type. Yuck, how stuck-up that sounds! Ah well, I think you know what I mean. There are more than just "A Few Good [Looking] Men" in my school… but most aren’t gay. *Sigh*. What am I to do? I really wish we had a support group around here, it kinda ticks me off that we don’t. I’ve been thinking of starting one.

In finishing, I’ll give my "bitch-of-the-month", final thought: This month’s topic: The word- "faggot". Everyone here is so homophobic, and has trouble pronouncing the word "homosexual". It’s like a mindblock. People who aren’t gay who call people "queer" piss me off too. I don’t mind it when gay people call themselves queer, but people who’re not homosexual have no business to.

Well folks, I hope you’ve found this somewhat interesting. Please write back to me! I’d really like some feedback! Until next month...

[About the Author]

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