April 1997

Life from Thirteen, a Prison.

Born on the first of October, 1981 at two twenty-four post meridian, a child appeared in a maternity room, in a hospital located on the border of New South Wales and Victoria. The child was a normal healthy, bouncing baby boy. He went through his toddler years like any other child, went to primary (elementary) school, where he was ostracized for having freckles, and being interested in chemistry. He left the realm of the primary school world and entered high school, where everything to this day appears to run pretty smoothly on the social front.

But this hangs in the balance.

Halfway through my thirteenth year on this planet, things started to happen. Sure there was the hair growing where it hadn't done before, the deepening of the voice, the dusting of pimples that haunts most adolescents, and the wild mood swings. But something else came into play, a factor which I hadn't ever thought about until the end of that year. I stated to ask the question "What the flipping hell am I?" or, as I prefer to ask it now "Who the flipping hell am I?"

As the more perceptive readers will have gathered, this other force was my sexuality coming into play for the first time.

When it first appeared, I didn't want to know it. My sexuality was another person, that had great influence over me. Influence like that of a school bully. It sat and taunted me while I slept "You f---en' faggot, you stupid gay prick...What are your parents going to say you sick bastard when your parents find out about me, what are your friends going to think of you when they see what I am making you do." I didn't realize it then, but this...this...taunting was my own doing. By hiding "MAW" as I came to call it (Me As Well), I was making the situation worse. By denying the fact that MAW was me as well, I was pushing myself into a self destructive whirlpool of guilt and other feelings/emotions that words cannot describe.

As that thirteenth year drew to a close and my fourteenth dawned, MAW got stronger. I drew myself into a ball, built a 30 ft wall around myself with a roof, stopping anyone from seeing what was actually happening inside my head. In that dark, dank prison of my mind, I never felt safe, even though the titanium structure was 5 ft thick and covered with boulders. I was always scared that someday, I would leave the secret entrance open, and someone would find their way in, making my prison collapse around me. Prison is usually a place to be punished, for me it was an insecure safe haven and punishment, inflicted on myself.

During the day, I would leave my lonely cell, double checking that the door was locked, and it would shrink, allowing me to get through the day at school. I said that it would shrink, well indeed it did, school gave me the chance to forget about myself and think of other things, until I saw some guy that MAW liked, then it started, I would go cold...dark...the cell would engulf me as if it were able to change states of matter from liquid, into a hard surface, but it would never close completely. When this happened, there was always, I felt, a hole that someone could look through and see MAW as he was gradually able to overcome my denial of his existence.

I put all of these emotional problems down to hormones, hell, there wasn't anything else to blame. I thought that I was experiencing some sort of chemical imbalance that was like a type of hallucinogenic drug, causing MAW to appear. But I was wrong.

MAW was actually more like Spock and I was like Dr. McCormick, I think it was, in one of the Star Trek movies where Spock mindmelded (or something like that) with the Doc. The only problem was that MAW wasn't like Spock in that he wasn't coming back to collect himself in his next lifetime. No, MAW's meld was permanent.

And so, as my fourteenth year came to a close and my fifteenth year beckoned me forward, MAW started to become more of me, or I became more of him, anyway, our personalities merged (no, I don't have multiple personalities, just use your feeble imaginations). And what were his fantasies became my fantasies, and what I thought he came to except. During this time, MAW became more of a friend. Rather than tormenting me in my cell, he would comfort me on the many occasions that I cried myself to sleep. One day, the day after my fifteenth birthday, MAW disappeared.

I still had my cell, and I spent many lonely nights in it, thinking about who and or what I was. During the day I would leave the cell, go to school, come home and crawl back into it. Although I knew that my parents knew that something was wrong I reassured them, and told them that it was just a bit stressful at school, which wasn't an entire lie. Classes were easy, heck, I came first in English and handed every assignment in late! The social front was different. I used to be in a pretty close-net group, I had good friends that like me the way that I was. One of them always said that she never wanted to be in the ultra-cool group, consisting of everyone good-looking, self important and sporting. She said that she despised people like that and would never be a part of it. A month later, she had joined the group, leaving me and my best friend behind. I didn't see it coming, but even he was about to leave and follow suit with her. They were lucky in that they had started in the top classes where all of these self important wankers came from. I had started in the fifth lowest, and by then was up into the third highest for all of my subjects. I was always seen by the kings and queens of the "Ultra-cool" group as some sort of try-hard square. Besides that, they didn't like the way that I talked.

I was and still am a public speaker and debater, and have got to state three times for it, and naturally, my prose has changed somewhat. All of my friends say that I talk like a thirty year old. I suppose that I do, which is bad on the social front. When the majority of an audience is over thirty, you talk to them on their level...It's just a bad habit.

So after my best friend defected into the ranks of the ultra-coolies, I was left alone... I had a lot of friends, but they were the only two that I could really talk to and trust them. With this social stress, plus the pressure of my peers to go out with one particular girl, and the stress of not being able to ask anyone that I did like to go out, I was a walking nervous breakdown.

I don't know why, but by the last quarter of year nine, it was my turn to get picked on. They were the usual taunts of square and shit like that, then they started on the gay taunts. I'd been out with only one girl, and I had never "done" anything. Holding hands was hard enough for me. Hence the suspicions about my sexuality, which had indeed sorted itself out since the departure of MAW.

The intensity of the bulling varied from day to day, and I was dreading our school excursion to Tasmania. Not only was I "illegal" in a way, I was also scared that I would let something slip.

Something quite to the country happened. On the excursion, all of the guys rebelled against Tasmanian laws, and pretended to be gay. This only worsened my situation. Having forty really good looking guys around me, all pretending to be gay only served to make me more self conscious, it was worse than being teased. Although I knew they were kidding around, I wanted it to be real. Luckily I got through the trip without a slip up, and then there were the holidays.

I managed to save enough money from working as a layby runner in a department store to buy a modem and set up an account with an ISP. The first few days, I just got myself aquatinted with the software, and the general working of things on the net. About two AM one night, I took the plunge and looked for some gay stuff. Hence my introduction to oasis. The more I read, the more I thought, the more I began to admit to myself that I was gay, and there wasn't anything that I could do to change it. I did the IRC thing and joined SECRETS etc.

I have only really began to admit my sexuality to myself in the past few weeks, I shudder when I think about it. Why does it have to be so hard to accept something that is natural?

I don't consider myself to be proud to be gay. I don't want to walk down the main street holding another guy's hand, in fact, I can't think of anything worse. Sure at home or when we would be alone, but not making a big deal about it. I think that I feel this way because I have only come out to my self, which I think that on reflection will have been the hardest thing that I ever did. I don't know if I can tell anyone else. I've only just joined a new circle of friends and I don't want to risk anything. If someone asked me, I think that I'd say I was gay...maybe?

I've wanted to tell someone about all of this since it started, but I could never find anyone that I could trust enough. Yet, ironically, from the safety of a few thousand nautical miles, I'm admitting it to the whole world of gay youth on the net. At least it's off my chest... A little.

I still feel that my life hangs in the balance. God, if I told the wrong person, well, suicide would be an option. I think that I am still coming to terms with the implications of being who and what I am. If only I had have known what lay ahead before I popped into the world that spring afternoon, I'm not sure I would have come out.

But, it's too late now, so I have to live with it.

And so there you have it. My testimony of coming out and of age.

Thank you to those of you who have got this far. My story isn't interesting, but to me it's important. Thank you reader.

[About the Author]

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