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Jimmy

May 1997

Gosh, it's been more than hectic in the past couple months. As I write this, I have homework coming out of my, well, I'm sure you have one, too, and I have to finish this application and get it in the mail by tomorrow morning, and I have to practice my instrument, and I have to practice conducting (details follow), and most of all, I need to regain my energy and momentum. I don't even know where to begin. A lot has happened, and that isn't even an exaggeration. I've heard a lot of things in the media, (Ellen), I've made a lot of decisions, and everything has compounded upon itself, but almost in a good way.

I came out. Yes, folks, you read it right. I came out to my parents. Almost on impulse, a bad idea, but I did, and it was odd. To sum it up in one word, anyway. Odd. I was talking to my friend Nathan on the phone, and I decided that I didn't feel like being so secretive around my parents anymore. So I sat down and told my dad. It wasn't traumatic, mind you, but I still don't want to readily recall it. It was bad enough the first time. My dad acted as though he didn't believe me, and regaled me with ideas that I may be jumping the gun, and that it's a dangerous lifestyle to choose to live, and with AIDS, and all. It showed a bit of how little he knew, really knew, about the entire subject. I had told him singly, and then my mom entered the room, and I was so traumatized, I started crying. I don't know why, but it was way too hard on me at that point in time. I shouldn't have attempted. I sat there, and affirmed or denied all of their questions. It was, well ...... odd. I don't know what else to say, other than I want to forget it, no matter what. I still haven't told my sister, but I don't feel it's pressing at the time, and will probably tell her before she leaves for college this summer, or maybe after. Who knows? I just know that it's not top priority right now, and I'll leave it at that.

School, school, school. Boring as always. I'm maintaining my twelfth rank status right now, but I'm dropping because of honors algebra II. I'm not too happy, but I figure I'll be out of it soon enough, what with summer coming. I'm trying to get involved in school, and have made some progress on the literary magazine, quiz league, Spanish club, and what-have-you. The thing I'm working on right now is trying out for drum major of the marching band, you know, the one's that stand up in front and conduct, and yell out commands. That's a whole lot of hard work. My body's paying for it, too. My arms are about to fall off because of conducting practice, my voice is giving out calling commands, and my legs are stiff from standing abruptly at attention position. I'm hurting. Very much. I've thought a lot about college lately, and getting out of the house. It's a goal: I can see the freedom, almost taste it. I'm narrowing my college choices down, too. I'm thinking about UC-Berkeley, Harvard, Amherst, Tulane, Northwestern, UNC, UVA, U Texas. I hope to go to my first choice, whatever it is when I'm a senior, and I'm realizing I need to maintain my grades and class rank if that's going to happen. Sigh. So much work, so little time. I'm taking six honors courses next year, out of eight total classes. I've found that I'm the only junior (next year) that's taking this many, not even our valedictorian. Guess who's going to be burning out while the valedictorian surges onward? Yours truly. I welcome a challenge, though. And that's what AP English III, AP US History, AP CompSci III, Honors Pre-Calculus, Honors Physics I, Honors Spanish III, Band, and Health/Humanities is going to give me. Throw in three afternoons a week for band, Friday nights for playing at football games, one afternoon a week for Quiz League, one day a month for a youth group in the city, one morning a month for Spanish club, Mondays for Lit. Mag., and assorted other goodies. You too, can watch me crash and burn. But please don't laugh. I have enough pressure as it is.

Friends, Romans, and assorted countrymen, lend me your ears (though I assume you only have two. I should hope, anyway....). This part is about, you guessed it! : friends. My friendships are growing ever stronger, thanks to going out weekly for coffee. My straight guy friend and I go out for coffee every Friday night, about. It's great. We can talk about anything, and he has a really open mind, and accepts me for who I am. It's nice. My other friend, (girl), and I go out for Thai food often, and then hang at the local Barnes & Noble or go to the mall and chill for awhile. I go out and see movies with my other friend (girl2), and I hang with her a lot. I'm blessed, truly, to have as many good friends as I do. It's a blessing!

Soap Box : I'm getting really sick of loud, hellfire 'n' brimstone Protestants 'round my area, the Bible Belt. They're really obnoxious. A cited example: Read the TV Guide issue (my favorite reading material.... Not!) about God, and you'll see a little column about the reactions of the townspeople of Atlanta, TX, where Ellen DeGeneres used to go to school, on her onscreen coming out. The local preacher, Preacher!, said it was all a part of a demonic, satanistic plot to bring down all of society in one stroke. I was pissed off, understandably. Another person said they used to let their children watch it because of good family values, but said they wouldn't dream of it now that she's a lesbian. Would be "unholy" or something along those lines. And this girl at school said that it would only influence children to do the same things. She said "Imagine... All of these grade-school kids going up to their mommies saying, 'Mommy, mommy! I'm gay! I'm coming out!'". Narrow-minded bigotry. I've known her for three years now. I wonder how she would react if I told her. Doubtless, she'd never talk to me again. But it bugs me: How can self-righteous, God-fearing Bible Belt Protestants be so narrow-minded when Jesus and God taught acceptance and love for all people. Love the sinner, not the sin, if they think it's actually a sin. I applaud Ellen for her move on TV, and more recently, in real life. It takes a lot of guts either way, and she should be applauded. I was wondering as well, who are the most prominent gay men in the media? I know for women it's Melissa Etheridge, kd lang, Ellen DeGeneres now, and several others, but it may just be me that's clueless to where the guys are. Let me know, email me.

I shall now wrap up, as for lack of further inspiration. I hope this was enough to stomach for this month, and that you'll hold on, just a little while longer 'til next month. You know what my email is, so email me. I've been overwhelmed with the amount of great replies to my column, and have replied to each and every email with vigor, where possible. I look forward to more!

I shall leave you, again, with a quote. It's from Microserfs, my favorite book ever, by Douglas Coupland : Since I can't find it in my book it goes something like (paraphrased) "When you're a little kid, you try so hard not to be different. It's like a survival tool. You need to be the same to survive. But one day you wake up and realize you're one of them. And you wonder if you can ever be who you were truly meant to be, or if it's really possible." And this was shortly after he came out to his friends. Next month I'll find the exact quote. Sorry.... And write me! And have a great month.


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