May 1997

Ros: "I remember when there were no questions."

Guil: "There were always questions. To exchange one set for another is no great matter."

--Tom Stoppard

No real reason for this quote, except that I was reading Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and thought it was pretty cool. Check it out if you get a chance...

Anyways, this month I thought I'd tell you a little about myself, based entirely on the rather presumtuous presumption (hence the term) that someone cares. I'm 18 now, live in Colorado, love reading and can't stand cellular phones on hiking trips or in busy traffic.

I went through the first fifteen years of my life mostly in libraries of one sort or another. I didn't have much of a social life in high school, and whenever I walked down the halls and heard one of the jocks say to another "That's <i>so</i> gay," I was vaguely disturbed, but didn't know why.

Of course, now I do... I went to a really small high school, so there were basically two social groups: The Jocks, and me. I think I was one of six or seven people who didn't play some form of sport in school the last year I was there.

I started high school a few years early, but sort of never really fit in with either the older kids, or with the people my age. I had no friends per se here, but I developed great friendships with several of my teachers and (of course) the librarians.

This is turning out to be a sort of stream of consciousness kind of thing; I started just wanting to give you some background on me, and I'm going to end up filling this whole month with whatever pops into my head about my past... but what the hell. It's my column. If you don't like it, write your own. In fact, even if you do like it, you should give a shot at writing your own. Writing this has taken the place of having someone to talk to. It's not something to be proud of, but when there's nobody to talk to regardless, it's a great confession kind of feeling.

For me, anyways.

So I'm in high school, I'm one of the three people there to learn and not because it's the law, and pretty alone. That sums up my public school career, pretty much... I remember getting in trouble in 4th grade because I was reading during class. Most of 4th and a lot of 5th, actually. That, I guess, was what pushed me into higher level classes.

So after 2 years of high school, at age 16, I left, diplomaless, and went off to college. I went to a small liberal arts school in MA, and loved it. Not only was I in classes that were intellectually stimulating with people that were ditto, but I had some friends for really the first time in my life. And I met real honest-to-goodness gay people for the first time in my life. And miracle of miracles, they didn't try to either rape me or skin me alive and gnaw the flesh off my bones. The self-realization had begun.

Off the subject, kinda, but my little sister is in a health class in 9th grade right now, and they're doing a unit on human sexuality. The topics they're covering are listed in the course schedule, and homosexuality is nowhere among them. I feel wronged when this is the case, and when in the school the term "gay" is synonymous with "really stupid."

But I digress.

So I finished the first half of my sophomore year, with lots of interesting experiences in between, including meeting lots of women and not really being sexually interested in them, except for the sake of propriety and 'fitting in', and falling in love, or lust, or what have you, with a guy, which, at the time, was an enormous personality crisis.

Leading to the great realization, which, since I'm writing to you in this particular forum, can't be too shocking to anyone: I'm gay.

I just came out to my parents within the last week, and they took it incredibly well... No threats, no crying, they support me 100 percent, which is really the greatest gift that a young fag could ask for... I'm also just starting to be comfortable with waking up in the morning, looking myself in the mirror, and saying "I am gay" to myself... It's taken a long time, but it feels very good. But I still don't appreciate Joan Crawford movies. (Don't flame me for this! Please!)

But anyways, as Tom Stoppard suggests, there are always questions-- they just change. I'm out to myself, which is really the important step, but my life is far from perfect. To anyone considering coming out, it won't solve all your problems; it's far from a cureall, but it will make a bunch of your problems far easier to deal with.

Enough about me. Here's the recommendations for next month: Music: Ani DiFranco's new double live CD would be worth what you spend on it if it costed three times as much; as it is, it's both an incredible bargain and great music. Ani is a live artist, and that's where her beauty really shines... the studio albums just don't capture it as well as this one does. Buy it.

That's about it. One final quote: "I'm surprised at the number of people who want to know themselves when it's hard enough to find your way around Chinatown." --Woody Allen

-- "I did the right thing, didn't I? It all worked out in the end." "In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends." --Alan Moore

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