May 1997

My Life Thus Far

"What I'm looking for, after all this time
Keeps me moving forward, trying to find it
Since I learned to walk all I've done is run
Ready, on my mark, doesn't everyone
Need a place in the world"

-- Mary Chapin Carpenter, A Place In The World

Hey!! My name is Tony, and this is my first Oasis column. I'm 14 years old and a high school freshman. And, yes, I'm gay. I've also decided to jump on the bandwagon with the quotes to begin the column.

I realized I was gay way back near the end of 7th grade. Man, that seems like such a long time ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just gotten onto eWorld, Apple's now defunct on-line service, and was in a teen chat room. I was looking at all of the peoples' profiles, and one kid's said he was gay. I had only just recently realized what being gay actually consisted of, and was questioning my own sexuality and was just plain curious, so I One-on-Oned him. I asked him, "How do you know you're gay??" I don't remember what his answer was, but I realized that I had the same sorts of feelings, so, I began to think that I was gay.

At the time, I was incredibly naive about what the world thought about homosexuality, so, I came out to my best friend. He was just like, "Oh." Didn't make much of a big deal out of it. I told him not to tell anyone else, except for a select few of my other friends. He told those other friends, but he also told them that I didn't care if they told anyone else. Soon, the entire school was buzzing with the rumor that I was gay.

One day, I decided to tell the girl who sat next to me in English. I asked her, "Have you heard that rumor about me??" "You mean the one that you're gay??" she had said, "Don't worry about it." "Did you know it was true??" I asked her. Then her reaction, it hit me like a Mack truck. She yelled out, in the middle of class, for everyone to hear, "YOU'RE GAY!?!?" Of course, heads turned at this, and I turned red from embarrassment. And then, much to my regret now, I quietly said, "Ya."

My next period was lunch. By the time I got to the lunch room, the entire room had heard about the incident. No one gave me too much crap about it, they just asked me questions like "How do you know??" and things like that. One even asked me, out of two popular and very cute guy students, which I would rather see in a Speedo. I answered, I was completely open about all of the questions they asked; most of the kids didn't seem to give two shits about it. I was sort of a novelty item, the gay kid. I felt really good, and actually happy that that girl had done what she had done, until the teasing began. It wasn't really too bad, stupid stuff, it hurt then, but I can't remember exactly what it consisted of now.

The rest of the school year wasn't too bad, the teasing more or less died down, I figured I was home free on the last day of school, I had nothing scheduled for the next three months, it was bliss. I was home free all right, home free until I got home that day.

I walked up the stairs and my mother was sitting on the couch holding one of her day care kids. (she used to do home day care) All she said was, "We have to talk." "Ok," I said, thinking nothing of it, "just let me put my stuff in my room." "Don't touch that computer," she said as I walked down the hall. I still hadn't realized what she wanted to talk about. She came into my room, day care kid still in hand, and sat down on my bed. "Someone called me from the school today." "Ya?" I said. "They told me that you've been saying that you're gay??" I don't remember what my response was to that, maybe I didn't say anything, maybe I couldn't say anything, but I remember her getting to a point where she said, "There is no way you could be like that." I remember her saying 'that' as if it were a swear. "That kind of thing is in your genes. No one in my family or your father's family is like that." My parents are divorced. "Is it because of the way your father is??" "The way my dad is??" I thought. I'd never in a million years think my dad was gay, not a chance. "No," I said sheepishly. The conversation finally ended with me saying that I probably wasn't gay, a complete farce. After her little speech, I didn't feel at all different about who I was, I just knew that she wasn't happy with it.

The next year at school wasn't too bad. I was however, back in the closet. The only ones who really teased me were(are) a bunch of kids one grade lower than I am. Even though I am now in the high school, they still tease me whenever they have the chance. Nothing has changed, I ignore them, just as I have always done. The people who tease you about who you are, are not the important ones, you don't have to worry about what they think.

Now, I'm in high school. No one, except for a very few kids, has said anything to me…I think most people have either forgotten about it, or just believed my "back in the closet" act. And, if you're wondering, I don't yet have a beau, but there is one guy who is a possibility…

Until next month,


[About the Author]

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