Ray Harrison

June 1997

I grew up in a small town in British Columbia. It was a town where everyone knew each other, and each families' history of personal problems. I used to feel bad when I would hear rumors of families. What business is it of ours anyway? My parents were a very important role model for me. They would scream and yell at each other like many parents during a fight, but they always would work things out. I remember one year, three of my friend's parents divorced. Why? Nine out ten times I usually heard "adultery."

My Mom and I are very close today. We used to fight all the time. I was always testing my mother and giving her grief. I was a rebellious little shit that was constantly getting into trouble. Today, my mother suffers from Fibromyalga (sp). She is chronically in pain, and as a result can no longer work. She is stuck at home much of the time. I worry about her often because she takes so many pills. She feels that she can only talk to me and a few of her friends about her emotional pain. In a few weeks, I will be moving farther away from her (from 4 hours to 12 hours). I won't be able to drive home at a moment's notice to give her support. I care, but I have to live my own life. I know she does not consciously intend to make me feel this way. When I told my Mom that I was gay last summer, she told me that she already knew. I remember that summer morning, how she hugged me, and told me how proud of me she was. She didn't care. I was so astounded by the support. Mothers seem to have an uncanny sense of knowing these things I guess. I wonder what it was? Maybe because I can't play baseball, was never interested in girls, or was it the magazines of nude men? I would buy Hustler magazine just to see the men in them. As my friends were looking at the girls and commenting on them, I was commenting on the men, but they didn't realize.

My father is a very distant man. He never spent much time with me, nor can he "talk" to me. He doesn't do this intentionally. He just didn't know how to relate to me. I am not mad at him. My mom finally told him I was gay about a month after I told her. He still loves me, and accepts me, he just has never said the word "gay" or talked to me about it.

My brother is six years older than me, and he has the typical straight attitude. Or should I say "had." I have done a lot of educating with him. He has come a long way to learning what it is like to be gay, and getting rid of some of the gay propaganda. He even went to the gay bar with me! After he calmed down, and realized that no one was going to pinch his butt, I think he had a good time, but he will never admit it.

Sometimes I get frustrated with my parents because it seems at times the topic is always about my orientation. I am more than "gay." I am not defined by being "gay." I am much more than that. Everything I do isn't because I am gay. Some of my closest straight friends will assume that I may be attracted to every other guy we see. I ask them "Are you attracted to every girl you see?" Can I slap them now?

* * *

As the final weeks go by, I am getting increasingly excited. I will soon be starting my new life with David. I miss him so much. I wish I could see him sooner. There is still so much to do. It is the first time in my life that I am venturing into a completely unknown area of my life. Before I could at least know where I would be a year a head. I don't know where I will be living in this time next year. Will me and David be living in Idaho, or Texas? I feel like my life is going at high speed, and I don't want to miss a minute of it.

Together, David and I have gone through many days of loneliness. We have spend countless hours chatting on IRC together, the Internet has sustained our relationship. Everyday I am thankful to have him as my partner. Right now I am going through a very stressful time. I graduate in a few weeks, trying to get all my finances in order, and tie up any loose ends I have is constantly on my mind.

* * *

May 15, 1997 -- Graduation has come and gone, and now I am starting my new life in Idaho. Life here is different. Living on the college residence was a fast paced life. There was always someone calling, or visiting. Here in Idaho I don't know many people, but I enjoy the quieter days. David and I are always doing something, and I enjoy having a partner to do everything with.

It is an adjustment for the both of us. He is used to living on his own, and I am used to living in a place of familiarity. As everyday goes by I am becoming more comfortable in my new home. I never thought I would be living in the U.S.A. I wonder what differences lie ahead.

The world is changing fast for our gay and lesbian community. I am proud to be a part of it. If you would like to email me, you can reach me at raharris@cadvision.com. I would love to hear from you.

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