Dal Long

September 1997

This summer started with a bang and hasn't slowed down since...

I went to Las Vegas with my friend Jason for four days in July to celebrate my twenty-first birthday. We had a blast! We stayed at the Excalibur Hotel, but spent a lot of our time gambling at New York-New York or Caesar's Palace. I played mostly slots and blackjack and lost a few hundred dollars. Oh well, I prefer to think of it as letting Vegas hold my money for safe-keeping until I return to collect it! We drank too much, slept too little, spent all our cash, and basically had a wonderful time!

One curious incident in Vegas: while walking to one of the casinos, we passed two men who were being very friendly with one another. Jason exclaimed, "Europeans!" I looked at him funny and said, "No, they're gay!" "They are not gay," Jason protested, "they didn't pass the Jason Gay Test. I always know when a person's gay." I thought to myself, "oh yeah, wanna bet?" But I didn't say anything. Jason is a good friend of mine, but I haven't been able to tell him I'm not straight. I don't think he would have a problem with it, but I just haven't summoned the courage to talk about it with him yet.

Truth be told, I had a minor crush on Jason this summer. I get crushes on my friends from time to time, so it's nothing that would have turned my world upside down. However, a friend from Italy arrived at my house a mere two days after my return from Las Vegas. She promptly fell in love with Jason herself, and the two of them appear to be quite serious about one another. She gave him a ring shortly before she flew home to Europe, and they've called each other nearly every day since then. I felt a little hurt by all this, because...well, I liked Jason myself. Their affair killed my crush, and I guess that's for the best. Jason's straight, and he's a friend. I shouldn't think of him as anything more than that.

The whole stupid episode with La Italiana and Jason helped me decide some things about myself, however. I am sick of falling in love with my straight friends and suffering alone and silent. I don't know very many glb people, so I am going to find some. My college has a glb club. The college is small and Catholic, but I promised myself to attend at least one meeting. If I have a nice time, I'll keep going. If I can't stand the people there, or the school is too conservative to attract anyone but militants, I'm going to drive to St Louis and find a PFLAG chapter or some other friendly group.

I think my mother is starting to figure out I'm bisexual. I had an index card sitting on my desk with a link to a gay site I visit sometimes, and she entered my room (heaven forbid she knock first!) and said, "Why are you always looking up gay things on the Internet?" Imagine the look of horror on my face! She pointed to the index card. I had to explain to her it was just ONE site, that was all. She gave me an odd look and then left. God, I don't want my parents to know I'm bisexual! They are so conservative and frequently make malicious comments about any group of people different from themselves. I'm sorry to say it, but I'm afraid they would throw me out of the house if they knew. I dread holiday dinners with my extended family. I know it's only a matter of hours before one of my uncles or my grandfather blames the problems of the world on blacks, gays, Jews, Catholics, etc. I hope to move to another city for graduate school in one more year...if only I can keep everything calm until then.

I visited my close friend Sue last night. She's returning to Loyola this weekend, so I helped her pack and we talked until after 4 in the morning. She told me a startling piece of information. One of her high school friends had a terrible crush on me for a long time. Laura would call me on the telephone every once in a while, and I would scramble to make excuses for why I couldn't date her. She was a wonderful girl, very attractive and a very talented actress. I just wasn't interested in a romantic relationship. Well, Sue tells me Laura has publicly stepped out of the closet as a lesbian. Wow. Kinda ironic, I think.

Sue disappointed me again. I had attempted to come out to her a few months ago, but she convinced herself I was playing a big joke on her. After telling me about Laura, she said she understands lesbians and gay men, but bisexuals are "just people who can't figure out what they want." I almost hit the ceiling! But I just clenched my jaw tightly and said nothing. This saddens me. Sue is one of my closest and oldest friends. She treats me like her older brother, and I think of her as my little sister. I wish I felt like I could share this aspect of my life with her.

I finished my summer psychology project. It turned out to be 33 pages long. I titled it "Mental Health Issues and Therapy Strategies for Counseling Middle Eastern Clients." Ugh. I'm glad it's finished. Through the course of my research, I made a definite decision. I am not taking the GRE. I am not applying to PhD programs next year. I am going to Law School for certain. I would like to specialize in laws which affect the mental health professions, however. Right now U of Arizona-Tuscon, U of Nebraska-Lincoln, Loyola of Chicago, Tulane, St Louis U, and U of Cincinnati top my list. Is anyone out there familiar with these schools?

Well, I didn't make it to Jeopardy. Sue and I both had received invitations to come to Kansas City for the college tournament try-outs. Neither of us ended up attending. Sue had to go to her cousin's wedding in Georgia, and my Italian friend caught a flight home to Europe the evening before the try-outs. I figured I would be too exhausted to drive to Kansas City and compete successfully. I was right. I slept almost the whole day away. I am determined to be on that show someday, somehow. I will send Jeopardy my name again next year.

I discovered an extremely talented singer-songwriter last month. Her name is Cheryl Wheeler. Her voice is beautiful, and her songs are pure poetry. I heard her song "Orbiting Jupiter" on a compilation album, and it just blew me away. Seek out her music, Oasis readers! Listen to her! You won't regret it!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to write to me last month! I love to hear from readers! You can send me mail at dallasj@iname.com or dallaslong@dialup.websteruniv.edu

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