October 1997

"The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. It's not that God doesn't love them, it's just that they need more supervision." -- Lynn Lavner

Hello and welcome to my first column for Oasis. It's going to be quite an experience for both of us, let me assure you.

This month, we'll focus on an introduction of me.

My name is Amber, I'm 16, and I live in Ohio. I go to a typical suburban high school, and oh yeah -- I'm queer. I like that word because it encompasses everyone: gay, lesbian, bisexual, whatever. I've also come to use it because Anthony Rapp uses it. (Yes, I am a Renthead, how'd you guess?) I realize "queer" offends some people, and I'm sorry but I'll use it frequently from here on in.

I first realized I was queer one night when I was online. I was 15 at the time. At first, I freaked and immediately found the PNO (PlanetOut) area on AOL and posted a frantic message about how I thought I might be gay. Afterwards, I sat down and thought long and hard, coming to one inevitable conclusion. Being an actor, (not to be stereotyping anyone) I've been around quite a few gay people, so once I realized I was queer, I was like "Okay, cool." I really love the Internet. I'm grateful to have a place to go where I'll be sure to find people who understand me.

I'm only out to two very close friends, we'll call them "Mimi" and "Maureen". (There's that Rent obsession again) Mimi has been my friend since 5th grade and Maureen since 8th. All three of us are good friends -- a "Three Musketeers" type thing (but don't call us that or Maureen will beat you severely). They both reacted extremely well. A bit shocked, but otherwise fine. Their only concern is that they can't relate to me anymore, which I guess is true on some level. I have no plans to tell anyone else right now, least of all my mother. I know she'd be cool, but lately she's been talking about me getting married and having children. That's pretty scary stuff to think about at 16 anyway, whether you're straight or not. On my birthday, one of the presents she gave me was in a gift bag with half naked men on it! It was a gag gift, so I didn't feel too bad about laughing for nearly 20 minutes -- if only she knew why I was laughing so hard! What made it even funnier was when she saw I didn't really look at the men on the bag she was like "Don't you like it? Wait, I know -- you're a lesbian" but I knew she was joking. I'll probably end up telling her when I'm in college, but I don't want to crumble her little world just yet.

Well kiddies, I think that's all for now. Next month, I promise my column won't be nearly as boring and I'll share my wit and wisdom with all. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to write me at TabbyKat12@aol.com with questions, comments, flames or just to say hello. I love getting e-mail, and I promise to respond, although it may take me awhile.

[About the Author]

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