[oasis]

[columns]


Stephen

October 1997

Boy. It's been a while since I sat down and started work on a new Oasis article. 3 months, to be exact. A lot has happened since August, so I'll just bring everyone up to date (Everyone being the 5 people that read this column without becoming nauseated at my lack of mastery over the English language).

Summer band started out great. I got to see some old friends, and made a significant new one. Apparently, I had been outed to someone. It was the best thing that has ever happened to my social life. She's in with a lot of great people, and through her, I came out to about three people. It's been great -- I can finally see the appeal of being out of the closet. Since that, I came out personally to two others, and the list is growing. Tomorrow, I already plan on at least one more! I've gotten my foot out, and it's just the beginning. Now, of course, the real challenge will be my parents. But, now that I've come out to other people, I expect it to be a little easier.

I've gotten really involved this year, and it's all great. I'm in student government, which is loads of fun work. The band is going to Florida, which means lots of practice, and lots of fun, bouncy parade music. I'm in choir, and the a cappella singers, and both are really great. The choir director thinks I have a really good chance at making district choir, and I'm practicing like heck to get bass 2. All I need to round out my involvement is a sport, really. I'll be looking into a spring sport, since it's too late for basically anything else. First, of course, I'll have to start getting myself in shape. I'll take any suggestions on building some semblance of a musculature without a set of weights or access to a gym (I know I'm asking a lot).

The main theme of this article is directed towards guys who are considering beginning the journey of coming out. Sorry girls, but I don't consider myself fit to give advice to the opposite gender of which I know so little about. I think that first of all, anyone who thinks that coming out would only make things worse really should reconsider. You may think that everyone hates gays, but you'll find most teenagers are much less prejudiced than the mainstream adult world is.

Think of it this way: How many adults do you know who are racist compared to the number of people your age? Not as many, are there? There is, however, a slight gender bias. You'll find women are very accepting, if not inviting, of gay friends. One of my straight female friends thinks that having a male friend who's not drooling all over her is very refreshing. Basically, come out to girls first. If you come out to guys, be careful to make sure you don't make them uncomfortable. Don't stand next to a guy in the locker room who knows you're gay -- they might go as far as to wait for you to leave until they change. Try to find other gay students at your school. If you can't, keep looking. Unless they're only 10 people in your school, there's most likely someone else to confide in. Most importantly, just be yourself. If your hands move when you talk, go with it. If you have the most masculine mannerisms found in our society, celebrate it. You'll only lose friends by being a total straight act, if that's not what you are.

My e-mail address is colbey@itw.com, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions on equipment-less weight training, you can reach me there.

Steve


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