This makes my third column, and there is a lot of stuff to say. First, what's happened in the last month? Well, a lot ... no, a hell of a lot. I think going in chronological order would be best.
The first weekend after school started, I went to a fraternity party with two friends. It was dull, mainly consisting of a lot of people sitting around and talking while holding beers. One of my friends and I, however, were putting away a lot of vodka. Between us we drank about half the bottle. Upon arrival at the party, I had no intention of drinking quite that much. Well, I learned that I am very talkative when I am truly wasted. As a consequence, my sober friend heard some things I would not have said when sober. Essentially, I commented on how incredibly hot my drunken friend was. The next morning (while still a little drunk), I realized what I had said and done, and I was totally freaked out. I asked my friend what he remembered, and since it was obvious that he had a pretty good idea as it was, I went ahead and gave him the URL for Oasis. He was really cool about it, and thus far there haven't been any problems in our friendship. I got lucky, for a second time (The first time being my friend back home who knows).
The second weekend, I messed around with a girl. OK, OK, I know that is totally off the topic of this site, but hear me out. She came on to me extremely strongly. No joke, she did just about everything short of grabbing at me (no wait, she did that too...) to show me she was interested. Well, after some internal debate I decided to take the bait. I'm not giving any further details apart from saying that we messed around. That would be fine, except for the fact that I feel sort of guilty about what happened. Logically, I know that I shouldn't, but I still feel bad about it. I used her as a means to prove that I wasn't gay. Yes, I have known I was attracted to females since forever, but I'd never DONE anything much about it. I still feel like I was just using her as a way to prove to myself that I wasn't gay. Well, I'm not gay. [Gay = strictly homosexual as opposed to bisexual]. I guess the problem is that she isn't somebody I would want to even go out with. She's pretty, but I have a major problem with her personality. I cut off the relationship within a couple of days, and we are now "friends".
Luckily, on the third weekend, I decided to stay sober, and in the company of many friends. We saw a really stupid movie (Austin Powers -- International Man of Mystery). My only complaint was that I saw far more of Mike Myers than I wanted to. He's a great guy, but his body is not one that I want shoved in my face for a five minute "let's hide Mr. Happy" scene. Then we went, got coffee, and hung out for hours. <Sigh> happy days. Then Calculus homework hit ARGHH, don't ask it's not worth depressing people about.
The fourth and final weekend before articles were due, passed relatively uneventfully. On Friday night, one of my female neigbors got incredibly drunk. Well, she is a very 'frisky' girl, and spent a significant portion of that night behind a locked door with a huge jerk (but then again I think just about all the people my friends date are jerks). It drove me nuts for some reason, because I really like her (like I would a sister), and I was torn between respecting her privacy and getting my rear end out of the way, and draging her upstairs and putting her to bed (yes, I'm a pompous, controlling, arrogant jerk when it comes to protecting my friends, and I'm not ashamed to admit it). Well, I ended up respecting her privacy and getting my butt out of the way... but I sort of wish I wasn't such a weenie. AHHHHHH. In retrospect, I did the right thing, she told me that she was happy about what happened (I still think the guy's an ass, but apparently they aren't extending the relationship, so its cool with me).
The next night, there was a small party where drinking occurred, and I had enough to get a little tipsy and no more. Whomever said people at the University of Chicago do nothing but study was lying through his teeth. I also got a chance to see a great play (the Iphegenia Cycle) at Court Theater (which is on campus for those unfamiliar with the Chicago Theater Scene). And then I started homework...
Last month, I spoke briefly about school, but that was just initial impressions. This place is extremely GLBT friendly. There are gay professors, advisors, and directions to get your 'domestic partner' on your healthcare if you are professor on the web! Why is the last one significant? Health care is one of the most important benefits that employers give to spouses and children of employees. The fact that not only are there avenues for domestic partners to get similar treatment, it is very readily available to anybody who wants to look for it. Its really, really good to see that. I am sure that other universities offer similar services, but I think its great that MY school should be as cool as it is. As you can probably tell, I'm in love with this place. The teachers are great, the students are cool, and the campus is gorgeous. But it is still Fall, and this Houstonian is gonna have a hellish time getting to classes.
In terms of gay resources, we have two free newspapers geared toward gay issues in Chicago, the Windy City Times and Outlines, both of which sit readily available in the student center and the book store. In addition to the literature, there are two GLB organization supported by the student center, Queers and Associates, and the University of Chicago Bisexual Union. I have a copy of the Windy City Times sitting in my drawer right now, but I have not gone to any of the meetings for either Q+A or UCBU, and to be honest I don't think I am going to go. Why? Well, I am not generally out, and if I go that won't be in my hands anymore.
I think that at this point, I'm perfectly happy with the status quo. I've just recently gotten a sense of stability in my life again, and I am not really looking forward to losing that quite yet. More than anything else, I'm happy, which is something that I haven't been able to say for a really long time. I'm really happy, despite working my ass off everyday just to stay afloat, and putting up with noise, and sharing my bathroom... or maybe because of all of that? I don't know, but I'm not too keen on changing things.
National Coming Out Day was celebrated a day early on campus. I was impressed with the publicity job that was done for the rally. They (Q+A and UCBU) used chalk all over the Quads, with messages like "Who cares about labels, and who I love?", and "This is to all the BOYS I slept with throughout high school, its much better on the OUTside." This message was particularly amusing, because some individual (read Bible basher) had crossed out 'OUTside' and written "Eughh, you people are soooo gross." That was the extent of the Bible basher presence on campus during the entire event. I was honestly amazed, UC didn't feel it necessary to get the police or security of any sort, but there was absolutely no need. The rally was an open mike rally, and there was even one guy who got up and said, "I'm not gay <the crowd quites down>, but I've tried it, and don't KNOCK it 'til you've tried it." The crowd had a lot of gay people in it (indicated by the "I like girls" and "I like boys" name tags on girls and boys respectively), but there were also a lot of "Straight, but not Narrow" tags too. All in all, I was rather impressed, both by the organizations and by the people who share my university. But, I'm still not going to the meetings.
I also got a copy of Rockcrowne by Seven Mary Three. The first track screamed at me. I know that it isn't about being closeted, but I swear that some of the stuff mirrors exactly how I feel! Here are the lyrics:
"Mean Mr Mustard says he's bored with life in the district, Can't afford the French quarter high, says it gets old real quick. And he pulls up next to me, and scrawled on the pavement, it says "Son, Time is all the luck you need". <refrain> If I stay lucky then my tongue'll stay tied, and I won't betray the things that I hide. Not enough years underneath this belt for me to admit the way that I felt. <end refrain> Mean Mr. Mustard said don't be the wave that crashes, from the sea of discontent. He says he's wrestled with that ... blanket. Leaves you cold and wet, any way you stretch it. Divine apathy, disease of my youth, watch that you don't catch it. <refrain> And I'm the wave that crashes, from the sea that turns itself. Inside out every chance I get, see what its like in Hell. <refrain>"
I am sure that it isn't a perfect, verbatim copy of it, but it is close enough to get the idea. The refrain is just too blatant, and the lines like "divine apathy, disease of my youth, watch that you don't catch it," screamed at me. I wonder, are they gay? It seems I'm the last person to find out these things.
Well, I know this article is shorter than the others, and isn't as interesting, but then again I write about what is going through my head (d/dx (x2) = 2x..etc.). I hope you forgive me for that. I wrote another story this month (last month's is available through back issues), and it's in the Arts and Entertainment section.
PS: Write me at <firstname.lastname@example.org> if you go to the University of Chicago, have a comment on the article or on anything else I've written, have a pressing matter that you need to talk about, or are just bored and want to talk to someone. I write back.
Peace be in your minds, hearts, and especially your souls.