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Emily

November 1997

Why Am I Writing This?

I've thought about writing for Oasis for quite a while, although not when I first started reading it last year. I just stumbled across it, probably like many of you have. I would await each month's issue and read with interest. Then one day I wondered why I was reading Oasis. "For gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning youth". Was I any of those?

I thought about my experience with gay people. My mother had some friends that were gay, and I remembered going over to their house. I don't know what answer I got when I asked what gay meant, but I remembered thinking that it must be a sickness. Daniel and his partner didn't look sick (although sadly, a few years later both died due to AIDS). In school, kids used the word "gay" like they used "jerk". My dad used phrases like "light in the loafers" and perpetuated the limp-wrists-talks-with-a-lisp stereotype. Gay certainly couldn't be a good thing.

I went to church off and on while growing up. I was taught that homosexuality was unquestionably a sin, and any of "those people" were going to hell. My questions about God's love of everyone went unanswered in Sunday School. Gay wasn't something you were supposed to talk about. Up to age ten or eleven I took all of this as true. They were the grown-ups; they had to know. I just parroted what I heard.

And those thoughts that I sometimes had about my girlfriends? I would shove them away as quickly as they came to mind. Those were just wrong. Probably the work of Satan. Girls are supposed to like boys, period. And I liked boys, so this sometimes thinking about girls thing was probably just a phase.

Once I was a teenager and into questioning everything anyway, I re-examined what I had taken for granted for so long and found the logic to be flawed. I read the Biblical passages referred to and didn't come to the same conclusions. The fact that the church at the time basically kicked out a bi-racial couple and a "suspected adulterer" clenched it for me, and I lost faith in that church completely.

Then I got married. At age eighteen, right after high school, to a wonderful guy whom I loved very much and still do. He didn't believe in "living in sin", and I didn't want us to be apart. Over the past two years I've grown and changed, thought more about who I am and who I want to be. I was having these more-than-friendly thoughts about women still, and I told my husband about it. I didn't know if this meant that I was bi, and I'm still unsure. Lucky for me, he accepted that...more on this subject later though.

I got on-line, and that helped me learn a lot more about my feelings as well as meet lots of great people. A friend that I met on-line came out to me, and a few other people that I met on-line and then met in person happened to be gay or lesbian. This made it all hit closer to home. I found myself being extremely defensive about the slightest remark that could be construed as derogatory concerning anyone's sexual orientation. Issues that related to gays weren't things that had nothing to do with me. How could I have ever thought that? Not to be corny, but we're all people, and we all deserve to be treated with equal kindness. To me, it seems as simple as that.

So here I am. I love to write, and I might just have something to share. Please write to me at spamily@usa.net.

Next month I'll go into more detail about why I feel that I'm not "straight".


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