Dal Long

November 1997

Sorry for not writing last month. A lot of events happened in September and early October which left me emotionally exhausted. I tried to write some of this stuff for last month's issue, but I realized I needed to let some time pass before I shared my life with the rest of the world.

I am having a problem with my friend Jason. I mentioned in my last column that I wanted to gather the courage to come out to him. Well, I finally did. We went for some late night food, and I said there was something I'd been wanting him to know for a long while, and then I told him. He said he already knew! He had discovered a link to Oasis while working on my computer, and later followed the link and recognized me! He was just waiting for me to tell him in my own good time.

Everything was okay between us at first, but now he's starting to criticize me. He accuses me of not acting masculine enough. Huh? I act just like everyone else! OK, so I'm not very interested in competitive sports and video games, but certainly no one has ever accused me of being feminine! I suspect he's too caught up in stereotypes, and he's trying to make me "fit" his idea of what I "should" be like. It's very annoying, and I'm not sure how to handle this.

* * *

A few weeks later my world turned upside down for a second time. I almost went to bed with one of my straight friends. He knows I'm bisexual, and has never had the slightest problem with it. We were at his apartment, just sitting around and talking about sex and other stuff. Nothing big, I thought. Yet our conversation must have really turned him on, because all of a sudden he stood up and asked me if I wanted to fool around with him!

I was stunned! My mouth dropped open in surprise, but I vaguely recall feeling my face flush and a "sure, okay" stammer from my lips. And then a struggle immediately ensued between the passion I felt starting to course through my veins and the cold, detached logic of my brain. My passion said, "Yes! You've waited so long for this day!" My brain said, "You fool! You know he's straight! He's just caught up in his own lust, and he'll regret it afterwards."

My friend started to turn down his bed, and my brain seized control of my body. I told him that I had to use his bathroom first and fled from the room. I lingered in there for a few minutes, to give him some time to think about what he was about to do. When I returned, he was sitting very still. He said in a weak voice, "Uh, Dal... I've had second thoughts... I don't think I can go through with this."

Passion: God dammit!!! Heart: Told ya.

I said that was fine and probably for the best. The remainder of the evening was a bit awkward, but it doesn't at all seem to have caused a rift in our friendship. I'm very grateful for that. He said that the reason he suggested fooling around was that he convinced himself that the experience would simply be a physical release for him and an opportunity for exploration for me. OK, I buy that. Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about the whole incident -- disappointment or relief?

* * *

Late this summer, I ran into an old friend of mine I hadn't seen for a long while. It was quite a shock. I used to be in love with her, but when she learned I was attracted to her, she ended our friendship. It took me a year to forget about her. Running into each other was quite a surprise for the both of us, but we talked amicably for nearly an hour. We caught up on each other's lives, and when I told her I had started writing again, she smiled slyly and said she knew.

This puzzled me, but I didn't pursue the point further. Later, she told me she was having a party, several gay friends of hers would be there, and I was welcome to attend. I didn't go, but I couldn't forget her cryptic comments. "Why on earth did she smile like that? Why would she mention her gay friends? Oh my god! She read Oasis somehow and recognized me!"

Yep, that was the case all right, as I discovered later. She reads it on a regular basis, I understand, and therefore knew quite a bit about my life since we last parted ways. Oh well. It's a good thing I never badmouthed her! The possibility that someone else from real life might recognize me had me scared for a while, but I'm not going to worry about it. I enjoy writing too much to quit now. I'm starting to care less and less about what other people think of me.

* * *

This summer I promised myself I would seek out other students like myself. I'm still summoning the courage, but I'm getting closer. I found out the meeting times of my school's GLBS Alliance, but another club I'm active in meets at the same time. However, once my club finished its meeting, I meandered past the glb club's conference room and glanced through the windows. The room was jammed with people! I recognized more than a few faces, including two professors. The courage is gathering.

* * *

I finished my Law School applications. I thought long and hard about whether or not to include my columns for Oasis on my personal statement. I wasn't sure if the people evaluating my applications would be prejudiced and thus ruin my chances of getting into Law School, but I decided to take that chance. Oasis means so much to me. It's helped me grow and figure out who I am. More importantly, I feel like I am contributing something useful if just one person learns something from or relates to my own experiences and then feels better about themselves. I'm proud of Oasis and the good it is doing for confused people like myself. Oasis is one of the things which helped me decide to apply for Law School and not pursue a Ph.D. program in Psychology. As a therapist, I can only help individuals adjust to society. As a lawyer, I can change the structure of society itself. Law can serve and protect people from discrimination, Psychology can only heal and mend. At any rate, it will be a few months before I learn if I am going to be a law student or not. The wait is going to kill me!

Please feel free to send me mail at dallasj@iname.com. I appreciate getting feedback from readers!

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