December 1997

Since this is my first column, I suppose I should give a brief description of myself so that you know where my views are coming from. I am a 16 year old junior in High School. I'm a lacto-vegetarian and an atheist. What I'll be writing is just my personal experience, I'm hoping others can learn from my experiences.

How I came out (a little.)

It all started about 6 months ago, on the day that Ellen was to come out on her show. I had been online for a year, and through the Internet I had become comfortable with who I am. I wanted to come out so bad. I had lived my life a lie, and I was sick of it.

It was during 7th hour Bio, we were dissecting fetal pigs, at least the rest of the class was. Bored after having done my little assignment, which didn't even require us to dissect anything, I went up to the chalkboard and started to draw with some pink chalk. I drew a fairly large pink triangle, upside-down, with "Go Ellen!" inside of it.

Needless to say the class was a little suspicious, even though they knew what my stance on homosexuality was, I had told everyone that it was nothing wrong. To them I seemed open-minded. But after drawing that triangle, the entire class circled around me, asking me questions. They didn't do it to be mean or anything, they were just curious. Most of my class was made up of strict Baptists and Mormons (I live in Arizona) everyone was talking about how sick homosexuality was, and how they just couldn't IMAGINE "a gay and another.... UGH!"

I was trying to shrug it off, I didn't want to be the first openly-gay person at my school. So after laughing with them a while, a guy named Mike said, "Okay, stop joking now... YES or NO, are you gay?" I said I wasn't, he said, "Well okay, because if you were... that'd be alright with me." This was significant to me because the way he said it hinted that maybe he was gay and was in search of someone else to talk to. It finally clicked in my mind that I COULDN'T be the only gay person in my school, the school was full of closeted gays, all feeling as lonely as I did.

The next major step came with my dad. My plan was to tell my mom first, because she was a lot less strict and more likely to accept me for who I am. I didn't tell my dad, he found out.

I was on AOL that night, chatting with some people, when I met 17 year old bisexual guy that went to school in a nearby city. Being local, we set up arrangements to talk on the phone that night at ten o'clock sharp. So I waited and watched the hours go by, then it was ten.

I went into the computer room and locked the door, I hooked the phone up to the line that we normally use for the computer, so that nobody could listen in, then I called him. What a great guy he was! He was friendly, and we just talked about school sucking, and how alone as gay people we felt and just normal laid back stuff in general. My dad came to the door and asked me who I was talking to, I just said it was a friend I was calling about homework. Now, having practically no social life, my dad was suspicious of me being on the phone at all. He tried to listen in on the other line, but since I had switched it, he didn't succeed there. Then he barged in... he snatched the phone from my hand and listened in for about 2 seconds before I snagged the phone and hung up. This guy I was talking to had a normal teen voice, but from the 2 seconds my dad heard, he thought it sounded suspiciously deep. He accused me of calling a gay phone sex line. I just went mad, this was crazy! First of all, it was none of his business who I was talking to, as I let him clearly know; and second, he was onto the gay factor here.

I ran out of the room without explanation into my room, crying. I tried to lie, but I ended up just cornering myself with contradictions. My dad then went onto the computer and somehow found a (tasteful) picture of a cute hunk in his underwear. He then went into my room and asked me if I was gay, after denying it, he mentioned that he found a picture.... I was in hell, my world falling down around me with no control, I just ducked under my covers, crying hard and screaming at him to get the f*** out in a desperate cry. Later he came in and told me that he loved me no matter what, I was comforted but still shocked and crying.

He left then to go to the casino since it was a Friday night (my mom was visiting family up in North Dakota.) So then I got onto the computer and typed a confessional letter which explained everything in truth, although I don't know how much of it he actually believed.

This is getting a little longer than I had expected, next month I'll tell all about the aftermath of what happened.

David, epst@hotmail.com

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