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Taylor

December 1997

Dual Realities

As a bisexual, I live in two separate realities, as a heterosexual on the outside, and a homosexual on the inside. This second one is carefully hidden away, only known about by a few close and well-trusted individuals, yet it seems to be the primary thought within my brain. Few know of how I feel, and this is something I must carefully guard...the agony of the closet, so to speak.

From time to time I run into somebody I went to school with, and ultimately I'm asked if I'm involved with anybody, the suggestion that that person is a woman. I've yet to be asked "Hey, have you gone out with any guys lately?" because most people don't seem to let it cross their minds that I may be gay or a bisexual. I'm not certain if that's good or bad?

Some gays wear their sexuality on their shirtsleeves, for the whole world to notice, but I prefer not to do that. I feel no desire to make my sexuality my selling point, but many others don't share this viewpoint. If you're going to be out, then you may as well be OUT!!! I have a hard time respecting a gay that loves to stick his sexuality in people's faces, because not only does that create more proof that the gay stereotypes are true, but it makes those who wish to be more discrete want to guard their true sexuality even harder. I personally feel that more people would be out if they didn't have to associate with all the negative stereotypes that exist about gays, but they hide and perhaps await better times. This is true of me, and I doubt that I'm alone!

Take a look at the world we live in, and it's clear that heterosexuality rules. Naturally this is the case since they are the majority. Gays, a term I loosely use to define non- heterosexuals, are left in their own little world far apart from the rest of society. Many people seem to prefer it that way, but this troubles me. Within gay society there are many smaller sub-groups, and lately it seems like we are trying hard to define ourselves and find our own niche in the greater gay society.

For example, much of the gay lifestyle revolves around bars, and "clubbing" is seen as the primary-and often only-way for young gays to meet. Underage drinking is openly encouraged, with little regard for the consequences. Even XY magazine paints this message, although they don't come right out and say it, but it's there. In many articles, clubbing is the thing to do. I speak from experience of the dangers of alcohol, and as a young man I found myself on the threshold of a serious drinking problem...what stopped me was when I finally woke up and realized that I had a problem. It saddens me to see so many young people getting sucked up into the bar scene, and even sadder to stand by and watch some of them throw away a chance for a college education. One young man I know is 18, and he's in serious academic trouble at his college, but he doesn't seem to care. His only concern is going drinking with his buddies, at a bar that knowingly serves to underage drinkers. At any college campus, it's not hard to get alcohol, and fake I.D's are no big deal.

Within the bar scene are the exclusive clubs that carefully pick who can enter and who can't, based solely on appearances. Those allowed entrance are considered to be in a class of their own, much higher than that of the "rejects", but deep down, we are all hurt by this attitude. People will go to great lengths to try to fit this image of perfection, even using illegal steroids to achieve the "perfect" look or subjecting themselves to cosmetic surgery. The message is everywhere, have the "look" or you're just not good enough. And for those that don't wish to go through all of this? They're left out in the cold.

For once I'd like to see XY do an issue called "Normal", showing regular guys as models, guys that are what an average person looks like, not the prefect models often shown. Would such an issue be a best-seller? Maybe not, but it probably would be a huge morale booster to the guys out there that feel inadequate compared to the typical ad model. I don't have a problem with a guy that has a little body fat, but in the gay culture that's considered horrendous! In fact, one guy that I went bonkers over wore a 38 inch waist, but I still was turned on by him! I see guys like that all the time, ones that our society considers rejects, and they do more for me than the "perfect" ones! Maybe I'm different, but deep down I think there's many people who feel the same way. We need to have our voices heard too!!!

30 Is NOT Over The Hill !!!

As I mentioned in my August column, in the gay culture reaching the age of 30 is like death...after that you don't exist! This saddens me, because it shows just how stubborn and closed-minded gays can be. Do they think that once a guy hits 30 that he suddenly becomes worthless? That he no longer needs to be loved? That sex doesn't exist anymore? Doctors are just <I>starting</I> their careers in their 30's, for crying out loud! Yet in gay society, a guy in his thirties is considered a "troll" or an "old man".

Recently I had an experience that makes me wonder if the cut-off age is going down? I was in a gay chat room on AOL, and as soon as I entered my age (late 20's) I was rewarded with comments like "Get lost troll!" or "Old men aren't welcome in here!", as if I'm on Social Security or have gray hair! The heterosexual society doesn't seem to have this problem, but we sure do!

Last month, a columnist suggested that Oasis should only be for younger writers, say around his age, that older ones like myself are not considered "youth" and maybe have no place here. I think he's very wrong!

Despite what some of you may think, I'm not some "old man" that's forgotten what it was like to be a teen, and I still consider myself a young man, thank you very much! One thing I have to offer that a teen simply can't is hindsight, and this is priceless! I can recall a different time, back in the day when AIDS wasn't a disease but a term for welfare! I've been able to watch our society change, and I can tell you that it all hasn't been so positive! I have a voice of experience, and that voice is just a relevant as any other columnist's! I wonder how the young people who uttered the phrase "Never trust anyone over 30!" in the 70's felt when they reached their thirtieth birthday? Did they suddenly become untrustworthy? I doubt it. To exclude older writers is simply a way of closing your minds to other viewpoints, and with our society today in such bad shape, that is something we can least afford to do!

Hey Cowboy, You Forgot Your Raincoat!

Okay, this is a humorous reference to a topic that needs to be taken seriously: The new popularity of "bareback" or unprotected anal sex.

As a preteen I had engaged in anal sex as part of the experimentation that often goes on between young boys, and actually it was a very common practice in my neighborhood. We called it "practicing for the real thing" and it was no big deal. When I was in eighth grade, a friend of mine that I had experimented with for some time wanted me to have anal sex with him in the woods by where we lived, and he used a well known brand of petroleum jelly as lubrication (I had him wear a condom when it was his turn and I used a water-based lubrication). When I went home to shower I was totally grossed out when I saw the combination of feces, blood and lubricant on my penis and underwear...that got me so repulsed that I never did that again!!! Not too long after that I began to hear that AIDS was easily transmitted by gay men through the common practice of unprotected anal sex...I freaked out!!!

 

Soon it became a common thing for people to use condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS and it seemed like everyone got the message that that's what you need to do to protect yourself, and eventually new cases of AIDS went down. Case closed, right?

Wrong!

With everything from the '70's now hot once again, some gays have abandoned the safer sex practices because they "are sick of hearing that sex can kill them" and they just want to have "fun" again! Well, does homelessness go away because "you're sick of hearing about it"? No. Do the problems in the Middle East cease to exist when you don't want to hear anymore about them? No! So why do people think that AIDS is no longer a threat when they've become tired of hearing about it?

There's a treatment for medical workers exposed to HIV accidentally that involves a very stringent and rigorous routine of powerful medications, and some gay men feel that since this treatment is available they no longer have to worry about AIDS, and they can go back to the still risky practices that spread the disease in the first place...in a chat room I once heard this treatment referred to as "taking a few pills and you're home free!". Such ignorance scares me, and its spreading like wildfire!

Going "bareback" is now the "in" thing among some gay social circles, to the point of having certain clubs just for men that practice this! You don't believe me? If you're on AOL, go to member search and type in "bareback." You'll get some profiles from horse lovers, but most of them are from men that "love to go bareback". I remember one profile proclaiming that he was HIV+, like it was some great thing! Some men with AIDS feel that they don't have to worry about protected sex anymore now that they're infected, in fact they consider it the best thing that ever happened to them!!! When a fatal illness becomes a cause for celebration, then something is VERY wrong!!!

The rectum is simply not meant to be used for sex, it's an exit for wastes, and wanting to enter that part of the body without a condom is suicidal...it's almost like a surgeon wanting to operate using dirty instruments! A multitude of illnesses, some that are life threatening, can be acquired by having unprotected anal sex, yet some guys just don't care? If people say that it's the '70's again and AIDS doesn't exist, well then we have nothing to worry about, right?

THIS IS 1997, NOT 1977, AND AIDS HAS NOT GONE AWAY!!!!

Recently there has been an increase in new AIDS cases, and part of the blame for this is a rise in unsafe sexual practices, especially unprotected anal sex. For all of those that still understand that AIDS is a very real concern and use protection, I applaud you.

To those who think that AIDS doesn't exist anymore, I have this to say:

If you knowingly spread the AIDS virus through unprotected sex you are a MURDERER!!!!

Taylor


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