January 1998

Hey, this is my first article. My name is Evan, I am gay, and I have been out for about 3 1/2 years. High school here is rough because I live in a very conservative area of Pennsylvania.

OK, the reasons I am writing this article are fairly simple. One, I just want to let other kids know that help is out there, and if you can't find any near you, you can create it. And two, I wanted to announce the fact that I am at this point standing up on my own feet about myself and my life.

The S.A.F.E. (Students Against the Fear of Everyday Silence), this is the probable name of the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) that I am starting. My school has never had one, it has needed one for years, and if we HAD one, I wouldn't even be writing this. Our school has basically punished me for not conforming. I don't act like the typical gay, I don't look like the typical gay, and I am a peaceful guy. So I am a nice target to be picked on and all of that fun stuff.

Well, I had problems early when I was figuring out that I wasn't exactly straight. I was very confused at first because I didn't see myself as gay-acting. So I talked to a couple of "friends" about it. And that lead to rumors. And the rumors would con-tinue until I came out after 9th grade. I claimed I was bi, but I knew that women had nothing to do with it. It was just a way to defend myself, I could just say "oh, I like girls," when in reality I didn't. So I started to plan on organizing a group to help other kids deal with being gay, so what I went through would never happen again. (Long story)

I planned it so that I would have this group started by the middle of my junior year. Well, due to some family problems, that didn't happen. I postponed it until my friend's most recent suicide attempt.

One of my closest friends HAD a very bright future ahead of him. Honors stu-dent, Orchestra, and he was very religious. As he grew up though, he found that he liked guys. He couldn't really deal with this, and so he turned to drugs...which lead him toward suicide. And now, his life is in shambles. I watched his fall and I was there for him, but he became bitter toward everyone because he couldn't handle the fact that he liked guys. I felt bad for him. So I thought now would be a good time to start this GSA, so no one would have to go through this alone again.

I have already found out that the support exist among the staff in my school, but not the school board. So a small team consisting of myself, two other students, a teacher, and the principal are planning this. I have only to get the final approval from the principal before he goes to the board. Then the work begins....

Anyway, any questions please mail me, I should be able to answer within a day of mailing. If I decide to attempt to write another article, I will explain more later. It's late so I am going to sleep. Peace,

Evan, s980040@oberon.hs.GETTYSBURG.edu

[About the Author]


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