January 1998

Well, hello everyone! Happy 1998! As I write this, it is still very much 1997. Christmas is fast approaching. I'm sure that when you read this in January, you'll be so fed up and frustrated by the whole holiday that you won't want to hear another thing about it. I love Christmas. It is a wonderful, joyful time of year. It is the celebration of the birth of a wonderful soul who did a lot of good in this world. Some may wish to debate this, but I am adamant that Jesus Christ was a wonderful, peaceful man who brought many wonderful teachings into the world. Of course, I won't argue that many have misused his teachings, but Jesus himself really was the Prince of Peace.

By the time you read this, I may have gotten so frustrated myself over the holidays about answering to relatives about girlfriends, etc, that I might have outed myself to everyone at Christmas dinner! I doubt it, but sometimes I wonder. It certainly would make waves, but I think that after a while I will be accepted and loved once again. I want to be really ready to out myself to my family though, so the chances of it happening over the holidays are slim.

Before I begin rambling, I would like to thank all of the wonderful dears out there who wrote me. You have given me the confidence and assurance that I really needed. I'm sorry if my replies are not always speedy, I am dreadfully busy, and awfully slow at replying. So please, no one take it personally if you haven't had a response. There hasn't been one letter I didn't LOVE! I have also made a few very deep and meaningful friendships. All in a month! The newfound confidence I have in myself from your support has really aided me in my coming out process. It used to be that when I said the words "I'm gay" to someone, I was very apprehensive and nervous. Now I can say it with a smile and lots of cheerfulness in my voice. It used to be "Um, well you see, ah, I'm sort of kinda gay". Now it's "I'm gay, and proud of it! I hope you don't have any problems with it, but if you do then you can get out of my life!" (The latter is never necessary, but I'm always ready to say it just in case.)

One of my favorite writers, Margaret Laurence, used "snapshots" in her best book, The Diviners. I have always found writing snapshots a wonderful way of interpreting what you see in someone. I will probably end up writing a lot of snapshots in my articles. Please write me and give some feedback. If people think they're dumb, I'll halt from including them. Well, here goes..

Mike Dinard sat on a bench well enough away from the gym doors to not go deaf from the loud, banging music coming from the dance floor. Not that he was trying to hear anything in particular -- there was no one to talk to. He hated chaperoning dances. It was probably the most hated of all tasks involved in teaching high school. A whole bunch of sweaty teenagers moving badly, to awful music. It was wholly based around flaunting one's sexuality- in this case TOTALLY heterosexual. It bored him terribly.

He looked down at his hands. One finger wearing a very plain ring of rainbow colors. It was a subtle way of telling anyone who wanted to know that he was gay. He didn't really want to flaunt it. He just thought of it as a way of assuring gay students at the school that they were not alone, that he was a safe person to talk to. Mike mostly knew who the gay students at school were. Even if they weren't out. He just knew.

Some of the other chaperones were dancing -- several were flirting. Mike pondered getting up and going to dance, but he decided it was wiser not to. If he let himself dance freely, gaily, there would be talk. And that was something he hated.

Well, as I said before I'm extremely busy, and I barely managed to send this off before the deadline. I hope this monstrosity you might call a column is satisfactory for this month. I promise, next month, I'll have a nice long column on ROMANCE!

Until then, stay proud and stay yourselves, as you all should be!



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