Earle Ratcliffe

February 1998

I had planned to write something meaningful and deep this time, rather than a boring series of coming out stories, but a few things happened so I'll talk about them.

First, I emailed my father. Not my 'dad', who's actually my step-dad, who raised me since I was a baby, but my 'father', the guy who I haven't seen in 4 years, who lives in another province. I told him I'm gay. I wouldn't have really minded if he took it badly, but he said that it was my own business who I slept with. So, that's all fine and dandy, but then he dropped the guilt trip: he's working on our family tree, and it apparently goes way back. He said that by the time I get to be his age, there'll be a 1000 year recorded history of the Ratcliffe family. And get this: I'm the only male Ratcliffe from our family from my generation. So, the hint was dropped, and I have to have kids to continue this name. That's not really a problem, seeing as I want to have kids anyway, but I'm sure you can see my side of it. If our damn society wasn't so patrilineal, it wouldn't be a problem, but now I get this pressure to have kids, and I don't need any extra pressure in my life. Oh well, I'm rambling and on to the next topic...

I had a Sociology oral presentation to do the second week of classes. I got the good topic (assigned based on a chapter from the text), Sex and Gender. So, when the part of alternate sexualities came up, I had to put my two cents in. I came out in front of my Soc. class.

Now, I was out at that point, with the newspaper articles and all, but it wasn't really the same. There was no picture to accompany the article, so a lot of people didn't connect the name with the face (and a lot didn't actually read it). Then again, this is a small town, and rumors fly. I was a nervous wreck. I must have died a thousand deaths up until that point, but boy was I disappointed. Not one person batted an eye. That was a ego blow, but it's reality; I'm not as important to the world as I am to myself. I guess I can get a little self-centered at times. There was our resident right wing Christian fundamentalist who tried to stare me down after the report; I didn't mind at all....he's got nice eyes, and is pretty cute to boot (I have this thing for blue-eyed blondes...). He's the guy who said in our first class this year (and I quote) "Women shouldn't be in the work place to being with". Needless to say, he's not too popular with the women in that class! Again, I'm...not rambling, I use that word too much don't I??? I'm.......meandering....

There's this one really cute guy who's new this semester. Not the most handsome guy I've seen, but he's just...adorable. He's got this walk....sort of slides along. His hair's funny, and he's got this sort of 'goofy' (I can't think of any other way to describe it) aura about him. Anyway, rather than the usual sordid sex fantasies that I tend to have when I think about the cute guys in class, I keep thinking about more G-rated activities...cuddling on the couch, dancing in my apartment, my god, meeting his parents! I'm scaring myself!

When I saw him, my heart fluttered....You see, a while ago, I was just doing my thing...I think I was going to rent some videos or something stupid...and then I had this face just appear in my mind's eye. Months later, I had this dream about the same guy, who I've never seen. And this guy looks almost identical to the guy in my class. Anyway, I'm freaking out, and I'm just going to ask him out someday. I've never asked a guy out before (my one and only relationship was through the personals), so it's a big step. I'm bigger than him, so I think I'll be able to handle myself if he gets uppity, but then again, I don't think he's a violent person to begin with. If he says no, it'll probably be more of a "thanks, but no thanks" kind of reply.

(An update: I asked him out. He's straight, but like I thought, he was flattered. Now we're lab partners, and he might be getting a job where I work now! *giggle* ) Well, that's it. Next time, I'll write with some substance, I promise!

Love you all (and I really mean it. Yes, even you!)


P.S. Don't forget to email me! I love email! <eratcliffe@kermode.net>

[About the Author]

©1998 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.