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Stuart

March 1998

Well, Valentine's day has come and gone... I passed mine fairly quietly but not depressingly -- I did have a valentine, only across the Atlantic. He's really sweet, and I love him with all my heart. I guess you could say we're "an item". Check out his column if you haven't already, his name is Neil. His column this month is very beautiful and moving.

I'm going to talk a bit about Ellen before I get into my personal ramblings for this month. Bear with me, this might sound a bit flaky but it's coming out of my heart.

They say that Ellen's coming out on her sitcom provided the support a lot of queer teens needed to come out, and that about ten percent of queer teens used Ellen directly as their inspiration and role model when they came out. I am a living example of that statistic. I came out to my Mother the day after Ellen's coming out episode, and I outed myself to a lot of other people around that time. Ellen gave me the strength to finally come out, and the knowledge that I wasn't alone. I laughed and cried when I watched her coming out episode. It was a soothing elixir to the pain I was going through. I'm sure I'm not the only queer teen who can testify that Ellen was the ultimate factor in their coming out. I still watch her show every week, and it is a way for me to feel better about the stuff I'm dealing with. I might add that I frequently watched her show long before she came out, because she is my favorite comedienne. Her humor is so fresh and invigorating.

The way ABC labels Ellen's show is upsetting, and the thought of its dissolution is even more frightening. Think about this for a minute: if Ellen was straight, and the show revolved around her heterosexuality but with the same plot line and shenanigans, would it be labeled a show "for mature audiences, viewer discretion advised"? It would probably be considered one of the cleanest shows on prime time. I'm infuriated by the thought of it being taken off the air.

I urge you all to take part in the Save Ellen campaign. I'm not quite sure yet what it will be because I'm writing this on Feb. 15. I will certainly sign any petition, write any CEO, do whatever I can. I am deeply indebted to a few people in this world for helping me accept and nurture the fact I'm queer. Ellen is one. Another person I am indebted to is the subject of the rest of my column.

There is a girl at my high school who is seventeen, and a lesbian. Since I entered the school in September, she has been an acquaintance of mine, but never really close. I don't know why I never told her I was gay, I just never did. I always dropped hints though, huge ones, in hopes she would pick up on my gaydar.

Last weekend I bumped into her when I was with a group of friends. I basically outed myself, and she has been just wonderful to me since.

We've had several long talks. We've gone out for coffee I've met some of her queer friends. I've hung out with her, and next week I'm going with her to a support group for queer youth. My mother has been kind of critical of our friendship, I'm not quite sure why, but it hasn't been nice. My friend has helped me with this. She is one of the strongest people I've ever met. Her parents kicked her out when she told them, and right now she's struggling on her own. I don't think I could ever have the strength to do that. As I said, she's just wonderful. I love her, and am so happy that she's there for me now. Plus, I'm getting kind of hooked up in the community.

So, another month passes, and I get even bolder, and even happier! Always be proud of who you are, and never let anyone make you something you're not. I love you all.

Until next month,

Stuart


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