Chris O'Leary

May 1998

So, I was sitting at my computer on a Tuesday morning wondering what I should write about for my May column. I mean, my life was hectic enough as it was, but when I have a commitment to my readers, I stick to it. So, here I am, with the TV on mute, and my Spice Girls CD playing (yes, Spice Girls. Somebody shoot me.), and on CNN, there's George Michael coming out. Yes, George Michael. Gosh, that wasn't overly obvious. Wait... maybe it wasn't. I mean, in the 80's, he had half-nude women in bathtubs in his videos. In fact, I do recall seeing an exposed portion of one women's buttocks in the video for "Faith." And, when he was with Wham! I believe he often wore a T-shirt that said, "Women... YUM!" This is just another example of how deeply closeted some people are. Anyway, I figured that for this month, I would decide to take the focus off my life, and put it on the lives of other people. I'll start with Mr. Michael...

He has just put a huge scar on the gay community. I won't even get into the gory details of what he did last week, but it disgusted me. I admit, it IS human nature, and there are always discussions about who does it and who doesn't, but is it really smart to do this in a public restroom? Absolutely not. In his interview on CNN, George Michael said, "this is as good a time as any for me to come out." Totally wrong. This is just about the WORST time for him to come out. Everyone is now going to associate this incident in that public restroom at rush hour in a busy Los Angeles park with gays. We're all dirty bastards now that go and commit lewd acts in public restrooms. That's going to be the new fad of homophobes... telling people like us to go and do that. I mean, did he THINK about the implications on everyone ELSE in the gay community? Apparently not, because I, personally, will not accept him as a member of the community that I belong to.

I keep referring to the gay "community." Is there really a gay "community?" When we say "community", we don't mean neighborhood, we mean a clique, or a group, or all gays in general. But to link all gays together as one group is ridiculous. In that "community," we have rapists, murderers, stars of music and movies, politicians, businessmen, TV weathermen, military servicemen... the term "community" is far too broad. I think we should break away from this term. I really don't understand why it is used. This doesn't just apply to gays... it is also used for blacks, Asians, Mexicans, Europeans, different religions... it's just annoying, overused, and far too broad a term to apply to a group of people with only ONE thing universally in common.

Here's a question that I'd like some people to e-mail me and answer with their opinion. Because I have MY theory on it... but I don't know how accurate it may be. Basically, all of the gay people in my school are freaks. Yes, freaks. They're the ones who are the outcasts of the academic community.

They wear tight clothing, or baggy pants, shirts with strange terms, or punk bands on them... they wear chains all over their bodies, around their necks, around their waists, wallet chains... they jingle like Santa when they walk. They dye their hair in odd shades of blue, yellow, and green. They're slackers academically. They never touch a book, and they go and get stoned after school every day. My question... WHY? Why aren't there any NORMAL gay people in my school? What do we define as "normal", though? I mean, I'm an honors student... a T-shirt and jeans guy... I throw in the trendy clothes often... but nothing that most people would disapprove of. I study... I do my homework. I'm well-disciplined. I have after-school activities that DON'T involve illegal substances. Now, maybe to some people, maybe even to people reading this column, I'M the abnormal one. But I'm the only openly gay person that fits that criteria at my school of 1300 students. My theory on why this happens goes one of two ways:

1) They realize that they are bi or gay, and since it is an "alternative lifestyle", they decide to dress and act in that "alternative" way in order to express their lifestyle in a louder, more obvious way.

2) They choose the "alternative" way of life... the way they dress and act, to get attention, and they choose to be bi or gay to call more attention to that.

The second one is the one that I hope none of them are doing. They, just like George Michael, are putting scars on the gay community. We all insist that we didn't CHOOSE to be gay, but then these people CHOOSE to be gay to call attention to themselves... that sickens me. Then, they're the ones who accuse those who DIDN'T choose to be gay of not living their lifestyle the right way. Yes, this happens. I have been the target of it at times, and I will probably be the target of it again.

Well, that will just about wrap it up for this month. Wow, look, a month without a letter written by myself or someone else. I'll try to hunt one down for next month, or something like that. By the way, if you want to see some more of my opinions, most not relating to the gay *choke* community, feel free to click on the link to my web page below. My commentaries are found under "Random Murmurs." I just HAD to get that plug in before I closed this thing up for May.

--Chris O'Leary

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