Justin Birrell

June 1998

Well, here I am at last! I have finally got around to writing my first column for the best magazine going around, Oasis. It has been a hard slog the last three years, coping with being different from most of the others guys at school, but now I say to myself "Who cares?" But I still live in an anti-gay environment, and I am already being called faggot and poofter and I've been bashed up by a lot of the kids at school but they don't actually know that I am gay (or maybe I'm missing out on something).

When I do come out at school (I already have told a select few, actually it is about 13 months since I told my dear friend Sarah, that's her real name), things will get worse a hundred fold, I'm sure. But I will know who my friends are, and I probably will find out who else is gay. Well, that's the sort of mentality I have about it.

This isn't the best column at the moment but next month's will be much better I hope. I suppose one of my problems is that I've never met anyone who is gay or maybe I have but I just didn't know it; there's a thing, I don't seem to have that sixth sense that can determine who is gay and who isn't. I can tell to a certain point, but beyond that I'm hopeless. Another thing is that I am extremely, chronically shy. I hardly ever go out anywhere although that's probably because my friends live halfway across the city.

I never can make new friends because I'm not sociable enough (pick me up if I'm wrong). I have been for the past few months been searching for another gay person at school, but all the time my search has ended in vain, and often to the ridicule of the entire male part of grade 9. What happened was that I'd asked a guy that I'd been semi-friends with since grade 7 to the pictures ... sorry, movies. He took it the wrong way and told everyone; my intentions were completely honourable.

As Mary Queen of Scots said: "I practice the old religion." I am a Roman Catholic and proud of it, but that puts me in a hard situation, I would never do anything His Holiness the Pope said not to, except the bit about homosexuals, of course. On a holy note I would like to wrap up my column by quoting from the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:4 : "Love suffereth long and is kind." It's now time the suffering stopped and kindness shown.

Until next time, you beautiful people you,

This has been Justin Birrell

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