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J.L.

June 1998

Hi all! Well, I had a pretty nice response from my last article and as promised I have a lot more to share so I might as well get to it.

I had a kind of difficult time deciding what I wanted to write about this month. Reflecting back on my just-finished sophomore year in college I realize that I have been through a whole lot. But there is also a lot in my past that I would like to talk about. I couldn't think of anything specific, but while trying to think I realized something interesting; maybe the overall feelings over time are more substantial then the actual experiences themselves. So I have decided to look at how my view of my sexuality has changed over the years.

When my whole "sexual realization" started in high school about five years ago I was very afraid. I didn't want anyone to find anything out and I felt that I had to hide and cover up things. I was deathly afraid that if any of my friends found out that I am gay that my whole future would be put in jeopardy. For about three years there were only two people who I was out to. A school administrator and one of my best female friends. But my views have changed a lot since then.

In the years since this all started, I have come to a lot of realizations and I have built considerable self confidence. The pivotal point in all of this was freshman year in college on a leadership retreat. A group of students was taken up to a camp in northern Connecticut in mid-February. This camp was on a lake which was frozen. I remember sitting out on a boat dock on that frozen lake; the temperature was in the 60s and there was mist rising from the thick ice. As I sat there alone in the late hours of the night I clearly thought one important thing, "I am who I am and there is nothing I can do about it. Nobody can change who I am and it is none of their business to try. I have to deal with this."

Since then I have made a personal policy; I no longer "come out" to people in the traditional sense. I don't feel that I need to tell people that I am gay in a sort of confession. People don't come to me and say "I'm heterosexual" so I don't feel that I need to tell people that I am gay. But on the same token I also no longer "play straight" or monitor my behavior so as not to raise suspicion, I just be myself. I have said to myself that if someone really needs to know about my sexuality then they will ask me. If someone asks, I will be honest.

So clearly it can be seen that my attitude on this has changed a lot during this long process. It is a long and difficult process and it took me a lot to get to where I am now. Like I said before, I have been through a lot recently and in the coming months I will talk about some specific things that I have been through. As always, e-mail responses, questions, etc. are more than welcome!

tex01@usa.net


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