July 1998

A prophet at my high school once said that "Isolation breeds introspection." Like any good disciple, I've carefully stored that little quotation away until I need it to help me explain something; until I need it to replace the words I don't have. Well, I need it now.

To read this article, the information you will require is this:

1. I was born in Toronto and spent the first 19 years of my life living there exclusively.

2. I've always known I was gay. Well, I guess that's not true -- I'm not 100% sure exactly what "gay" means. So, let's just say I've always known that other boys were more sexually exciting for me than anything else.

3. I've never said the words "I am gay" to another human being before. Forget about being in the closet -- I found the secret door and climbed into the attic.

That said, the story goes like this. As a youngster my fascination with other boys was obvious to me and somewhat innocent. Innocent in the sense that I never got the feeling I was being bad. So, as most boys (straight or queer) do, I engaged in the occasional homosexual play. It was all good fun and nothing bad ever came of it. It seemed perfectly natural -- because, I guess, it was. As I grew into a teenager, however, I never "straightened" out like a good boy should. I could never keep my eyes off other boys when changing for gym. Whenever a porno mag was displayed my eyes always strayed to the photo of the man. And whenever I would have a cute friend spend the night I would always try and see them naked or cop a feel while they slept. But all these little activities were very personal and private, if somewhat deviant. I never discussed how I felt with anyone and, looking back, I never really discussed it with myself. But that was okay -- I knew once I started high school I would be "cured." There would be lots of girls there and once I started dating them I knew I'd never look back.

Unfortunately for me, high school also had lots of guys. And change rooms. The complete reformation I'd expected never happened. Sure, I dated girls -- hell, I even had sex with girls -- but I never had a serious relationship with one. Why? When you really want to be with a girl's brother, it kind of confuses what emotions you're supposed to be feeling towards her. As such, I ended up using girls as a heterosexual hall pass. After all, if you have a girlfriend you can't be gay, right? Well, that's what everyone seemed to think and that was fine with me. And even though I'd actually been with other guys at this point, I viewed it as a phase or experimentation, something that would disappear over time.

And what better way to facilitate that disappearance than by starting at University and wiping the slate clean -- which is exactly what I did last September. Once again, like a fool, I tried to forget that I liked other guys. I got a wonderful girlfriend, surrounded myself with guys who oozed heterosexuality and fooled everyone. Except, of course, myself.

And now that summer has begun all that I've managed to accomplish through my constant denial is to upset an amazing girl and make myself isolated, lonely and miserable. You see, I stayed on in Kingston, the town where my University (Queen's) is located, and will be living by myself for the rest of the summer months. But I have no friends here. I have nothing to do. Except constantly brood over that fact that I am gay or queer or whatever and I don't know what to do about it. How pathetic am I? I read the articles written in Oasis and I see people much younger than me who have their shit together, who are out, who are okay with who they are. I'm almost 20 and I'm too cowardly to even approach the question.

Anyway, the point is this; running away may temporarily put distance between you and your problems but it definitely won't put you any closer to a solution. Lying in bed at night, you've only got yourself to face up to--and, for me, he's most brutal of anyone I know. Isolation breeds introspection. Amen.

Comments, questions and useless chatter help kill the time. Email at sleepingsatyr@yahoo.com

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