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Mark

August 1998

It isn't easy being gay. Almost everyone knows about me. I don't mind. I don't get too much grief about it. It's not the actual comments directed at me that bother me. It's every time I hear someone say "Oh, that's gay" or "He's a stupid fag." That's what hurts.

I told my mother that I am gay. I live alone with her. She didn't punish me for it or treat me bad. Everything is totally normal still. Except now I can say "Dang, he's fine" every-now-and-then and she won't say anything. She isn't supportive though. I told her my boyfriend and I were going to get married and asked if she was going to go to the wedding. She said no. I asked why. She said because she didn't believe in it and she thought that it was wrong. She is a practicing Methodist. Go figure.

I am joining the Army. She had to go with me when I signed up because I was only 17 and she had to sign that I could see the Army doctors. While there, a guy I know who was joining was also there. He was reading a magazine. He told our recruiter that was there with us that there was an article about a gay Army man in there. The recruiter was like "Man, what's the Army coming to allowing fags in?" The guy I know was making fun of the guy in the article and he and the recruiter were saying nasty things about it for like five minutes straight. My mom heard everything. I was just sitting there pretending not to notice.

Ever since that day she's never made a comment towards gays or the gay lifestyle. We discussed me going to the Pride Festival. She lets me do whatever I want so I wasn't asking her permission. We were just discussing it. She was very open. I think she now understands. It means a great deal to me now that she does.


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