Hmmm, juicy tidbits about my life...
Well, I promised to broadcast my story of coming out, and here it is. Just know that there have been recent developments, but you'll have to wait until we get the rest of the story out of the way before we get to the current worries in my life. Here, for reference's sake, is the cast of characters again.
Baby bug -- My bisexual friend. She came out shortly after I did, and is very vocal in the local Queer Community. This is because her parents are not perceptive or questioning, and therefore she has remained closeted at home. She is very, very passionate about her beliefs in equality. Currently going out with a guy...let's call him Banjo.
Tigger -- Sexually ambiguous friend who enjoys controversy, no matter how she causes it. Really energetic, and hence sometimes exhausting to be around. But lots of fun and always ready to try something new.
Smoke -- Friend (female) who for all of grade 9 had a big crush on me. But recently decided that she is bisexual. The hitch: I'm not sure I believe her. More on that later. The first person I ever came out to.
Santa -- Friend I have known for many years now, since grade 4. Says he's straight, but Baby Bug doesn't believe him. Furthermore, She thinks he likes ME. *gasp*
Lusty -- Straight friend who is my debating partner. She knows I'm gay, but doesn't seem to talk about it much. I don't know whether this is a good sign or bad. She is very smart and doesn't take nothin' from nobody.
Choosy -- Got her name because she is a chronic boyfriend dumper. Just generally a great person to have around. Only girl I've ever kissed, and that's only because it was for a play at school.
Twiggy -- astonishingly thin girl who says, along with Choosy, that she would fight for going out with me if I was straight. Great girl, but enjoys clubbing, which I hate. To each his/her own.
Rumour & Monger -- Inseparable pair who always have the freshest gossip around. Rumour is male and Monger is female. Rumour says he's straight, but Monger isn't sure. Rumour once told Monger he loved her, while in a drunken stupor. Lots o' fun.
Coaster -- alright, finally, the man of my dreams. Unfortunately, spoken for by girl I'll name Clip Clop. Shamelessly straight, but Smoke tells me he's not 100% breeder. I hope she's not just trying to cheer me up.
So, on to the story.
Fast rewind: November 23, 1996, 11:20 p.m. front Lawn of Eastwood Collegiate Institute: the first time I ever tell someone I'm gay.
Smoke and I are going for a walk around the school as a brief break from a cast party going on at the school after a production. A bit of the dialogue:
Me: Um, you know how you said a little while ago that some people thought I was gay? Well, uh, they were right.
Her: (stunned silence for several seconds) okkkaaayyy... (more awkward silence) wow. Really?
Anyway, we both went home and she phoned me at 8:00 am on Sunday morning to chat about it. Well, I wasn't in very good shape to do so, but I did anyway, even though I was very groggy, since I didn't get to bed until about 2:00 am. Anyway, it was a really awkward conversation, and so it took a while.
Later that month, at Smoke's insistence, I took my friend, (I'll call her Twirly) Twirly for a walk and told her the same thing. Apparently she went home and cried, but I only heard that from vague sources, and I can't substantiate them. Next it was time to tell Santa, at the beginning of 1997. Sometime in January, I don't remember. Anyway, that conversation was a little more amusing.
Me: you know how you said you've got several gay friends? Well, I think you have one more than you thought.
Him: what are you trying to say? What? Who? (deer caught in headlights look)
Me: I'll give you a clue... it starts with a G and ends with raham Scott.
Him: (jaw flaps in confusion... etc.)
Anyway, then I took a break from revealing startling revelations about myself, until May 1997. Tigger needed to be told. [pay attention! this is important!] So, since we were doing a project on "To Kill a Mockingbird" I had to go to her house to work on it. So, after getting to talking about Smoke, She asked why I had not gone out with her. (It was a common misconception at the time that Smoke and I were "an item". We kept on saying that wasn't the case, but no one paid any attention.) So I told her.
Her: I might have some things to tell you later on... (EXTREMELY IMPORTANT MOMENT! THIS WILL BE ON THE TEST!)
So that was that. After telling several other people, (or having them told, NOT by me, but by Smoke,) I guess rumors were starting to fly, but none were verified or denied. I just skirted the subject whenever it came up. Then, near the end of the school year, just a couple of days before exams, a group had gathered in the cafeteria, among which Smoke was present, before first period, and guess what subject came up? "Why don't you and Graham go out?" they all wanted to know. And since I had told Smoke I didn't want her to lie, She told them. Chaos ensued. Cries of "I knew it!" and "WWHHaaaat?" were heard. She came to find me, and let me know that people had caught a juicy bit of gossip and wanted follow up. So, since my first class was Drama and most of the cafeteria people were in it with me, they were all dying for my confirmation or denial of this allegation.
Monger was the first to descend on me like the gossip Queen she is, and the first words out of her mouth were
Her: Why didn't you tell me?
Me: You didn't ask.
Her: you can't just ask that!
Me: what do you mean? Why not?
So that was that. I spent my summer on a 5 week canoe trip and didn't have to see anyone for a while, except the 7 people I was with, and I didn't tell them, because If they had reacted badly, or so forth, I'd still have been stuck with them for weeks, and relations might be strained. So I had a break.
Then school started. That sounded ominous, but it shouldn't, because I didn't mean it that way. It's just a fact. School started, I went. No one was brimming with gossip, there were no whispered conversations that stopped abruptly as I walked past, no insults, no violence, no questions, no goddamn anything. I had mixed feelings about this. I had wanted to make a splash. This was going to be a big event. I felt ripped off. I expected to be the subject of hot gossip for weeks. Nothing. I was pissed off. No one was making a big issue out of it, which I know is a dream for some people, but I had expected the whole thing to be more NEWSWORTHY.
So, that seemed to be that. Now, the complications started. This brings us to the events of the past few months. Although Tigger has always been very supportive and accepting of my and Baby Bug's sexual orientation, I had known, that before I came out to her, she had expressed interest in me, and probably still did. But nothing was acted upon, of course. Tigger, spending the night at Twiggy's house last January with Baby Bug and Choosy after her birthday party, almost became *amorous* with Baby Bug. Well, Baby Bug told me about it, and I didn't quite know what my reaction was supposed to be. This encounter went unmentioned for some time, in fact until June, actually just after I finished writing my first column for Oasis. It was Choosy's Birthday party, and we all decided to get a movie, and rented Mighty Aphrodite (good film, by the way). Tigger and I, sitting on the couch, became *intimate*. (I was trying desperately to come up with a word that expressed what I meant, and still didn't reveal too much, and also didn't make me sound like a prude).
I will let you take your own meaning from this encounter, but the upshot was a lot of soul searching and confusion. Tigger wanted to pursue these impulses we had both evidently had. (you smell a cliche approaching) She wanted to see if we could become more than "just friends" and "take it to a higher level". After some time, I agreed.
Tigger then went to Montreal to visit some friends, and was gone for a week. When she got back, I had been thinking some more, and was less gung-ho than when she had left. Being the kind of person I am, I didn't say anything to her about these second thoughts I was having. [By the way, I realize that Tigger will be reading this column, and I hope I've let her know everything on it beforehand and that none of this is a surprise]. So, after an afternoon at Choosy's house again, (read into that what you will) we both went home, me with weird thoughts in my head. It hadn't seemed "right" the second time around. I have no idea what her thoughts were, for reasons that should be obvious, in that I'm not a mind reader.
I then spent several days avoiding Tigger, and seeking counsel from Baby Bug, who was very understanding. (She was [is?] having some problems with Banjo.) So then on Friday, I went to Tigger's house and we talked, and went for a walk, and it was all quite civilized. I told her that it wouldn't be doing any favors to her if I didn't tell her that I was having second thoughts.
Aside: The event that triggered these second thoughts was seeing Coaster at the mall last week (oh god, I was in a mall.) Seeing him was strange. It was like that scene in Chasing Amy (good film), where they are discussing the pitfalls of the main male character dating a lesbian. His friend puts it best:
"You know, you'll be walkin', and this really hot chick will go past, and both your heads will turn, and it'll fuckin' kill you inside!" (I paraphrase)
Well, this was kind of the situation. I didn't want to try a relationship with this girl who has been my friend for so long when I'll always be checking out some guy. It was unfair to her, and it felt strange for me. So we just parted ways, at least as "more than friends". I thought that was that.
Remember the sleepover, where Baby Bug and Tigger were almost "more than friends? Well, it seems Tigger carried a torch for Baby Bug all this time, and after our breakup, Tigger and Baby Bug were again, almost "more than friends", when one was again sleeping over at the other's house.
Well, It appears that Tigger took it for granted a bit and Baby Bug led her on a bit, and so confusion was the result. Tigger thought, understandably, that this meant Baby Bug would break up with her on-again off-again boyfriend, Banjo. Well this, it appears, is not the case, and relations are strained.
And that is the status of my life up to the current deadline. I am not out to my parents, although I would like to be. I have no reason to think they would be hostile or angry, I just haven't got around to it, or that's what I'd like to believe.
Sorry kids, no Crappy public service announcement this month, the column's too long already. I'll do it next time. Sorry to anyone who emailed me last time, I was kind of lazy on the replies, and didn't write much. I also didn't save anyone's email address to apologize to them directly, so this is it. Thanks for your email, I'll really answer them this time, with real sentences. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tune in next month...