October 1998

Yo Everybody... My name is Dave, I am sixteen years old, and live in Edmonton, CANADA. This is my first, and quite possibly last, column for Oasis. I am not going to list my complaints and problems for the world to see. Instead I am here to give good, (VERY good) advice to everybody here. I have read Oasis columns ever since I stumbled across it, about six months ago. In that time, I have read a lot of sad, dreary and depressing columns here. Reading Oasis made me feel a bit more secure (surprisingly enough), because I realized that I was not the only person going through a life of hell. I know there are many of you, RIGHT NOW, reading this column, and all the others, but not having the guts to speak up and be heard. I used to be very isolated, and I kept to myself a lot. I used to be the world's biggest loner/snob/geek and a whole bunch of other things, all crammed into one. I was not happy with myself, and needless to say, others weren't exactly thrilled at the prospect of hanging around me. I realized that in order to survive in this twisted world, that you need to adapt, no matter how uncomfortable you may feel. This column is for all the people who are what I used to be.

It all started at the beginning of summer vacation. I had few friends, and spent a lot of my time sitting in front of my computer, browsing over the gay resources on the net. After a while, I decided that I would return to a previously discovered chat room (WBS Gay/Lesbian 16-19 Chat [Address listed below]) to see what had been going on there. After weeks of debating with myself, I finally decided to post my picture. (God, you must think I am crazy! Posting my picture in a gay/lesbian chat room for the whole world to see???) I thought I was pretty crazy at the time too! But not two minutes after I had posted my picture, a crapload of compliments were thrown my way. I found myself right at home here, and began to chat more and more frequently.

Although I did encounter numerous perverted people here, I found the general population to be half-decent. I also began to add a tagline, to all my messages, allowing people to see where I was from etc. A few weeks later, I received a message from a person, with whom I had never chatted with before. He knew a friend (over the net) who was bisexual, and lived in my city! God, I was thrilled, not to mention nervous beyond belief! So, after getting ICQ (God, what an invention!) we chatted online. Eventually we both worked up enough guts to actually talk to each other over the phone! Then a few days later, we met, and now I have the best boyfriend on the face of the planet! Now, I know that most of you are thinking "God, he is lucky! or God, this guy is a freak!" (One of the two, for sure...) But you know what? If this can happen to me, then it can happen to ANYBODY. You just have to get out there, and face the world, head-on! I know you have probably heard this, half a million times before, but guess what? NO PAIN, NO GAIN.

That brings me to coming out to A LOT of people. Before this, only one of my friends knew that I was gay, and that was how it was going to stay! But with somebody at my side, my courage level jumped a few hundred points. I actually came out to my parents. I don't often release my emotions for others to see, and try my best to keep it that way. I first came out to my dad, who was really supportive of me, and offered to do anything to help me out. He is one of the most understanding people on the planet, and there should be a copy of him, for everybody to have! My mom, on the other hand is a sadistic old hag, and I hope that she soon chokes on something large, jagged, and possibly poisonous! (God, you must all think that I am cruel, and maybe that last statement was pushing it, just a bit).

When I told my mom, she almost fainted on the spot. Not that I can hold that against her, because the shock to her must have been about ten times that of my pain at the time. But she thought about it, and a few days later, tried to scare me into being straight? God, she is screwed up! (Just for reference, I REALLY want to be a swimming instructor/lifeguard. This summer I have worked REALLY hard to finish up all my prerequisite courses etc. All the kids loved me (which was flattering!) and I had never been so happy in my life!) Anyway... my mom looked me in my face, and told me that I shouldn't even apply as a swimming instructor, because parents don't want things like me, around their kids. She then resorted to calling me a fag etc. Like I said earlier, I have never been one for spewing out my emotions, but those comments just made me cry uncontrollably. Coming from my own mom, it REALLY hurt.

But ANYWAYS... the point of sharing that with you guys, is to show you that coming out etc and being outgoing is not always easy, but the rewards are well worth it. Everybody else that I have told has been really supportive of me, which is awesome! I don't need to hide my feelings or anything crappy like that. NOT that I am telling you guys to go out, and tell everybody your gay/lesbian/bisexual or whatever I missed... It is a long and difficult (emotional) process, and if you think that somebody will not take it well, then DON'T tell them, because they can make life a living hell for you. Is any of this making sense?

Anyway, with all this new confidence, I have made tons of new friends at school and in other places. I talk to EVERYBODY I know, in the hallways etc. and people like me. The trick to succeeding in this world is to be outgoing. Don't think that people will think of you as a loser for speaking up, and sharing your thoughts. If they do... well TOUGH! The point is, that you will make a lot more friends, and possibly BOY/Girlfriends if you just open your mouth and TALK, rather than sit in a corner alone, and feel sorry for yourself! My life has never been better (asides from this cold which I have... <ack>) and I owe it all to being a little outgoing! So, for those of you who are like I used to be, I will make this REALLY easy for you. Below are a few links that I URGE you to put to good use NOW. Don't wait, do it NOW.

Oasis Writer Submissions - http://www.oasismag.com/writerguide.html

WBS Gay/Lesbian 16-19 Chat Rooms - http://pages.wbs.net/

What else can I do for you? I think that's about it! I know that most people wouldn't have taken the time to look for these addresses, so I put them right there for you! A better life has NEVER been easier. Just a note though - WBS chat rooms have A LOT going on, and people don't often notice or talk to newcomers. I guarantee that if you just sit in the corner, waiting for somebody to chat with you, you will be bored out of your mind, because NOBODY will. So, GET INTO the conversations! Don't be hesitant, just push your way into the middle of somebody's conversation, and they will talk to you! Also, if you have ANYTHING you want to share with the world, just click on the writer submissions link. Oasis is one of the best places to get your feelings out. (Not that I know from experience, but just from what I have seen!)

Well this has been a dreary? column, and probably a crappy one too! Soooo... let me end with a funny/sad? observation? Has anybody noticed the Norwich Life commercial, where the old guy answers the phone, says hello, and then immediately tells his wife "It's Patrick! He bought life insurance!" Excuse me? How did Patrick find the time to tell you this? You barely breathed between "Hello" and "It's Patrick"! And why the hell do you have big sheets of bristol board and thick markers by the phone? Do these people play Pictionary over the phone often?

Oh well... enough of my complaints... BUT SERIOUSLY... get out there and tackle the world, people! Before it tackles you! (Am I making ANY sense here at all?) Hmm... probably not. But THAT'S OK!!

If ANYBODY needs somebody to talk to, just email me! I have ICQ, and I promise (cross my heart, and hope to die... Well, maybe not die, but get sick at least..!) that I will answer EVERY email that I get!! I can tell you now, that I am by no means certified to give advice, but I can listen. ANYTHING you want to say or talk to somebody about, just let me know! Has this been any help for anybody? I hope so!


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