October 1998

So I'm part of the way "out" now, whatever the hell that means. Okay, I'm out in the sense that I've told most of my friends, my immediate family, and my new counselor. All of that went much better than I'd expected.

Last month, I wrote about being openly gay at my high school. I've thought in great amounts about it since then, and I still want to be PC West's first openly gay guy. I still have this idealistic view that me being openly gay is going to help some poor, suffering, stuck-in-the-middle-of-Oklahoma queer boy or girl.

However, I've talked to some of my friends about it, and they're very, very scared of me being open about my gayness at school. Jennifer said, "Oh, Kevin, I'll cry if you get beat up." Okay. I can understand that, but I don't think I'll get beaten up.

Is that hoping for too much? Am I ignoring something? Okay, yes, most high school guys are total assholes who should be locked in chambers, cut off from all humanity, until they get through their dickhead period. Of course, this period seems to last forever in so many guys.

Now the issue is if I do get my ass kicked, will that ass kicking be worth the change I might just be able to make?

Moving on...

My friend is starting a tolerance organization at her school in North Vancouver, BC. Her group has the grand privilege of conducting an assembly about homophobia. She plans the assembly to start and end with a skit about random homophobic things people do during every day. She asked me if I could help her think of some of these things.

Before Colleen asked me this favor, I had stopped noticing what people say around me every day in every classroom that would be detrimental to someone who was already uncomfortable about their queerness. I think I'd stopped listening because that's how I survived when I wasn't able to cope myself with being gay.

Now, several times in class I hear it. It comes from every direction, from almost every student, occasionally from the teacher. America's homophobic Society is whispering constantly, and no one notices. However, once the realization is first made you Society is constantly whispering in your ear.

The constant murmur of stupid homophobic high schoolers is around me. "Fag," they yell at their friend because it is, of course, the worst possible cut-down. Something's a little strange, out of place, not like everything else; it is, of course, "gay."

A crescendo builds, and in my fourth hour I hear Society screaming at me from the corner. "Kevin," he threatens, "there's a conversation over here about Ellen, Kevin! Come listen." I have no choice and I join in on the conversation.

"I'm not a homophobe or anything," she says looking around, "but I just don't understand why if she's gay she has to talk about it. Why can't she just pretend she's normal, the way God made her, and then if she wants to be gay at night, let her."

I want to scream! Society won't shut up! What can I do? I can't scream, "She can't pretend because she likes who she is. She has to be happy with herself. I LIKE WHO I AM. I HAVE TO BE HAPPY WITH MYSELF!"

And the thing is that I'm happy with myself. I went to see a counselor the other day because Dad wanted me to, and I told him my story about the "coming out" that I've done so far. It's been a very, very fulfilling decision to stop lying. I now am sure of who I am, and I like who I am. But most importantly, I'm not scared of my future anymore. I'm no longer scared that I'm going to end up living in an unhappy, falsely-based marriage.

The counselor and I decided that I am, indeed, sane. I'm going to go for 3 weeks, and unless anything bad occurs, then that's the end of our visits together. I don't really want to stop going because I really liked him. Also, I have this romantic idea of lying back on a luxurious couch in a dramatically decorated office talking to a psychiatrist about ME for an hour. How much fun would that be?

Okay, that's about all, but first I'd like to thank everyone who has been thoughtful enough to email me and discuss anything they wanted to, and anything I wanted to. I welcome all of your emails!

Take care of yourselves,


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