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Diego Mays

October 1998

A Night at the Movies

Well, I'm back at college again. (and got my internet access back. Yesss!) How was summer? Well, I dubbed it "Purgatory" so I think that gives you a good idea.

Anyway, things had been going great here at college until some weeks ago. My friend Carl (protecting the innocent: not his real name) and I had gone to the movies to see "Dead Man on Campus" and we bumped into his parents. His mother seemed to like me (I found out later that Carl had told her that I was gay). I thought his father liked me, too. After the movie ("Dead Man on Campus" was a great movie), Carl and I were just out the door when we were stopped by his father who wanted to talk to him. While they talked, I found something to do.

Later on, I found out that Carl's father had 'advised' him against hanging around with me because 1) I was black; and 2) I had a high-pitched voice (meaning -- in his opinion -- that I was gay). It seems he thought I might want to get with Carl. We were just good friends.

A few days ago, I found out that one of Carl's brother's friends had also been at the movies and had told him who Carl had been hanging around with there. Carl's brother threatened to beat him up if he kept hanging around with me. (I think this had more to do with me being black than me being gay.)

These situations really bothered me. It bothered me that Carl's father did not even give me much of a chance. It bothered me also because it made me wonder what would (or will) happen when I fully come out. Am I going to be harassed? Will I lose a job because my co-workers found out about me? Will another friend of mine be threatened because they hang around with me? It just really bothered me.

Then I wondered how much control I'm going to have over who knows about me and who does not know yet. I found out recently how easily a friend of mine can just say something about my life when another of my friends (who does not know I'm gay) was around. It was not a pretty picture.

The point of this column today: People should be allowed to come out to people at their own pace. They should not have to be forced. Finally, they should really have nice little talks with their friends who "are in the know." It makes things easier (as well as prevents embarrassing situations).

Well, that's my column for the month. I still have to work on that consistency thing though. If you have a comment (or two) send emails to brandon528@hotmail.com. God bless.

Diego


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