October 1998

The New Life of Nick

High school brought even more changes to my life than I ever expected. Getting older and becoming more mature has been the hardest challenge of my life, and I'm fortunately doing well.

Never before have I stayed up at school until 8:30 p.m. every day. The thought of that was unheard of. Suddenly it's become a reality. Schoolwork, theatre, and band has taken up so much of my life I barely have time to think... and I love sitting around thinking, it helps to learn about yourself.

But the change that overcame my friend Jim, about admitting to masturbation, has become a pattern among all my friends. Even people who I thought have barely even heard of the subject have admitted it to me, either indirectly or directly, and oddly enough I've become a specialist at getting them to do so.

But with masturbation comes the subject of homosexuality on almost every occasion. The aching question that burns inside me is -- of my friends, am I alone? And I wish it was just something you could say "are you gay or straight?" like asking "are you boy or girl?" Like it was normal if they said straight, and I said gay, and nobody would care.

A lot of my friends have hinted that they were gay, perhaps jokingly, but I just hope there's a spark of reality in these jokes. This is something that's probably the hardest for a queer youth to go through -- CONFUSION.

Somehow, though, I don't think anybody is confused about me. A lot of my friends, even my girl friends, most likely know that I am gay but don't bring the subject up much.. And I'm fortunate that they accept me like I am. I'm a good actor, so playing the part of a straight guy in real life was never a hard thing for me to do. But I've noticed lately now that I have a firm foundation of friends and a busy schedule, I don't have the time or the will to act anymore.

Sure I'll deny it if somebody I know will take wrong asks, but I've become the open and non-restricted, non-uptight person I've always wanted to be. Happiness comes only from being yourself, and not caring what anybody else thinks. Once you achieve that, you can go through live invisible. My suggestion to teens in my position, catch yourself every time you don't do something you like because of what somebody else thinks.. and do it anyway.

Once they realize you just don't care, then they won't care either.

"It's been no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise I consider it a challenge before the whole human race And I ain't gonna lose!"

Like always,


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