Diego Mays

November 1998

The Epithet (Or It's My First Time)

First, let me give thanks to my friend J for letting me use his computer during the Purgatory months (or as everyone else likes to call it: summer).

Second, I was saddened by the cruel events in Wyoming. Something has to be done about this.

My column awaits...

Today, I want to talk about being too busy. I had become an expert in the subject. ASU has a gay group, SAL, but I've been too busy to go to meetings or help out on activities (work and class can do that to a person, you know). So basically I did not do anything with the group.

Then some time ago SAL decided to increase gay awareness by putting up fliers on campus. Yeah, they had nice phrases on them. I was happy that the members were brave enough to attempt something like that. I wished that I could have helped out, but I was just oh so busy (work and class and all).

Some people thought the fliers were interesting. Others were disgusted with them. I (at the time) treated the fliers like a stray thought because I was just so busy (etc., etc., etc.).

Then there was Friday. I was having a great day. A day so great and flawless (nothing bad had happened) that you just know that something bad would happen. I had returned to my room after lunch. I did not even notice it the first time because I had to run an errand right quick. Then I came back and noticed that someone had written a nice word on my door. You might have heard of it: 'FAG.' After throwing a Professor Auturoish fit (okay, it's a made-up Sliders phrase that only fans could guess), I went to take my Psychology midterm. I could not focus on it though because the door incident started to sink in around that time and my anger started to grow. You see...this is the first time that any incident like this has happened to me.

I do not go around with a big sign saying 'Hey, I'm gay!!!' If anything, I'm more known as the guy who wears a walkman everywhere he goes or the guy who's always walking down Caraway Street (no car so I walk to work). If anything, I'm just shy around the people on my floor which makes me a lot less obvious. So how would anyone know that I was for sure gay? (NOTE: I say 'for sure' because I've done a fairly good job at making sure that no one is totally sure. They're just going to have to ask.)

For the next few days, it felt like I've been raped because I did not know who did it. If anyone on my floor said something to me, it hurt me because it was like they were being two-faced. For all I knew I could be talking to the guy who wrote on my door and not even know it. I walked a lot lower whenever a floormate looked at me. I was more than happy to go to work because then I would not have to deal with it. I started to have nightmares about the whole thing. It was just disturbing.

Then I had a thought. Maybe if gay awareness was increased eventually things like this would not happen. Maybe people would be more tolerated about gay issues. That just made me think of the SAL. Suddenly, it was a little less of a stray thought. Maybe I should help out more if the group's going to raise gay awareness.

It's worth fighting for. It gives me a reason to walk tall around the people on my floor. Now I find that I'm a little less busy (with work, class, etc.) than before.

Hey! Send those new thoughts, opinions, comments, and the like to my new email address: aob999@goplay.com

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