December 1998

Hello everyone! Before I delve into this month's column, I would like to thank everyone at Oasis who throws this whole thing together -- your efforts are appreciated. Also, thank you to everyone who responded to my first column; even to those of you who may have not agreed with everything I had to say or just wanted to discuss something else entirely. Anyway, moving on.

I believe the first thing I'd like to talk about is taking things for granted. As many of you know, I attend a small, private college, which, thanks to the wonders of financial aid, I can afford-barely. If living with mostly upper-middle class people my age has taught me anything, it's that LOTS of them take what they have for granted, including their new cars (I'll try not to be bitter) and, most prominently, their parents (or is it their parents' money?). In any case, as of late I've felt like I've been taking my parents for granted, mainly because they have no idea that I'm gay, or at least they're just not letting me know that they have any clue. They always help me with my bills when they can afford to do so, they visit me frequently at school, and most important of all, they love me unconditionally, which makes me feel even worse, as if I'm carrying on this huge charade at all times when I'm around them. It almost makes me feel like I don't deserve them, and if they find out, I'll just have been a disappointment and a waste of their time and effort in terms of my upbringing. In my heart I know they would still support me, but that fear still resides somewhere in the dark, dusty corners of my brain. I suppose I'm just paranoid.

Another thing that's been on my mind lately (thanks for listening, by the way) is that I don't feel I have enough gay friends, and I know for a fact that I'm not going to find any more here at this Catholic school. Any parties or other such social events here on campus have been, as of late, a real downer-frankly, they're an exercise in frustration-all due, in my opinion, to the close minded nature of the student body here, and, even worse, I know they'll never change their minds. For example, I was at a party recently, and I talked to lots of nice guys, but any of them who might have been gay or suspected that I was were probably too afraid of someone finding that out-such a fear of being ousted from one's social circle seems to be pretty prevalent here, as I suppose it would be just about anywhere.

Now that you probably all think I'm this mopey, depressed individual who only likes to whine and complain, I would like to say that is definitely not the case-it's just that you folks might be able to relate to some of my experiences; thus it feels good to discuss them. I'm actually a very happy person, and I'm thankful for what I have, particularly my nice-and-tolerant friends with whom I can share any aspect of my life. It's just that we all have ideals, in my opinion, and they can make one's current situation seem less than perfect. Well, thanks for reading, and have a happy holiday season.

Again, any e-mail can be sent to neatnick79@hotmail.com. I promise to write back to everyone!

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