January 1999

Hi! My name is Kairu (pseudonym, say it like Cairo the city in Egypt, but with an u sound instead of an o at the end) and this is my first column for Oasis. Well, I'm guessing that you want to know a little bit more about me. Lets see, I'm fourteen, I live in Indiana in a small town, I am a freshman at my local high school, and Oh, yeah, I'm gay. Well duh, why else would I be writing for Oasis? Well, I guess that a straight person could write for Oasis, but why would they, maybe they might have a gay friend or something. Anyway that is beside the point, as I was saying, I am gay. You might wonder, "When did you know that you were gay?", even if you didn't that's all right because I'm going to tell you any way. Well it all started way back when... Wait! Wait! I never started to be gay, I was gay all along I just didn't realize it.

I can't remember any one time in which I realized that I was different from most people, it was just a kind of general thing in which I was one way, and they were another. They being my (assumingly) straight peers. As I grew up, one of the major reasons that I was different was that I was very smart, not to brag on myself, but I have an above average intelligence (how above I don't know, I've never taken any IQ tests). This of course singles you out, when all you ever get are A's and maybe every so not so very often a B+, people are going to tease you a little. Of course, smart people aren't really expected to play sports, and I didn't (no interest to). I liked to play with animal toys, instead of cars and trucks.

By the time I was in sixth grade, I started to notice that some of the guys in my classes were attractive, but paid no attention to it, I mean I had no idea then what homosexuality was. I barely knew what hetero sex was, much less that love between two men (or women) was possible. I didn't even know what homosexuality was, I had heard all kinds of "fag" joke from my peers, but I didn't really know what it really meant.

Time passed, it always does. By the eighth grade, I began to notice how pictures of guys in speedo's were very attractive, yet again, I ignored it. I guess I didn't have the right word to put on those feelings. I mean back then gay people didn't exist for me in principal, on TV, anywhere, except rude jokes and name-calling that is. Well, not quite on TV, I did manage by sheer luck to watch Ellen's coming out show, mainly because there was a lot of media buzz about it and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, not because of any kind self-association (plus, she is a woman, and I am a guy, so that makes self association harder). I thought that it was funny and she was a nice person. By then I sort of got the whole idea of her being a lesbian and what that was.

Again as it always does, time passed some more. Here I was at the start of my freshman year of high school. Still no real thought's "I'm gay." or "I might be gay." More of an unconscious feeling of the fact that I might be gay. A kind of lurking self suspicion, never fully consciously realized. The Alpha of the Alpha of the Alpha of the realization of my true self. The Beginning of the Beginning of the Very Beginning. The feeling got a little stronger, then a little more stronger, then just a little bitty-bitsy bit stronger, until, I consciously thought "There might be a small chance that I might possibly be gay." The thought that started it all. The True Alpha, the Proverbial Moment of Recognition of the Slimmest Possibility of Being a Homosexual. It was a revelation. I mean, How could I possibly be GAY! Then I thought, "Well, maybe I should find out a little more about it, before I say that what I am feeling is or is not definitely homosexuality." So off I went to the trusty Internet to do a little research.

Well, I found some very informative sites which I read, and I proceeded to think to myself, "Hmm, this sounds a little bit like what I am feeling, lets find out some more." So I found some more sites and read those, (Oasis was one of them). After I had read some of the stories written by the other great people who write for Oasis, I thought "Most certainly, this is how I am feeling, without doubt or hesitation." It was a shock, and it was also a relief. I finally had a word that I could use to describe the thoughts and emotions that I was having. But to be GAY, I mean how could I be like all those people that they make fun of at school and when call everything they don't like "gay" or a "fag". This couldn't be me could it?

That was on November 28, 1998. I was out of the closet to myself! Yay! Hurrah! Joy of joys! But wait! Then the worrying came in, being gay isn't exactly the most popular thing in the world. Now that I had realized it, would it start to show? Would everybody stare and laugh at me tomorrow when I go back to school? Would I spontaneously develop a horrible lisp and start having droopy hands. Well, as it turned out, none of these things happened. It was just one more semi-boring week of high-school. Same people, same classes, same friends, same me. Well not quite, I began to pick up more anti-gay comments and be irritated by them. This hadn't happened before, but before they weren't "about" me, they were about some invisible group of people that I had no relation with, but now that was me they were joking about. Not me personally, as in "Kairu's a fag", but as in "Gay people are bad." without any reference to any person, just the group as a whole, a group to which I now consciously belonged.

That was about four weeks ago. Now after four weeks of being a self-admitting gay person, has anything changed? Yes, some things have, when I hear a news report I listen for things that pertain to gay people, I read things in Newsweek about gay people. When I talk to other people I have to avoid talking about things that might out me, since I'm not ready to be out quite yet, I need more time to access peoples attitudes. Some things have changed, lots haven't, I am still the same person that I was before 11/28/98, I wasn't converted or anything, I just accepted who I am. I'm me, the person I always was, except now I feel even better about myself because I am not denying part of me any more. Maybe I'm not quite as comfortable with myself as I want to be, but four weeks is a pretty short time to undo fourteen years of social conditioning.

I feel like I could write a lot more but this seems like a good stopping point. Thank you for your time and your ears, they are very appreciated.


Email me at k_77@usa.net

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