February 1999

Virtual world helping the real world

This being the first article I've submitted to Oasis, I must say I've sat here for way too long thinking of a subject. I've never been one to be creative and come up with ideas. So, until I manage to get creative, for this article I think I'm going to cover how the internet has helped me deal with being gay. Self-centered, maybe. But this is just a trial run for me, so if you don't like it, I'll stop subjecting you and others to my ramblings. Let me know what you think.

Ok, first off, let me introduce myself as Dan. I live in a small Ohio town. I'm 17 years old and presently a senior in high school. Unfortunately, I still remain in the closet to all of my friends except for one. She accepted it without fail, and I can't begin to explain how comforting it is to know that she is cool with it. I am contemplating coming out to my best friends soon (that was my new year's resolution). My parents don't yet know, and I'm scared to death of them finding out. And finally, on the relationship front, the prospects look good. I met an incredible guy from Pittsburgh (not too far from me, but far enough to be a pain). I'll cover that at another time, but for now let's just say that I hope all goes well. Alright, that's me in a nutshell. Young, gullible, in the closet, yada-yada.

My first experience on the internet yielded so much. Up until that, I knew I was gay and attracted to men but I wasn't too sure exactly what to do about it. I knew society shunned it, and that if you were gay, you were evil and did a bunch of crazy, loony stuff that I didn't want to do. Well, the internet proved that wrong... mostly. Online, I was exposed to other gay guys just like me. I've chatted with hundreds of gay guys, easily. I've met several of them as well. They were nothing like what society stereotypes them as. They are all sweet, nice young men just like me looking to fine a relationship and settle down.

Following my first delves into the internet, I began to see myself as gay. I was no longer ashamed at that, but I couldn't feel proud of it yet (and to date, I still can't say that I'm proud to be gay). Being online has given me the opportunity to make new friends all around the world. These are people I can honestly speak to without nothing to hide. These are people who will listen to anything I have to say and these people (I think) would stand behind me through so many problems. And now, I am possibly becoming involved in a relationship, exactly what I'm looking for with the perfect type of guy I'm looking for, all from the internet.

Finally, I want to get my last few ideas down, and my brother wants to use the computer so I'll finish this up relatively quickly. Being able to express my feelings online has helped me to deal with reality in a very positive way. I would just like to state for the record, that if it were not for the internet in all its glory (x rated and otherwise) I would likely be a closet case for the rest of my life with no hopes and nothing to look forward to. Thanks go to all of the people who post and maintain everything on every square inch of that wonderful network.

I welcome any comments, questions, or ideas for a column (and if you happen to live in the same area as me, send me a message and maybe we could go see a movie or something). I hope it is possible for me to include monthly articles in Oasis, but we'll have to wait and see how that goes. Oasis is something that goes along very well with my article, seeing as how it has allowed me to view the opinions and thoughts of over people just like me.

So... until next time (hopefully),


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