Hi. My name is Les. I'm a 22 year old male from the Midwest who goes to college on the East Coast. And I have a lot to say, and not nearly enough time in which to say it. Which is why I've decided to offer up these humble tidbits as an Oasis column, if Jeff so desires.
I've been reading Oasis for some time now, perhaps about a year, and I think it's a great way for young people to exchange ideas and information, and a way to get to know what goes on in the lives of other queer youth as well as our queer "elders" (if they don't mind the term) as featured in the cover stories. I also thought it would be cool if I could share some of the things that go on in my life, my thoughts, ideas, and feelings, though it wasn't until a recent experience that I decided I'd go on and type up a real column -- partially because the experience to which I'm referring took place largely over email, significantly cutting my typing time -- always a welcome benefit.
So, what happened, you ask? Very simple. Tres simple, as the French put it. I met a guy (of course). A cute guy. A nice guy, I guess. He was A Little Strange, I must admit, but there was some chemistry there. Okay, a lot of chemistry. Enough anyway so that I thought maybe I should pursue something with him, even though I wasn't yet sure which "team" he was on (if any at all). So I emailed him. I called him, and left a message with one of his six (yes, six) roommates. He didn't respond. He did apologize when I saw him in class the next Friday. He said, "We can still hang out!" I was unimpressed by his apparent enthusiasm, but I decided what the hell, give him a chance, for crying out loud.
We never did hang out, though we ran into each other often enough at school to make up for it, and had some good conversations, flirted a little bit, and what have you. I tried, honestly I did try, to make some kind of appointment with him, but whenever I asked him what he was up to tonight or tomorrow or next year sometime, he was evasive and shy and unable or unwilling to commit to a meeting.
So I gave up. Almost. But before I threw in my big pink beach towel, I decided to pull out the big guns (not THOSE guns, you silly). I told him I was gay. ("A homo" is how I put it, so's to not lose the masculine sheen I had so brilliantly buffed up to this point.) Well, this is where things begin to turn around. My friend (we'll call him "Frank") comes out too(!) -- almost. We never do find out exactly what Frank's orientation is, though we're pretty sure it's not the skirt-chasin' variety. He said, "I'm sure your gaydar went off when I entered the picture, and with good reason." Good job, Frank, even though I had no idea about him, and never found out... I did share with him my intuition that some mutual friends of ours were bi -- specifically bi, not gay -- and that's where we pick up the following email, which is my response to his response. All names (except mine) have been changed to protect the innocent (and the not-so-innocent) and the opinions are free, though I need to add that I'm sure some of them will anger more than a few Oasis readers. To them I must say: if anything herein doesn't refer to you, please don't take it personally. (I'm aware that this disclaimer is of little use, but i thought I'd try. anyway.. here goes....
From: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
To: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday, December 11, 1998 1:30 AM
Subject: Wayne's Wild West Two-step
Frank. hi. hows it going? i am fine, thanks.
> I sort of had "the vibe" about Bob and Co.
yeah, figures, i kinda figured that. you did. ahhh innuendo, i'nt it luvly?
<That is interesting to know.>
>Why is that considered gossip?
ahhh...from Lester's Moral Guidelines, chapter 18, "Gossip":
Anytime one is talking about someone other than one's self or the other person with whom one is having a conversation, he is gossiping. this expanded definition of "gossiping" doesnt mean that its a bad thing, though it can be, especially if it's cheap, tawdry or downright mean-spirited. hey. .. i just looked it up in my trusty dictionary : (gos' ep) -n. 1. idle talk or rumor, esp about the private affairs of others. to my mind gossip is somewhat neccesary an evil and certainly unavoidable, but should be kept to a minimum if at all possible. specially since i dont like people discussing me when im not there -- unless they're saying good things, which of course they almost always are. so there's the short answer. ha.
>I am suprised you thought I was straight.>
well sorry :P... i didnt really think of you as anything much, till i got to know you. as i said, people are far too full of surprises (and confused issues, especially where sexuality is concerned) to take anything as granted.
>Do you dislike the idea of Bi or just people proclaiming themselves as such?
i suppose the next thing you're going to tell me is that you're bi, right? that's all good with me. (boy, i know how ta pick 'em)
let me begin my answer by quoting paul monette's "becoming a man":
"I've never quite understood the double Janus face of bi -- Janus, the Roman god of gates and doors, especially closets. I've met too many who kept the truth from their women and used their men like hookers. Now that I know how to waltz myself, I try not to be gayer-than-thou about bi. Mostly I fail."
great book, that. you should check it out sometime if you have the time or inclination.
here's an example of what i mean: my friend Farah's boyfriend lives with two guys, some little south american twerp and a cute white dude named Jimmy, who i had checked out previously, last year, and who gives off some serious gay vibes. he might have been at your party, i dont know. turns out that, Farah tells me, i gave him some gay vibes too, which i guess was my intention at one time or another. supposedly though he's engaged (to a woman, or probably more accurately, to a female who's less close to being a woman than he is, but anyway...) or something. well anyway, I'm not real happy that he discusses what he thinks my orientation is (i ESPECIALLY hate gossip about sexual orientation... especially mine.. .but i do it, dont i? hell, i'm doing it now! oh well, more on that later.) with people i dont know. but i'm even less happy that he discusses it in a self-righteous way cuz he's "straight", or at least can pass a such. well i went over to their apartment one nite for dinner, and on the refrigerator is a picture of Jimmy and Derek, who is one of Bob's friends and Jimmy's ex-roomate(and who is a cutie i must admit and whom "everyone thinks is gay" in the words of Bob but who dates girls, right? whatever), simulating a doggy-style fuck (fully clothed, thank god), and i'm like, Oohhhh, i get it... no...dont' tell me...it's all in good fun, right? whatever.
THEN, to top it all off, in my notebook of innuendo, one day you and i were talking out on mass ave in front of the 130 building. you were facing south and I was facing north. here comes Jimmy, and HE CRUISES YOU and you turn to look at him as he continues up the avenue, and i'm pissed as all hell because I CANT BELIEVE THIS (expletive). HOW ARE YOU GOING TO CALL ME GAY AND THEN CRUISE MY MAN YOU (expletive)! OOOOOOO THE NERVE!
okay, so you arent my man -- yet -- but the point is, that's what i hate about bi guys -- and i should extend that to guys in general -- maybe just people in general -- their lack of honesty. or, more accurately, their disinclination towards full disclosure of their sexual natures (and, by extension, many other personal data). which makes dealing with them on a personal level something of an adventure, and usually not that pleasant an adventure. there's little or no incentive for most bi guys (which phrase -- "bi guys" -- is redundant, in my humble O) to be out about their sexuality and so, in many cases, probably most, they arent. since most of them are looking for a quick fuck anyway and can't picture themselves actually settling down with another guy (for longer than it takes to get off ), that's exactly what they do. so they hide in the closet and are the worst offenders as such. they tend to be, in many cases, shady characters in general, and Lester isnt shady much at all. or tries not to be, sometimes. he much prefers forthrightness to any bullshit that's not meant for purposes of humor.
so that's the short version. to answer your q, no, i much prefer that one "proclaims himself as such." by all means, come correct! let me know where you stand! or sit! or lie! (not you, just people in general, though you should feel free to do so as well.) in the end i'm better off knowing. we all are. problem is, they often don't know where they stand, which is fine with me, let them stay there, wherever that is. i don't have a problem with bisexuality, i have a problem with people not being for real. so there. and yes, i've been hurt on account of bi guys being in my mix, so that's how i know -- no more dishonesty or half truths for me, if i can help it. which i really can't but i try. okay so there ya go. whaddya think about that?
i've filled your box with many nutty ideas, rumours and innuendo, and now its time for me to go. cya... hey.. r u busy tonight? :)
well I guess you can see how Frank was not very happy with me, as he was one of the shady people I excoriate in my mail. After he read that response, he turned quite cold towards me, to my surprise (and pain). I'm over it now, though I'm not sure what's to be said about my pursuing guys with whom I feel some "chemistry"-- even though I must admit that I didn't think it could work from the very beginning. I guess horniness takes over and...goodbye, common sense. We live and we learn. Hopefully.
The other week at Borders I found a book by the Dalai Lama, called "The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living". I've been checking it out and find it somewhat interesting. The Dalai Lama thinks we should cultivate an aura of kindness and compassion as one step toward true happiness. I'm working on it, thinking about it...though I'm sure from some of the above reading I must come across as an ape or a jerk or both. I'm not -- trust me on this one.
Every gay boy should own a copy of "The Boys On The Rock", a novel by John Fox. Great love story. I don't know what's happened to Mr. Fox since that novel was published. I know he was featured in one of the Men on Men series but I don't think he has published any more novels, and I think that's a shame. Oh well, John, if you're reading, I'd love to read more from you!
As time goes on, I'll be revealing more about me and my life, who I am exactly, and why I care about people reading my brains. Until then, Godspeed to you all.