February 1999

Well, everyone, I was fresh out of ideas for this month's column (not exactly a rarity for me), so forgive me if anything I address seems at all random (guess that's not a rarity for me either) or disconnected.

First of all, I haven't been able to determine if my brother (I haven't outed myself to him yet) knows I'm gay and isn't saying anything, or is just entirely clueless (which I doubt is the case). For example, I don't really act any differently around him than around all of my friends, just about all of whom know I'm gay and thankfully have been great about it.

Secondly, he uses my computer a lot, including my web browser which is littered with "traces of gay-ness" including various bookmarks -- to this site for example. Oh well, if he's figured it out and isn't saying anything, I suppose the "don't-ask-don't-tell" policy is acceptable at best, but very frustrating. I'll just be thankful for what I have -- I'll always love him no matter what his opinion might be of my lifestyle.

Another thing I wanted to bring up deals with guys and long hair. Personally I find myself most attracted to men with longer hair, something I've had a few female friends tease me about (as in, "Why would you like them if they almost look like girls?"), but frankly, I think they just don't understand. I mean, they're still guys, and I think it says something about a man's self-confidence to do something so contrary to outdated gender roles such as that which says men should have short hair. I've been growing out my hair since March of '98, and I'd say I'm one of fewer than ten males on my tiny college campus with longer hair, and it pleases me to no end, frankly. I guess I just enjoy pushing the envelope in terms of what society finds acceptable on the whole.

I think the hair thing follows my latest personal trend of "doing what makes me happy," which I fear will come to a grinding halt when I get out of college and enter the so-called "real world." For example, I've been enjoying an increased air of openness at school since the inception of our gay-straight alliance and such, and I've made more gay friends (some through this group). In the back of my mind, however, I fear that for the sake of a career and any type of success, I'll have to re-closet myself to some degree-and that is unacceptable, even if necessary. Also, I fear that the only place to make any new gay friends in the future will either be through random chance or at clubs and such, seeing I don't know of any gay groups for people who are a bit older-but hey, this is all years ahead, so I don't know why I felt the need to address it now-I just don't like uncertainties I guess.

Sorry if this month's tirade was a little substandard - I guess the past three or so weeks were just really uneventful. As any of you who have written me in response to this column in the past know, my e-mail address is neatnick79@hotmail.com. I love getting all your messages-it shows me that people really do care, and sometimes that's all it takes to make someone's day.

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