May 1999

This is the first column that I have submitted to Oasis, and hope you might find it interesting. Since this is the first column... It will be simple and designed to introduce myself. Without further delay, let's begin. My name is FlyAway (my pen name), I'm a student in central Florida. I won't go into much detail about that... for reasons I'm sure you understand.

I know and fully accept the fact that I am gay. I also understand that society feels being gay is "unclean" or a "perversion." However, those of us that are gay know otherwise. It is just the way we are, and don't feel that we must change to conform to society's standards. Yes, I will admit that we are not a majority, but does that really constitute classifying us as "criminals" so to speak? NO! It doesn't. In time, I'm positive that you will hear me bring up this subject quite often. I feel that it is wrong, in fact I know it is wrong.

I guess that means it is our job to help society understand that we are just as good, if not better, members of society than those who criticize us. I will go ahead and move off this topic for this month. Now, back to introducing myself. I guess you have deduced by this time that I have quite a few opinions about "our" treatment.

For those of you who are still in the closet... don't feel alone. I too am in the closet. Although I did try to attempt coming out to my Mom. That didn't go to well. She told me that it was time for counseling... time to visit the psychologist to fix my warped mind. Worse yet, two days later she came up with the idea that I was just going through a phase, and that this insane idea would pass before I knew it. She is wrong, but at least I still have a dry place to sleep and food to eat. I won't be coming out to anyone for a very long time! I'm not telling you this to try to discourage you from coming out, I am just warning you to weigh the benefits and consequences very carefully. This is a major revelation, one that most parents have a really hard time accepting.

To add to the difficulties of coming out, my family is very religious. They honestly believe that being gay is a horrific sin, and that it is a conscious decision a person makes to defy God. I know, as do most of you, that being gay is not a choice, but something you are born with. Our homophobic world doesn't relieve any of the stress involved in coming out. In time, hopefully, our society will unite and accept everyone for who they truly are, and not what they are expected to be. It is only a dream I know, but one day it will come true! Everything taken into account, I have a pretty good life. I'm a good student, and a responsible person. To everyone else I'm just another person in the crowd, and I plan to keep it that way for the time being.

If I can find the time, I hope to write a column every month. I will try to take on different subjects and argue my point, and I will keep you informed on a more personal level...

Until next month,

Good luck!


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