I never thought I would try to write an article for any magazine, much less a gay one. But then, just this morning I was cruising the talkway (surfing the 'net) and I stumbled upon Oasis. It was great for me. I read the articles, every single one, from every issue, and I said to myself "Wow, this is amazing." It was insightful. On web pages I've been to, its usually info about "homosexuality isn't a sin" and PFLAG and stuff like that. But Oasis is just people, like me, who are doing something different. They are telling about themselves. So I decided to share myself with you.
Me, Myself, And I
My name is Robert. But I prefer Rob, if you don't mind. My family has 6 people in it, my mom, my dad, and my 3 younger brothers. I like to play Magic: The Gathering, I like to act, and I like to read. Reading is my thing. I can literally be anything, anywhere, anytime. I can escape being Blond haired, Blue eyed, left handed and 14. I can be anything from a dragon rider, saving Pern from the danger of the red star's threads, to a captain of a starship, stranded on the other side of the galaxy, trying to get my crew home. I started reading so much when I was about 10, because I was trying to escape myself. I wanted to hide from myself an important aspect of who I am. I did not want to be me. I did not want to be different. Because, as you probably already guessed, I'm gay.
I have always known that I was different. When girls were running after boys in second grade, trying to kiss them, the boys liked it. But, I never did. I was never really masculine, and I was not into sports and I was quiet, and was different. I didn't know why, and I didn't know what was wrong. And, really, it didn't matter. I always heard other boys saying they like this girl, or that girl. I found that strange. Because I didn't like them as friends, but I never liked them. I thought there was something wrong with me. And when I was in sixth and seventh grade, I knew what was "wrong" with me. I just never admitted it to myself.
It was third grade I met my first crush. His name was Mei, and we were best friends instantly. We sat at the same table, and were always partners because of our last name. We always hung out together, and went to each other's house, and everything. I knew I felt different about him than I felt towards my other friends. I thought it was just the difference between friends and best friends. But in fifth grade, when I was 10, I realized it. I liked him.
It happened at his fathers house. There was this place nearby we liked to play in, sort of a grove of trees, but it was surrounded by thorns, and this one day we went to there, I had nothing on my feet. So he carried me. Piggyback style. I could tell I was heavy to him, being about the same size and weight, but at that moment I was beyond caring. Suddenly, hormones were gushing, I was getting sweaty, and all I could think about was him, and how close I was to him, and how he smelled, and how he felt. I had a boner, and he must have noticed, because when he put me down he kissed me. We both felt so embarrassed, we didn't talk about it for the rest of the day. I felt so good about it, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, which it was. But then, when I got home, I got scared. I never knew much about homosexuality, except that my parents said that liking boys is sick, and that its against God (I'm a Christian) and it's evil. But, despite that, I might have even talked to him about it, except two weeks later, he moved to the other side of the island (I live in the island of Hawaii, in the state of Hawaii. I don't know Hawaiian and I do not live in a grass hut :) ). So I hid from myself for three years.
Coming out to myself
But, I was becoming independent of my parents, and having ideas for myself. Last year, I used to be really involved online and had about 5 friends online I chatted with. Two of them, Pat and Eyes (Isaac) I found out were gay, and involved with each other. A revelation occurred then. I did not feel strange. I did not think "oh, that's evil" like I was brought up to believe. I accepted it. And then, after reading some of the stories they wrote, I thought to myself, for the first time not pushing the thought immediately out of my head, I was gay. It was like lighting struck my brain (OUCH!!) WOW! I'm gay! And I liked it. And the more I read online about homosexuality, the more I became convinced it wasn't evil or a sin. But then, something awful happened.
The Summer of HELL
My mom, the Conservative Christian that I had always been close to and trusted, Read my email. She even impersonated me on the 'net. Needless to say, she didn't take it well. I felt like my life was ruined. I had nothing, no TV, no computer, no books, and worst of all, my friends taken away from me. I had no one. I ran away, but they found me. I even thought about killing myself. The only thing that stopped me was the GLNH. One day when no one was home but me, I called them, and spent 3 hours talking. I cried so much that night, but I held on. And, since I was becoming increasingly quiet, my parents decided to "forget" about it. Things slowly returned to normal. I stayed quiet, and got some privileges back. And then, I met APAC.
Salvation from the Theater
I joined the Theater. APAC -The Aloha Performing Arts Center- has a play, Robin Hood, going on, and I auditioned. I got in, and I was free. And the most startling thing to me was that there were openly gay people there. Mostly teenagers!!! I was so amazed. I felt so at home. Living in a closeted world my whole life (with armed guards guarding the exit), It was such a change to have people who didn't care who you loved. There was this 17 year old, Chris, who was hilarious. He would come to the rehearsal, then go to the costume room and put on a dress and go run around like a idiot. But he was a great actor. Even the director, Jonathan Hagans (he has a lead role on the Babylon 5 spin-off) was open about himself. I wasn't officially out, but I could tell some people knew. Perhaps because I had this annoying tendency to stair off into space, and then wake up staring at someone's behind. (OOPS). I even had my first (and so far only) sexual experience there. It was with a boy named Jeff. But, later on, he became a total jerk and threatened to out me in school. It hurt me a lot. But I got over it.
Now, I am not in any plays, because the theater season just ended. I feel real bad for APAC, because the sublease for the Theater is up, and they were thrown out. This stupid coffee shop that owns the building decided not to renew the lease, and, so, bye bye Aloha Theater. Now half the town is boycotting :). So, I'm still closeted, and it can suck, because I can wake up feeling great one morning and another morning I can wake up feeling like I slept in a pile of dog dung. Writing this down, sharing it with you, has made me feel so much better. Thank you.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. But please don't put gay or anything of the like in the Subject line. My mom still sometimes skims my email, and if she sees something like that, then Its summer of hell part 2. Thanks!!