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Phillip

August 1999

Life So Far

This all began long ago, back in the 4th grade, when I had my first real "crush" on a guy. (I put crush in quotation because I'm not even sure if you could call it that at that age.) His name was Bryan, and he was, I thought, the cutest, nicest boy ever. I wasn't completely sure what it was to be gay then; it wasn't something I had thought about too often, but I knew somehow that this was not something I could ever let anyone know. He moved away, after we became best friends, and he would never know how I felt. In the 5th grade, there weren't any guys I liked, though I had acquired a sort of infatuation with my science teacher. It wasn't anything sexual; I liked the way he looked and I liked being around him.

By the 6th grade, I knew what I was, but I was really not sure what to do about it. I developed a heckuva crush on a guy I had met that year, one that would last until the 8th grade. Let's call him Jim. For the first time, I began keeping an explicitly detailed journal of my thoughts, and being the fool I was, I kept it in my book bag. It was bright pink, and most of the entries it contained concerned Jim. I lost that journal, and I don't remember if Jim somehow got a hold of it or what. I know that he had seen me writing in it before and that he wanted to read it, but that would have meant embarrassment in the extreme. One minor thing for a very close friend named Russ would follow, and that was the end of middle school. So many important things happened in middle school, but since the nature of this story concerns, mainly, my sexuality, I won't get into those.

High School. I was scared, I didn't want to be here, it was too big. My freshman year, the boy I would tear myself apart for would end up in my life. Derek. I got to know him in orchestra, and the more I learned, the more I liked. He played the violin, he was into anime, and he was a sweet person. One of the things I love most about him is his demeanor. He is quiet mostly, never one to get into battles of wit or ever care what anyone else thought. An amazing individual, I still say of him to this day. That 9th grade year, our trip was to NY City, and we roomed together. It was wonderful, just having him near me. By now, however, society's blunt truncheon, the stereotype, was beginning to get to me. Was I just some sex-crazed maniac, looking for love in all the wrong places? Did I enjoy music, and the arts, way too much for my own good? Maybe I just didn't get out enough, yeah, that was my problem. I wasn't sure who or what I was now; I wanted to tell someone what I was feeling, but I didn't have the words for it. It went beyond "I'm gay". I didn't want to have to stick with that tired phrase. I didn't own a computer then, I was pretty alone when it came down to this facet of my life. When we got one over spring break, I soon started dabbling around on the internet, and I found chat rooms and all sorts of forums where I could just talk, and they made things so much less depressing. More problems, however, I was having with church. By now, I knew how they felt about homosexuality, I'd seen the scriptures, and I'd been told every "fact" about it I could swallow. There was only one problem, though-- I still knew what I felt and who I felt it for.

With my computer, I could talk to friends at night for a while, and I talked to a friend of mine named Brian (not Bryan) quite a bit. One night, it was pretty late, and I decided he should know, since we were good friends and the guy I liked was a mutual friend of ours. I was so surprised, he took it like a real pro, and he's still my friend today. He has helped me through some rough times. The end of my sophomore year (this school year) I would also come to terms with God, and keeping him in my life, because I knew that he had made me who I was and wouldn't just forsake me because of who "they" thought I should like. Also, on this year's orchestra trip to South Carolina, I would finally come out to the guy I liked and another close friend of mine. I did it on the bus on the way back. I just told him, with my hopes for a relationship soaring. Unfortunately, he was not gay, and liked a girl we both knew. I wasn't destroyed; though- it made us closer friends. I still have feelings for Derek. My other close friend, let's call him Mike, did not take the news so well. He's anti gay, as he likes to put it, and wanted nothing else to do with me. He doesn't go around trying to embarrass me, or say things like "get away from me!" He is just quiet and indifferent towards me now. It was a hard loss, he was one of my closest friends, but I'll survive.

As for the prospect of ever telling my mother, it just doesn't seem likely at all. She doesn't like gays, or guys that are slightly more effeminate than most, or guys with earrings, or guys with long hair, or guys who wear pants when she thinks it's too hot for pants. I don't know how I could ever come out to her without serious, serious repercussions. It will really just have to wait.

Some Personal Thoughts

Sometimes I get a little scared, and I start asking questions. "Will I ever find a guy?! Am I doomed to being by myself for good?" "What makes someone want to kill a gay person?" That last one, I feel, is very relevant to me. Two men dragged that poor black man in Texas to death, for well, being black. Matt Shepard was beaten and tied to a fence for being gay. What does some black hearted sicko out there want to do to me?

This is it for this submission, but there's a lot more, and I'd like to share, if there is an opportunity.

The World At Large

One thing I am really, really sick of is what I like to call "sex politics". Sure, I'm gay. Does that mean I want to turn everyone into a "queer" or a "faggot"? I don't want to take over the world, (well I did, but not that it had anything to do with sexuality, I just always thought it was a neat idea when I was a kid) I don't have a "Gay Agenda". I'm not after every guy in sight, and I'm not a flirt. I don't like the color lavender, that much anyway. Please, don't stick your silly "gay" labels on me. You don't know me. And by the way, (this is not a threat) quit with the anti gay violence. What makes you think gay people don't know how to use guns? Gays can be violent too, and, though I abhor violence, we will defend ourselves. And lastly, most importantly, don't define me in terms of sexuality. "Gay" is not my name, not who I am, but a part of who I am. Get to know me, really, and I'll betcha the fact that I like a guy won't bother you much at all.

Peace, please.

Phillip
songoten@prodigy.net


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