Joshua N.

October 1999

Finding and Coming Out

Hello there fellow teens, my name is Joshua N. I am 19, and I live in California. I am a writer, a very bad actor and singer and just a very cool guy to hang out with. But it wasn't always like that, to my dismay.

When I was sixteen I was very different, you could say I was the stereotype of a person who would never amount to anything in life. Drank 'till I got sick, never went to any of my classes, had sex with girls without protection, smoked a pack a day and really didn't like life at all. Why it was like this? you may ask. Simple word with a lot of weight on it: Love. You may think that it isn't that big, everybody falls in love. But not a guy falling in love with another guy, huh? I had everything I ever wanted as a teenager. I was popular, the girls loved me and I had my own little group of people that followed me around and said yes to everything I said. I would have been happy just with that, but nope, I had to be different and be gay.

So for the next two years of my life I was a lost soul in the unforgiving world that is society. Fortunately, I never stoop low enough to do drugs and I think that is something that let me return to being normal. Once I saw that I was lost and that if I didn't find myself I would really be dead in a few years, I started forgetting about all my problems and concentrating on my classes and getting better grades. It took me my all of high school to get to good grades so I could graduate.

When I turned 18, my life was again changed as I saw that being of legal age made me a little bit more independent. I first started searching on the Internet for information on being gay and I did find many things -- did it when I was sixteen for a couple of sessions and found Oasis Magazine for the first time when it was still part of Youth.Org, but after that I just didn't want to anymore, stories on people coming out. Booklets on how to do it and how to know if you are really gay. I also joined chat rooms and started talking to other gay teens that where already out and asked a lot of questions about how it was. For the first time I felt like I wasn't exactly alone. For months I did my research and was only gay on the Internet, but I still felt alone.

One day I was reading a local computer and read the local WWW listings. One of the entries was for a gay BBS that was also ported to the Internet and was completely free. Of course you had to be 18, but that didn't limit me because I was already of legal age! So I joined and met a lot of people, unfortunately I only met three people in my age range, all the others where 40-50 people looking for a good kid to have "some fun" with. I got frustrated after a while and almost stopped going there, but then I met a guy that was just a year older than me and talked to him every time he was on-line. When we talked we would spend hours talking about everything and anything. After meeting on-line for about a week we decided to meet in real life and so we set up a meeting in a public place. I was very nervous about the whole idea, but mustered the strength and went to the meeting place. He was sitting where we agreed upon and, fortunately for me, he was as he said he would look like. We went for coffee and to eat and sat down and talked some more, about our fears, expectations about life, experiences; you could almost say I poured my heart and soul to him in a matter of hours.

After that first day we hung out more often and went to gay coffeehouses. I met his friends and enjoyed their company and really had a lot of fun. For the first time in a long time I was happy and I was free. I could say and do as I wanted for I knew nobody was going to judge me for they felt the same way I did. For the first time, the world was complete for me and I knew I was ready to come out to the rest of my friends, my old friends, my straight friends.

Of course, I'll leave that for another story if you want to hear it.

Joshua N.

Email me with your comments to joshuan50@hotmail.com

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