Joshua S.

November 1999

Lose your dream. Lose your mind.

Going to college a thousand miles away has opened my eyes to a new understanding of my own life. I am learning a lot about myself and the Gay Community without the fear of my family being hurt. I recently took part in my first ever National Coming Out Day. Actually at my college, they expanded it to four amazing days. On the first day, I and many other students wore purple arm bands and we remained silent until later that night after we had a candle light vigil. The silence was to symbolize those who were too afraid to speak, and for those who were no longer capable of speaking (because their lives were abruptly taken away by ignorance). I also won a shirt at Gay 101, which was a class-like atmosphere that tried to teach heterosexuals the complex stages of coming out. I was a part of a five person coming out panel on the final day. I talked about my coming out experiences, and I even made a few people cry. One of the other people on the panel was a religion professor at my college. A lot of people can't believe that I'm doing so much as a freshman, but I have always waited for the moment that I could be who I was, and be openly expressive about it.

Since being in Iowa, I finally became steadily involved with a man. We dated for a month, but recently we broke up. I spent most of our relationship trying to figure out why he didn't make me happy. I didn't understand why he ignored me. I couldn't explain why he paid more attention to my friends. I didn't see how our relationship was any different from being friends, but even the friendship wasn't satisfying for me. During the first few weeks, I was totally infatuated with him, but after that passed I realized I didn't even know who he was. I wanted so much to make him forget his pain. I admired him for being strong, but I realized I couldn't love someone just because I felt sorry for them, nor because they found me attractive. I do believe I could love him for he is so amazing, but I can no longer be less important than his computer, friends, and even simple acquaintances. I love him as a friend, but I won't allow myself to love him any more until he proves I'm more than someone to turn to when everyone else is no where to be found. I also am only a freshman, and I believe I should actually date people before jumping into a relationship again. Hopefully I'll finally start learning from my mistakes.

Another major problem with my first relationship was the fact that my best friend, Traci, happened to date my ex-boyfriend. She was very cruel to the both of us during our relationship, but now she is very friendly to the both of us now that we are broken up. I don't know whether she had a problem that I wasn't spending as much time with her, or whether it was because deep down she truly does love "our" ex-boyfriend. I fear that if I'm in another relationship that she will once again be sarcastic and derogatory. She always wanted to be my savior, and she puts so much unneeded pressure on herself. Perhaps she feels animosity towards others who appear to be making me happy. I don't really know what to expect anymore, but I just don't want to keep myself from doing things because I'm afraid of how Traci will act. I'm also afraid that perhaps the reason I had crushes on other guys was because Traci didn't date them, but she thought they were cool people and they were much better than my ex. I just wanted to have a boyfriend, but I never could have comprehended the mess that resulted from a life of wanting to be loved by someone.

Speaking of crushes, I recently liked a guy named Jeff. Although, I realize now I just wanted his "perfect" life. He seems to be very successful in school, and he has had a long term relationship with an equally beautiful person. I guess I always wanted someone to be synonymous with me. I am now over him, but I must admit thinking about him was a driving force that helped me break up with my ex-boyfriend. I now like a guy named Carlos, but that is somewhat misleading for I have liked him for as long as I've known him (but more now than ever before). I'm not used to jumping from one crush to the next, and I don't know if that is normal or not. I could possibly be just acting like a typical teenager for I was never capable of doing it in high school, but who knows. I'm too young to over analyze everything in my life all the time. I'm just afraid of acting upon my emotions for do I really like Carlos, or do I just want someone to think about... someone to motivate me? If I do tell him that I like him and he doesn't feel the same way, then I have to face him everyday with the fact he knows I like(d) him. I don't know if I'm that strong to allow someone to know how I feel. I guess I am still learning about my own emotions, and trying to work through my fear of being vulnerable.

My friend Tracy used to ask me why I liked my ex-boyfriend, and I could never really say, but I know why I like Carlos. I actually have become friends with him unlike with my ex-boyfriend, and so I know I do like him for him. I'm scared to find out what Carlos thinks of me, and I'm even more afraid to actually date someone. I guess that was one thing I loved about my relationship with my ex-boyfriend, we never really dated we just hung out. I know now that I do want to date, I want to be appreciated, and I want to actually try and have a meaningful relationship. I would like for Carlos to be that one, but as usual my fears and self-image will probably destroy that hope.

I went to my university's homecoming dance recently, and I danced with my ex-boyfriend and Carlos. No one seemed to care, well except for one guy because he didn't know that my ex-boyfriend was gay until then. It was really cool, and I'm so in awe with how accepting people are. It is strange though, because the more people that show their acceptance, the more I want from them. I was never one to be satisfied with anything, and I guess that continues with gay issues. The homecoming dance marked the first time I was ever really entranced with someone. I knew I liked Carlos, but I couldn't help but be utterly amazed by him that night. I'm just totally confused with life, and I guess I'm still looking for my first "real" love.

On the homefront, my mother recently called me and asked me how well I was dealing with breaking up with my boyfriend. I don't know, but that was totally uplifting for me. It made me feel that perhaps my family did love me for who I was... gay or whatever, and not love me "even though" I was gay. Maybe things aren't as bad as I always imagined them to be... hehehe. It just seems that I'm finally comfortable with myself, and I don't care who knows it. I always gave up so easily, and I now realize all the things I've lost because of that. You just have to keep fighting for what you believe in, and always stay strong. Some day you will finally get what you have always hoped for, and it will be sweeter than you ever imagined. I never believed I would come this far, but with the help of my close friends and myself I have finally realized happiness. I know I have come a long way, but I'm not satisfied yet. I still have a lot to experience before I am done, and I can't stop until everyone's heard me out. Thank You.

Joshua S.

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