By Jon

Hello again Oasis readers, thank you all again for writing your emails to me concerning last month's article. This month I want to talk about coming out and Matthew Shepard.

I know at one time when I thought of Matthew Shepard I thought 'why come out at all when you run the risk of getting beat up and possibly murdered for being gay?' Yes that is a very real concern for me and a lot of people living in a small town, but coming out does not have to be that way at all. I know for me when I come out I am not going to be a flamer and tell the whole town I live in HEY ALL I AM GAY, no when I come out it will be all who are close to me.

My orientation is my business and I don't need to tell everyone just the people I want to know. When you think of it that way it is not as scary, yes you still run the risk of getting beat up but it is not just coming out. I remember reading in a book that it is not just about coming out and telling everyone you are gay, it is about being true to one's self. For me it is about being honest with my family and friends about me and no one else.

If you ever saw me on the street you would see an ordinary guy walking down the street, you would not suspect I am gay, for me I am a private person someone who does not want to advertise myself as saying 'hey world, I live in such and such town,' 'hey world, I work at such and such place,' and by all means I will not say 'hey world, I am gay.' When I come out I want people to accept me for who I am and above all respect me for who I love, along the same lines you don't have to agree with me or you don't have embrace the homosexual way.

I know when I hear the conservative or the religious people who say being homosexual is wrong, or when I hear that oh you are gay oh you are going to shove your gay lifestyle down my throat. No that is not what I wish or what any gay man or women would want, what I want and what I think all gay men and women want is to understand that for us being in love with someone of the same sex it is all very natural for us and it is not something easily explained. Also I would want people to not say oh gross look at those two guys or two girls kissing why do they have to do that in front of me? What the straight world does not realize is that what they take for granted a gay man or women has to live in fear for showing affection for their partners. It should not have to be that way at all.

What I learned from Matthew is that the way he was brought up or the way he acted is how I feel and the way I was brought up. Better explained is that I see myself a little in Matthew, how sensitive he was how quiet he was. Maybe you too can see a little of yourself in Matthew. When I have surfed the web looking at how guys and girls have dealt with there sexual orientation I have felt the same way. I too felt alone in High School, I too was teased in High School, and yes I too was called a faggot, and the all famous "What the hell are you staring at?"

Even after all that, readers, I still want to come out, I want to come out because I want to be true to myself I want to stop telling lies to my family, I want to be able to say "No I have not found a girlfriend yet but I have found a boyfriend and he is terrific" Loving someone of the same sex is a beautiful thing remember that readers, it is natural and above all it is ok it is not a sin. Till next month readers take care and be safe looking forward to seeing what you all think.

My email address is jon99@beautifulboy.com or jjia@geocities.com I have two chat programs ICQ which is 7694949 and AOL Instant Messenger it is JPJ82.

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