Yesterday, I spent time catching up with a very respectable young woman whom I had not really spent time with since we graduated from high school almost a year ago. It was very interesting, and not only because she knows more gossip than God. I, F. Scott, Jeremy, whoever you wish to call me, was finally given some sort of relief regarding the straight boy I loved in high school and all of the mental anguish that went along with him, and it made me feel really good. Allow me to elaborate.
I realize that I've pretty much disappeared from Oasis since the crash and resurrection, but I used to complain a lot about a specific straight boy who always did things to make me like him, and make me think he liked me even though he had a girlfriend. For the longest time, even recently, I felt incredibly stupid for liking, even loving him, if he was straight and obviously not interested in me. Plus, if he was straight then I was interpreting a LOT more in his actions than he really intended. I'd list all of the situations and things he said, but it would take too long. This is what I wrote about him over a year ago as my first post to the new Oasis site, just to give you an idea:
"I've sort of liked a guy for over a year now, from the first day when he consoled me after I came into class crying. He was the only one. No, I'm not a drama (king?); I wasn't wailing or anything. I was upset, and there were tears welling up in my eyes and he was the only one who noticed; the only one who talked to me about it. As for the cause of my sadness, most of us can relate to the situation of the halls at school; I needn't get into the specifics of that day. Class started and he wrote me a note, a really uplifting note, and I was very grateful. From then on, out of the fear of developing a crush, I shied away. I resisted the urge to talk to him. He was persistent, however, and I eventually gave in. I gave in to his smile, to his kind words, and I fell. I fell out of reason and I liked him. The class was ending within a few weeks, though, so I was given the opportunity to just say goodbye and forget about him. This appeared to be what happened, until one day he showed up in choir. I had forgotten that I encouraged him to audition, and when he wasn't present for the first week of it I had assumed that he wouldn't be in it. I was wrong, and he's been there with me ever since. I suppose I should get on to the problem with this. He's straight; there's no doubt in my mind. (He's been in a long term relationship with a girl and I've heard brief comments about how "serious" they are, not to mention the fact that I've seen them together; that's enough to convince anyone...) And, as we all know, either from reading about it or experiencing it ourselves, it isn't easy to just turn off your infatuation with someone, especially when you're lonely. I tried, though, and every time I did that's when he'd seem to notice and start being perfect again. Then he shared his personal problems with me; things he didn't even tell his girlfriend. I still don't know why he did this, but I was glad that he did and eager to help. Granted, this didn't help me one bit... We'd go through waves of friendship and every time he started talking to me it was enough to keep me interested in him. Eventually, I decided that the only way to stop getting closer to him and move on was to push him away. I was mean at times. I said that he annoyed me. He acted hurt, as well he should have been, given that it came out of nowhere, and tried even harder to get me to like him again. I'm weak; I submitted and I find myself in no better a state than I was before. And so the struggle continues..."
... apparently it wasn't all in my mind. I'm not saying that he did like me, oh no no no. I'm saying that he did things that made people, people other than me, wonder if he liked me. Someone asked a friend of mine last year if we were sleeping together. Then, after I came out to her yesterday, my other friend told me that she thought that he liked me, so much so that she had to keep asking people if he was still going out with his girlfriend. Another one of my friends definitely thought that the guy was at least questioning his sexuality. All of these things... I was so glad that it wasn't all in my head. We had a nice talk about everything, both that situation and the general opinion of my sexuality in high school. Apparently, it was generally accepted that I was gay, and everyone was okay with it. Amazing, isn't it? I was basically out and there I was thinking I was hiding it so well. Most people even knew that I liked him. I figured that the girl I spoke to yesterday knew, considering we once spent a whole night finding the Wawa where he worked. (For those of you who don't live there, as most of you probably do not, Wawas are very popular convenience stores in South Jersey. You'll find at least one in a one mile radius, usually. And heck, just in case it comes up on a quiz show, "wawa" is the Lenape [a tribe of Native American that was big in the Delaware Valley] word for the Canadian goose.) Generally, straight guys don't stalk other straight guys.
So, yes, I was basically out in high school without giving them the official word. My first reaction was to regret not coming out, but then I really thought about it. What would that have done? I mean, sure, I was one of those jokes, the person people called gay behind his back just because they thought they were so clever to have figured it out, but what would coming out have done besides confirm the rumors? I wouldn't have dated; I was fat and I was still far too uncomfortable to do anything. Plus, there was a shortage of datable gay guys in my school, and I certainly wasn't cute enough to date one of the guys in the All State Chorus. The nice people I was friends with who were too naive to think I was gay were still comfortable around me and the abusive people who were too dumb to recognize that I was gay didn't have anything concrete to use to shove me around. Other than that, I think that the major difference would have been that I would have been treated like a little parlor trick gay. "Say that that boy is attractive. I don't respect you for having legitimate feelings; I enjoy hearing a boy say that he is attracted to another boy just because it's so different from anything I've heard before and goes against what my parents have always said. Heh heh, it's FUNNY." It makes me sick. I am not gay just to make other people feel modern and cool. I'm gay because I fell in love with a really great guy. Plus, if I had come out I would have had to hear how flamey I was in choir and drama; without being out, people thought it but they didn't say it, thank God.
And the boy? If I was closeted, he was even moreso. I think that he knew I loved him, and I know that he was confused because of the way he acted towards me and the things he said to me. If I was officially out, nothing would have been different, except that he might have been too scared to spend time with me. Now I realize that it's better that nothing did happen, even though that was what I wanted more than anything at the time. If he had made a move, kissed me or something, where would we have gone from there? We wouldn't have been as free as a boyfriend and girlfriend. I know that he wouldn't have been comfortable enough to tell his parents, and I couldn't picture telling mine. And what about all of his friends, the ones who really don't seem to accept gay people? How long would it have really lasted? It wouldn't have been what I had with my boyfriend in college. We wouldn't have been free, and it wouldn't have lived up to the situation I had built up in my mind.
Of course, I'm probably just doing what I can to make myself feel better with what really happened rather than being completely honest; it still would have made me happier that I can even imagine now, but I have been happy since and I have complete faith that I will be happy with a man again. I think that it was the anticipation and interpretation, imagining it all and never being sure, that made it so amazing.
As for and update on him, he broke up with his girlfriend early last summer and now he's dating another girl. We've barely spoken since we left high school. He went into the National Guard, but he's currently home, spending the time between basic training and special training working at the same Wawa. I ran into him there a few weeks ago, and I was really short with him because I didn't want him to know how much I missed him when he didn't call last summer or that, if he still called me, I'd probably still like him a lot.
I've decided that if he ever does call me again and ask me to do something, I'm going to tell him everything. That's pretty safe, though, since I'm sure that things are done and that he will never be a part of my life again.
ANYWAY, I suppose the point of my long, rambling update is directed at those people who are closeted in high school, especially the seniors, even though you're all starting to rebel against advice for high schoolers. I assure you that the worst time with my straight crush came towards the end of high school, because that's when emotions were high and everyone started panicking about being separated and starting the future. Plus, you manage to have a great deal of free time right before graduation because you're done at that place. For me, it was the time of random sleepovers and even more cryptic language, secrets being divulged, and the most extreme highs and lows of our strange, strange friendship. But yes, the point:
First, don't come out until you're ready. It's basic advice, but it's really important. You will hear a lot of older gay people say that they wish that they had come out as soon as they realized they were gay, and that's mainly because as they've gone along they've discovered that people generally don't care, and at the time that they're reminiscing they are comfortable with being gay and have decided that they always have been, that they've been certain that they were gay but were just to afraid to actually say it. Well, no, it's not that simple. Coming to terms with being gay is a lot more complicated. But it's true, people in your high school probably have an idea that you're gay; the guy I liked was very athletic and had a girlfriend and people STILL thought he was gay. Those same people who know that you're gay probably don't care, they might even care a lot less than you do, but they will probably treat you differently if you actually come out. It's not a bad different, but if you're still uncomfortable with yourself then some of the things they say will bother you. It will be a defining aspet of you, and it will be brought up more than you want. Don't feel pressured to come out because you think that you'll regret it later. Despite the bad connotation that comes with being in the closet, sometimes it really is necessary for you to develop a good comfort level and a positive take on your sexuality. Think of it as a cocoon. (My corniness has lost some of you. It's okay, I know.)
As a side comment, college is VERY nice for coming out. Freedom from parents, a lot more gay people, and the ability to drop people who don't accept you before you get too close. These aren't people who knew you "before you were gay"; they can know from the start, and you won't have to go through the weird adjustment process with them. It's really fantastic.
Second, that straight crush that has crushed you might not be your fault. I've talked to other people who have had them and, although some of them have not been as serious as mine, we noticed that it was not entirely us. Other boys are confused, too, and confusion does not always lead to being gay or bi; some of them really are straight. We, the crushed ones who dwell on it, are the ones who ended up gay. They just moved on to heterosexual lovin', but that doesn't meant that they weren't leading us on a little. Being a year older (and having changed a lot and experienced a lot more in that one year than I thought I ever would in high school), I'm compelled to say "just tell him", but that's just one of those nagging things that seems more possible in retrospect than it really was at the time. You'll wish you had later, but that doesn't mean that you should. Wait the year, come back sure of yourself, and then tell him, if it isn't entirely inappropriate. By then, you won't care and you'll want the closure. That's where I'm at, at any rate. If the people from high school find out and spread it around at that point, it really won't matter. You don't see anyone you don't want to any more. It's like they don't exist, and I'm from a pretty small sending area.
Basically, things will get better. Whatever you're choosing to do now regarding your sexuality, whether you're coming out or spending every night shut up in your room and being gay only online, won't matter in a year, so don't panic and think that you're missing your chance because that's what some people are saying; they're just vocal about it because that's how they coped with being different. You'll catch up to everyone else. It's pretty cool.
PS- About college: Don't be too afraid of being fresh meat; every guy goes a little crazy when he gets to college. You'll suddenly have a bunch of guys who like you because you're new, and it can be fun. Don't be slutty and remember to be safe, but lighten up a bit. It can get to be really intense, and you'll be more sure of yourself and comfortable with it than you ever thought possible.