The Importance of Coming Out – rough draft part 1

Here is my first attempt

comingout

Coming out at college can be scary, even for those who have already come out elsewhere. I did not actually come out until the middle of my college career, but I wish I had come out sooner. There is a lot of reasons that coming out can be scary. The fear of rejection, persecution, and labeling are still very much alive in our modern times, but things are certainly better than they used to be.

These fears can often be amplified when someone is considering identifying himself/herself as gay from the moment they step foot on campus. Making friends in college is not easy for everyone, and the idea that by being honest about your sexuality you will most likely be narrowing your options from the beginning is not always appealing. It is not irrational to believe that the people who might reject you up front would accept you later, so long as they got to know you first. However, there is always the risk that those who you thought you could trust, will not only reject you but even making life harder on you after you’ve come out.

I think that the fear that some people might not like you if you are up front about your sexuality is very real, however the concept actually is nothing to be scared of. In fact, it is probably to your advantage to not be friends with people who would reject you for being honest about yourself. Friendship is not always easy, and it is important to have friends who are not just like you. If people don’t understand these concepts, they probably won’t make very good friends in the first place. Therefore, if this particular fear is what might make you hesitant about coming out, I would suggest you come out anyway. It might take you longer to make friends, but the ones you make will most likely stick with you through good times and bad.

Another common concern about coming out is roommates. If you don’t know your roommate before coming to college, you are already going to be filled with the average freshman concerns about whether or not you’ll be able to live together. Will you being gay be another problem? Will they be uncomfortable with it, and constantly think you are ogling them whenever you can? Normally you’ve got a  50/50 shot on whether this is going to be an issue for your roommate. I strongly urge not guessing based on first impressions. A kid who seems like a laid back stoner could just as easily not care as a highly religious straight edge one. The opposite is also true.

If you think you are going to be out at all during your first year, telling your roommate is probably always going to be a good idea, and it should be done sooner rather than later. Your roommate is going to most likely find out one way or another, and if he/she is going to have a problem with it, telling them early means they might be able to change rooms. This is not to say your first meeting should go like this:

Roommate A: Hey, I’m Peter.

Roommate B: Hey, I’m Jack, and yes I’m queer.

There are certain things about having this talk with your roommate to consider. First and foremost, you should probably wait to announce your sexuality until you two are alone. You certainly shouldn’t come out to your roommate while his parents are helping him/her unpack. Your roommate might be totally fine with you being gay, but his/her parents might be horrified at the idea. Your roommate might never even mention it to his/her parents, and you shouldn’t assume he/she has unless he\she tells you that he\she has told them. Keeping this in mind, if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend prior to college and he\she wants to help you move in, by all means let them. However, don’t make-out in front of your roommate, and/or his/her parents to announce your homosexual. It is in poor taste, and will most likely make a bad impression.

So, as I said, wait until you two are alone. You might want to keep the door open, just so it won’t seem like you are hitting on your new roommate, but if you decide to do so, don’t talk so loud that the neighbors can hear you. Just sit down and tell them that you hope it is not an issue for them, but that you are gay. Ask them if they understand what that means, and be ready to reassure him\her that you won’t be ogling them while you two live together. You also have to be able to actually keep your word on that promise. I don’t care how hot your roommate is, don’t ogle. It will probably be hard to keep that promise, but it is important that you do.

Secondly, ask if they have any questions, and assure them that no question is too dumb. I’ve been asked just about every question in the book, and I have always been able to answer them. This is also a good time to talk about bringing people home to the room. Some people develop a system of placing something on the door handle to signal do not disturb. Others develop special code words which mean that they would like you to go somewhere else for a bit. I knew one set of roommates who had a special code word which meant, help me get rid of my date! Leading yourself from a conversation about your sexuality back into normal roommate stuff will generally help your roommate think that you being gay is not a big deal. It also gives you guys something to bond over. You have a secret language, and that helps foster a sort of camaraderie.

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Something fun to write about

some-good-advice

As someone who only has temporary employment, and is always wanting to make a little money while I am in law school, I often peruse Craigslist for various jobs. One that particularly struck my fancy was this one:

E-Glomerate Publishing (e-glomerate.com) currently manages the profitable e-book “The College Guide To Dating.” The book that teaches college guys how to find a girlfriend through positive thinking, female psychology, and confidence building.

Many gay men and women have expressed interest in having a book suited to their lifestyle. They want something that will help them improve their success with dating. We do not have a product to sell to them, though they desperately need one.

We need a 40+ page guide on dating, relationships, or sex. We will use our current customer base and e-mail marketing list to promote your product. We will split the revenues.

The three topics we are looking for include:
1) College dating
2) Dating for young professionals
3) How to improve your sex life

Please specify which topic you are interested in.

There is no cost to you.

If you match this description, please reply to this ad or send an e-mail to eglomerate@yahoo.com

Thanks,
Ron

I thought about this one, and I felt I was perfectly qualified to write about gay college dating. So I sent them the following response:

Dear E-Glomerate,

I saw your ad on craigslist requesting a guide which focused on LGBT dating issues. I would be more than thrilled to actually write a book and get paid for the advice I already give out for free. I would like to know more about what you are looking for in terms of a book about college dating. Whereas I could certainly write a lot about college dating, I am unsure if I would be as qualified to write about lesbians as I would be for gay men. Topics that I think would be useful would be:

1. Locating the gays on campus – an underground map to the typical areas that attract the LGBT students.

2. The Perils and Pleasures of seducing a frat boy.

3. How to handle an encounter with the curious.

4. The importance of coming out, and what that actually means

5. Ways to make a college date memorable

6. How to escape nightmare scenarios

7. How to go home as yourself

8. The importance of keeping communication with old and new friends

9. The aftermath of sleeping with your friends

10. Play as much as you like, but play safe. A guide to safe play, that doesn’t kill romance

11. Overcoming first fuck syndrome.

12. Threesomes and more – what to expect and how to explore.

There are more I would gladly add, but I figure these would be a good starting off point. I managed to successfully date at a roughly conservative college in the south. Although I did not ultimately meet my fiancé till after college, I am proud of playing enough to have fun, but not so much I was seen as a slut.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

I am sure they won’t respond, but the idea of actually writing on these topics made me happy. I love talking about these kinds of things, and I like to think I give pretty good advice. So I think for my next post I’m going to write one of these up.

As someone who only has temporary employment, and is always wanting to make a little money while I am in law school, I often peruse Craigslist for various jobs. One that particularly struck my fancy was this one:

E-Glomerate Publishing (e-glomerate.com) currently manages the profitable e-book “The College Guide To Dating.” The book that teaches college guys how to find a girlfriend through positive thinking, female psychology, and confidence building.

Many gay men and women have expressed interest in having a book suited to their lifestyle. They want something that will help them improve their success with dating. We do not have a product to sell to them, though they desperately need one.

We need a 40+ page guide on dating, relationships, or sex. We will use our current customer base and e-mail marketing list to promote your product. We will split the revenues.

The three topics we are looking for include:
1) College dating
2) Dating for young professionals
3) How to improve your sex life

Please specify which topic you are interested in.

There is no cost to you.

If you match this description, please reply to this ad or send an e-mail to eglomerate@yahoo.com

Thanks,
Ron

I thought about this one, and I felt I was perfectly qualified to write about gay college dating. So I sent them the following response:

Dear E-Glomerate,

I saw your ad on craigslist requesting a guide which focused on LGBT dating issues. I would be more than thrilled to actually write a book and get paid for the advice I already give out for free. I would like to know more about what you are looking for in terms of a book about college dating. Whereas I could certainly write a lot about college dating, I am unsure if I would be as qualified to write about lesbians as I would be for gay men. Topics that I think would be useful would be:

1. Locating the gays on campus – an underground map to the typical areas that attract the LGBT students.

2. The Perils and Pleasures of seducing a frat boy.

3. How to handle an encounter with the curious.

4. The importance of coming out, and what that actually means

5. Ways to make a college date memorable

6. How to escape nightmare scenarios

7. How to go home as yourself

8. The importance of keeping communication with old and new friends

9. The aftermath of sleeping with your friends

10. Play as much as you like, but play safe. A guide to safe play, that doesn’t kill romance

11. Overcoming first fuck syndrome.

12. Threesomes and more – what to expect and how to explore.

There are more I would gladly add, but I figure these would be a good starting off point. I managed to successfully date at a roughly conservative college in the south. Although I did not ultimately meet my fiancé till after college, I am proud of playing enough to have fun, but not so much I was seen as a slut.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

I am sure they won’t respond, but the idea of actually writing on these topics made me happy. I love talking about these kinds of things, and I like to think I give pretty good advice. So I think for my next post I’m going to write one of these up.

Half-Blood Prince recap

HP6

Knowing that “The Half-Blood Prince” movie is coming out soon, struck me with one certainty.

All I remember about that book is the ending.

Therefore, I resolved to re-read the book, take my time, and I found the journey as incredible as I did the first time, but this time I won’t be likely to forget it.

Therefore, for people who don’t desire to re-read or simply don’t have the time I present a few facts you might enjoy remembering:

PLEASE NOTE THIS LIST IS BASICALLY NOTHING BUT SPOILERS AND IS INTENDED ONLY FOR THOSE WHOM HAVE ALREADY READ THE BOOK.

  1. Snape makes “The Unbreakable Vow” to protect Draco and do what he the dark lord has charged him to do, if it appears Draco cannot. He makes this vow to Narcissa, Draco’s mother, and Bellatrix is the one who binds them.
  2. Mrs. Weasley and Ginny hate Fleur who they call Phlegm.
  3. Rufus Scrimgeour is the new prime minister.
  4. Slughorn takes over Potions, and Snape is finally their defense against the dark arts teacher.
  5. Thanks to “The Half-Blood Prince” Harry is given a bottle of Felix Felicis. Who is taken by Harry to get the real memory from Slughorn about what he told Tom Riddle about the Horcruxes, and is taken by the rest of the gang to explain how they survive the end.
  6. Ron is teased for his lack of romantic experience, and snogs Lavender Brown for a better part of the book to compensate for it. Hermione and Ron are on ice for said part.
  7. Katie Bell, a member of the Quidditch team for Gryffindor, is poisoned by a necklace.
  8. Draco is suspected by Harry, but everyone else thinks he is nuts.
  9. Draco is hidden from the Marauder map because he is in the room of requirement.
  10. Draco’s “project” is that he is restoring the broken Vanishing Cabinet.
  11. Moaning Myrtle falls for Draco.
  12. Ron is poisoned and nearly dies.
  13. Hagrid is angry at the gang for not taking his class.
  14. Dumbledore has a singed arm/hand which never heals throughout.
  15. Tom Riddle was also the name of Voldemort’s Father. Marvolo was the maiden name of his mother.
  16. Tom Riddle Senior was a muggle.
  17. Tom’s mother’s name was Merope, and her father tormented her to the point they thought she was a squib, but she was in fact a very powerful witch who created a serious love spell.
  18. Fred and George, despite not actually graduating from Hogwarts, become fabulously wealthy as a result of their joke store. They make most of their money from the defensive gear they sell to the ministry. I.e. Hats with shield charms, because many of the people who work for the ministry and not very good wizards/witches.
  19. Fred and George are actually good at magic, even Hermione says so, as she is impressed at the complexity of the magic used by the merchandise in the joke shop.
  20. Luna is Harry’s date to the Christmas Party for the “Slug Club” which is deliciously awkward because she is strange.
  21. Harry is captain of the Quidditch team.
  22. Hermione and Ron are Prefects.
  23. Hermione uses a spell to secure Ron’s placement as keeper on the Quidditch team.
  24. Madame Rosmerta is important to Draco’s plan.
  25. We learn about Fenrir Greyback who is basically king of the werewolves and a death eater croney.
  26. Lupin lives amongst the werewolves.
  27. Tonks is depressed throughout most of the book. Over Lupin and not Sirius.
  28. Tom never tried to dupe Dumbledore, because of what he revealed to him when they met.
  29. Tom tortured children in a cave, which is the resting place of the locket Dumbledore takes Harry.
  30. The diary of Tom Marvolo Riddle from the 2nd book was a horcrux. Harry destroyed it.
  31. The ring of Tom Marvolo Riddle’s grandfather was another horcrux. Dumbledore destroyed it.
  32. Dumbledore suspects that Voldemort split his soul into 7, because it is a magic number.
    1. 1. The diary
    2. 2. The Ring
    3. 3. The Locket
    4. 4. The Hufflepuff Cup
    5. 5. Something of Ravenclaw or Gryffindor.
    6. 6. Nagini the snake
    7. 7. The one that is inside the body of Voldemort.
  33. Only after the 6 are destroyed, would destroying the body of Voldemort ultimately kill him.
  34. Harry loses to Hufflepuff in Quidditch because he is hit by a member of his own team.
  35. Harry is not responsible for the ultimate Quidditch win, because he is in detention with Snape. However at the party, he and Ginny finally hook up.
  36. Harry got detention because he used a Prince curse on Malfoy, which almost killed Malfoy.
  37. Hermione is right about the “Prince” being a last name, not a regal title.
  38. Snape and Voldemort both have witch mothers and muggle fathers.

Bitter Sweet

littlerock

So since I have come to Arkansas for the summer, things have been different.

For starters, BBE is still in NYC/Hoboken while I am here. This is the longest we have ever been apart and it is not easy. I was never a big fan of long distance romance, although the idea of letter writing is beautifully romantic. I told myself that I would eventually get used to sleeping without him, but it has not happened yet. I am slowly trying to wean myself off of drinking wine before bed just to fall asleep.

I have been telling myself for most of our relationship, that it is okay that I gained weight, because I am happy. When I was skinny, I was not happier, just thinner. This certainly appears to have been the absolute truth, because without seeing BBE’s face as he comes home from work has certainly lowered my smile count while I stay in Arkansas.

It is hard to fight depression, even though I am doing everything right. It is still a battle, and some days I win and others I lose.

However, there are things about Arkansas that I have enjoyed. One is just existing in a house that is large, with rooms bigger than most of our apartment. I’ve also been able to demonstrate to my parents how committed I am to the financial arrangement we made regarding my survival of law school without loans. I don’t think they see how sad I am about being back in AR, but I do think they note that it is hard for me.

My job is actually kind of wonderful. I feel like the prodigal son having returned. Many of the same people are at the firm, and I am greeted with a new found respect that comes from actually getting out, getting into law school, and coming back wiser and better than I was when I left. I also enjoy a lot of the work I do. Some of it is kind of boring, but none of it is bad or as mind numbing as document review. I feel involved, and the lawyers treat my like an equal. After reading what others are doing this summer, I truly considered my summer associate position a blessing.

Returning to Arkansas does have some good points. I am amazed at the fact that I can tell a difference in the air. I never thought about breathing smog in NYC, but I certainly can tell I’m breathing much purer oxygen here. I am also finally able to actually reconnect with acquaintances of my prior life. I decided I would have dinner and drinks with a whole host of people I used to see at Easy Street Piano Bar on a weekly basis. I am not rushed, trying to see everyone in one night, and I enjoy getting to actually learn about what has happened in their lives.

Still, I would trade it all to be back in NYC, laying out in central park watching BBE read the New York Times like it is the bible. When I am with him, my face cannot help but smile. Without him, it takes a little effort.

Sometimes Coming out seems unnecessary

05_Flatbed_1 - JUNE

So, it should pose no shock to anyone that I was an Adam Lambert fan. He was a musical theatre singer, who was in Wicked, who could sing high notes well, and he was pretty. What could make him more interesting to me? The fact he was so obviously gay while singing on American Idol. While this was something that certainly made me pay attention to this season of American Idol. It is not news.

Everyone knew, my parents who refused to acknowledge that I was gay knew, and I assume everyone else did too. Therefore, while I am so glad I have a famous, attractive, talented, singer out there to look up to and feel a kindred spirit with, I honestly find this whole “reveal” coverage completely annoying. If Rolling Stone was going to have Kris Allen on the cover claiming to be gay…that would be news. Glorious…sexy…news. The cover could feature he and Adam shirtless and making out. Anyway, Adam “coming out” to anyone who could not tell is not really interesting. I found his story about being at burning man more interesting than his statement that he identifies his sexuality as gay.

I am looking forward to Adam’s album, and he is the first American Idol I have would pay to see in concert. That said, why does Adam look so uncomfortable on that Rolling Stone cover? I mean I would be uncomfortable with a snake going up my thigh, but that doesn’t seem to be his problem. Thoughts?

World of Normal Boys – Review

world of normal boys

After being rather disappointed with “Dream Boy” I sought a better LGBT themed book. I came across “The World of Normal Boys” by K.M. Soehnlein, and I was immediately intrigued.

Brief Synopsis which is as Spoiler Free as one could make it:

The book was pretty much what I had been wanting. It is written in a bizarre present tense, and it tells the story of a thirteen-year-old boy named Robin living in New Jersey in the late 1970’s. Robin is sensitive, bookish, and very much aware that he is not a part of “The World of Normal Boys.” His younger brother, who is into sports, causing mischief, and essentially everything Robin is not torments him, his mother and he take special trips into New York City where they go to museums, and Robin has begun to realize his interest in men is not platonic but sexual in nature. Robin also has to deal with a typical challenge for freshmen, what crowd to go with in high school. Robin is tempted to turn from his identity as an academic to join the dark side of the burnouts, who skip class and smoke cigarettes.

These seemingly everyday problems are quickly made more complicated. Robin, his sister, younger brother, and annoying cousin are all engaged in a bitter struggle on the playground equipment. As Robin tries to stop his brother and cousin from tormenting his sister, Robin’s brother is thrown off the equipment, and falls to the pavement. He receives a spinal injury, and is taken to the hospital where he lies in a coma.

The stress for caring for Robin’s younger brother strains the family, and things once left unsaid arise to the surface. His father is blunt about his disappointment that Robin is not like his younger brother, and blames his mother and those special trips. The mother is reminded that she moved from her exciting city life to raise a family in the suburbs. All the while, Robin’s sister has become increasingly more Catholic, and has taken to keeping a constant vigil for her comatose brother.

Finding the family environment often too hard to handle, Robin often leaves the house for hours, skips school, and is generally missing. It is on these Missing in Action excursions that the story I was most interested occurs. Robin gets lost, and is in an area known for being unsafe, when he spots a kid from school. The two bond over their hatred of gym, but Robin must now choose whether to ditch school and join his new burnout friend, or remain a good student. Robin opts to skip school, and the two boys escape to an abandoned aviary, where they smoke weed, and Robin has his first boy on boy encounter.

Thoughts:

The title of this book, and the references of being outside the “World of Normal Boys” was one that tugged at my heart strings. All too often I felt much like Robin, and I too was willing to sacrifice my status of being a brain in order to run with a more interesting crowd. Reading about Robin’s adventures with the burnout kids were my favorite. The fact that the kids sexually experimented while “under the influence” of weed, rang quite true. Especially since Robin has to face the fact that while he wanted to do more, the other kids viewed it as merely getting off rather than an expression of desire.

This issue is normally treated as a “cover” in most gay novels, wherein the resistant one finally fesses up that he was doing it because he wanted the person not just the orgasm. Whereas this normally makes for wonderful resolutions, it is a rare reality. Many “normal boys” are curious, and even those who engage in sexually explicit acts, are entirely capable of doing so to sate their curiosity and hormones. This is true with heterosexual escapades just as it is true with homosexual ones. Therefore I enjoyed Soehnlein’s willingness to give us a window into how strange experiences like this can be.

Soehnlein’s story kept me reading, but I was a little impatient with the family side of the story. However, Robin certainly changes and develops throughout the story in a way that is both believable and captivating. I would thoroughly enjoy knowing more about Robin’s later life.

The Cut In My Mind

slit wrist

I had descended the stairs. In the dark. In the quiet. I took my steps quietly, deliberately making no sound. On the kitchen counter stood the block, which was the sheath for the many knives my mother has used to make dinner for us. I had learned how to use them that year, slicing onions, carrots, potatoes, anything.

I took the chef’s knife, the long blade scraping across the wood like a lead pencil across a desk. In the moonlight my pale arms glowed, a perfect light to cut by. I ran the blade across my skin, wondering where best to cut.

I could see it. My hand slicing into my flesh, the red hot blood coming to the surface staining the pristine countertop with crimson. I wondered if I would have the strength to not cry out, to not alarm my parents sleeping at the end of the hall.

I could see my mother finding me, dead in the morning. Not knowing why. I was sad to have loved her, but been unable to tell her how sad I was. My father would come in, see my mother and comfort her. He would not be the one to find me. He would not be the one to have the image of finding me dead burned into him.

I put the knife back in the box.

I ascended the stair. I went to sleep.