It's Only Adolescence
Adolescence is that precious time in your life when you gain your inhibitions, then slowly learn to lose them. For some the world is just fine the way it is and there is no need for the cliché teenage rebellion, and for some rebellion becomes a lifestyle. Ok so youve done the sex, the drugs the parties and the tears, what now?
At the tender age of 17 (for me anyway) it is time to stop, take a look at where I have been and where I am going. For many of us that means that we are going to live as homosexuals.
Its a pretty big decision if you really think about it. You can have all the gay sex you like, play the alternative at your school and even tart around Oxford Street in a thong, but is this not still only life trying to imitate art.
That is, as far as I can see it anyway, that you have got to feel comfortable with your self.
A couple of months ago while I was away, my prying mother read my diary which contained all the secrets that you would expect to find in a gay teenagers journal (in great detail). Of course I had to run away for a couple of days (it was such an American movie, I loved it) but upon my return we all agreed to play the denial game. The situation at present involves uncomfortable family dinners and constant homoerotic references. They know it, I know it but the truth is just too uncomfortable to air.
So am I ready to be gay yet? I can't accept my self in my own society, yet I am more then willing to fuel suspicions and rumors at my small and gossip ridden private school. I can feel as close to a guy as any straight guy can feel to a girl yet I shudder with fear at the taught of bringing a guy to my formal or even being seen associating with one.
As year 12 draws to a close and adulthood looms closer for everybody, decisions have to be made. In one ear we hear: be your self, labels belong on jars etc while in the other we hear get a job make money get married have kids and all that bullshit. Not to mention the ever present and dreaded HSC.
So what if the world is fine with your sexuality... your parents are that excepting post hippy, baby boomer type and youve already been there and done that. School is over and people just dont seem to care as much anymore. The safety blanket that kept you snugly in the closet, which you resented so much is suddenly gone. The thing is, that for many, the idea of coming out to the world it not wonderful exodus its made out to be. Even though society is not homophobic, its cool to be gay and that little feeling you get inside when you know your being alternative is second to none, deep inside our inadequate teenage psyche we just want to be accepted.
I do believe that the decision to come out is the right one. Look at the positives; Homos get an extra right of passage J. As for most things of course there is a time and place to do it. For my self, my goal is to gain the courage to bring a guy to my year 12 formal and hopefully get my picture on the front page of the Jewish News. And yes I think that vanity should play a part in any coming out process. If I am going to do it I want every other closet case in the room to be sweating under their hire suits, I want the visiting [eastern suburbs' private school] boys to want to bash me in the bathrooms, I want that history teacher who always suspected to give me a little wink.
Some people are full of confidence but I am not. I am going to have to come out like a band aid. I know it's going to hurt for a second... but I can also see the world that awaits me. For many, their homosexuality is that last inhibition. Like taking that first sip of alcohol or pulling into someone for the first time homosexuality can be so much fun, if you let it. Well thats my thought anyway.
Dave is not the author's real name. Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was written in 2001.