Lying in your bed, the place where you remember your past, feel your present and see your future. The best mirror in the world, fantasises hold up in the darkness make you smile, make you cry, freak you out.
I’ve tortured myself whether it’s smart to write this, if don’t want to know, then I’ve got an experimental piece in my book you can have, but I had to write this down.
Our story begins last summer in June, man that seemed along time ago. As per usual I had set myself the task to lose some weight during the summer months; this determination had been shored up by some good weight loss over the winter/ spring. Now all this weight loss had been achieved with dieting, but I knew to get anywhere I’d have to do some exercise (NOOOOO!). My thoughts naturally turned to doing some jogging or perhaps going to the gym (HA!), that’s when it all went wrong.
Lying in my bed on this boiling Saturday afternoon (I had been up since 5 helping my Dad) I day dreamt about going to gym, getting some exercise you know weights, on the treadmill. Then I’d go and get a shower. Deep in this dream world, I’m busy washing myself, then in the corner of my eye I see two men having sex. Two big muscle bound butch guys (quite funny now I’d barely look at those type), one turns and asks if I’d want to join, I do…
Wake up, snap out of it man (?). I’ll spare you the grizzly details but let’s say that I was “excited” (okay that sounds slutty). For 5 mins I was freaked out, I mean freaked out. I was like what the FUCK had gone on there? I grabbed one of my brother’s magazines (celebrity one) and flicked to the picture of the most “fit” woman in there and stared at it…
Nothing, No an inch.
Okay the average over sexed, overweight, desperate teenager should get the hots for Britney Spears, but nothing, oh dear. I tried to get back to sleep but every time I did the dreams would return. I think I managed to drift off. All weekend I felt weird, and yes every time I’d close my eyes I’d see those dreams. Damn those dreams. I was also freaked out while I was watching a wrestling show I could feel myself looking at this wrestlers ass (funnily enough this wrestler has quite the gay following).
I felt weird; I wanted to explore the whole sexuality issue. I decided to restart my English story (restarting/redrafting has always been a problem in English as this very piece of work shows). I tried to write a piece about a boy who “comes out” to a teacher. Unfortunately my friends kept asking what it was about and when I told them a mixture of snigger and stares scared me off. Also it didn’t help when William Heney told Mr Akiten’s that a former pupil was gay responded by joking he was “batting for the other side”, so I restarted again (it never got finished by the way).
I felt really confused, like I wasn’t actively fancying any boys but then again I wasn’t actively fancying any girls, but still these dreams persisted. I was seriously freaked out, I didn’t want to be gay, I knew that my parents hated them, hell two years ago I had (thankfully I was more liberal now) and my brother also hated them, I had to be normal. I did anything to be straight, I stayed up and watched the 10-min preview for the porn channels (I feel so dirty, so, so dirty), and I was literally begging, praying that I’d you know, be a MAN and I was after about 5 minutes.
I didn’t feel any better, I knew it was fake, I knew they were something wrong with me, but what could I do?
Activities week came up, It was alight, I enjoyed it. I put all these thoughts to the back of my head. On the Wednesday I stayed up and watched a band called Placebo in concert. Their lead singer was just, beautiful, he was just stunning in this little designer dress, he just melted me. I was too tired too be freaked out but he looked brilliant. The set was fab to.
I was still freaked out about the whole situation, I desperately wanted to be normal again, but I felt resigned, you know I knew I was fighting a losing battle. At this time we still had the Internet. I felt like I needed some proper help, so I went on to Ask Jeeves, and typed the word gay in. It came back with a couple of sites, the one I chose gayyouthuk.co.uk.
It was a good site, I read around and a lot of the stuff helped me (I’m sorry this is a bit vague but this was a year ago). I read this site for weeks, just going thorough the stuff, like the Agony Uncle, I sent one to him but it never got answered. The one thing that the help me was reading a letter from a girl somewhere, who said she didn’t see why she had to stay in the closet, to hide this “special” thing about her, I had never thought of it as being special, just that it was wrong, weird. The Internet was soon after taken out. I wonder what would have happened if it had stayed?
My dreams changed, from the horrible dreams about butch muscle head, to dreams about a “knight in shinning armour” (snigger) I began dreaming a companion, I boyfriend, (yep I’m sad, I know). I could him Chris for strange reason, probably because both my favourite wrestlers have the name Chris (three letters, SAD). The rest of the year was weird, as the whole “I’m Gay” thing really was pushed to the back of my mind. I contented myself to dreaming (yes about Chris, man you do not let up do you?) and oh yes drooling about Brian Molko (Placebo’s lead singer) and Richard Ashcroft (the rock star, not my friend).
In particular Molko, he was so cute. He often looked like a women I have pictures where he looks like one (Earlier this year, I’d played a trick on Wardle, I showed a picture of Brain and asked him if he’d “do” her? he said yes, ha ha). He also had a brilliant voice (like Dickie Ashroft) and I’d listen to his songs, especially the album “Without You I’m Nothing” and some of the songs I could just see me slow dancing to them, thin, in a skirt, with Mr Right.
Your never gonna look at me the same way are you? Don’t worry neither did I.
As I said I managed to lock all this up in the back of my mind for months. We eventually got the Internet back, and I visited the site again, I looked around. About oh I don’t know, February I noticed it had something called a “discussion board” I had a look-see, and I like it so I signed up. Okay first off I have to stress that this site is not a gay pick up, but a strictly monitored site for Under-25s, with a ban on people advertising sex. For some reason this act of signing up was kinda of the last step, I had categorised myself as gay, big step. I felt weird, I should mention that I brought my first Manic Street Preachers album the same day, they’d soon become important.
The next day, I went rugby as usual. However I kept feeling myself looking at my team mates backsides. We had a game I can’t remember who won or not but I remember as we were going to get changed and the cutest one had his back to me, oh uncomfortable or what. I was forcing myself not to look. This happened at school I felt myself looking at boys I fancied, this was (you guessed it) FREAKING ME OUT!!! I felt I needed someone to talk to, so I asked if anyone had any idea about Gay Youth Groups in Shepshed. Someone e-mailed me with a phone number to a helpline, the following “adventure” would lead to me posting this on the board:
“Thanks for he number Craig, I owe you one.
It felt weird ringing up. I’ve been thinking that I’m different before but it’s always been at the back of my mind, the confines of those minutes when you look back on your past and see your future when your trying to sleep.
However since I’ve subscribed to this list the thought that I’m gay has really been at the forefront of my mind. Sometimes I look round the classroom and I see which boys I fancy. I hear people bad mouth gays, knowing that 3 years ago I’d agreed with them (yes I know, I’m sorry), 2 years ago I’d o been aghast in a woolly liberal kind of way but that today their bad mouthing me.
The most awkward time I had was when last Sunday I went Rugby. Now our changing rooms are really small, so we’re squashed together, and this lad had his back to me, drying himself and I could see his arse dead straight in front of me of me (it was a nice one as well), I felt so awkward trying not to look.
Anyway today armed with the telephone that Craig gave me, I went to ring the helpline up. Knowing I’d have to use a phone box (Quote from Dad “Me and your Mum will always love you, but if either of you are one of them, your out” love you too Dad). I offered to go shop for my Dad and he gave me some money for what he thought was sweets. I got his stuff and I waited for half-seven to come (I had to kill 10 minutes) then I rang up.
It was weird, A nice sounding man answered with one of those posh sounding gay accents, the ones my friends find hilarious. I asked my question thinking this would be an ask and answer type thing and he seemed really nice and answered, the machine ran out of money so I popped another 10p in and prepared for him, to carrying on giving details that I can’t ever see me using. Then he asked me if I was using a machine and then if I had came out to my parents or a friend or how do you know that your gay. He sounded really interested in me, wanted to help me.
I was so sad when I had to stop him but I had ran out of money. However I felt different, after just a 5-minute talk over the phone with a total stranger, I am more comfortable with my sexuality than ever before. However the stuff like not being able to a Gay Youth Group, having to go to the phone box, the fact that the minute I finish this e-mail I’m going to have to crawl thorough my computer’s “History” file and delete it has made me realise how hard this part of my life is going to be. However when I think about how helpful that man was o how ecstatic Harsch was at finding Mr Right, I’ll know it’ll be worth it…”
Loads of people responded after that, and they were all really nice and supportive. Especially Harsch, we soon established a pen pal friendship, and I almost met him (twice). I also turned the letter into a monologue, although Mr Applewright told me not to do it.
However I didn’t immediately feel better, in fact I still felt depressed. The worst lesson was a drama lesson on a Thursday. Mr Applewright wasn’t there and I just sat there listening to my Manics CD. I felt like crying, I really did. Some of the others were talking about how fags sit and it was just too much, I really wanted sir to ask me at the end how I was, so I could tell him (I was too scared to make the first move).
I was getting proper depressed now at school. I really wanted to tell someone but I was to scared to, or I was resolved but couldn’t get them on my own, to tell them. I thought about telling Anna, but I never got the right moment, oh I’m such a goofball. So for the next few weeks I just slumped inside my shell listening to my Manic CD’s, crying if not really then in my heart.
Anyway I really wanted to tell someone but I couldn’t. However one Tuesday, I had Mr Smith as cover for French and spur of the moment type thing I decided to tell him. I didn’t manage to catch him at the end of the lesson. However it ate me up for the rest of the day. So I managed to tell him at the end of the day. He was really good, like totally understanding. I felt loads better. He met me a few more times, however didn’t really want to intrude and abuse his time.
I wanted to explore the whole sexuality stuff again so when Mr Applewright asked us to do a monologue I talked about someone, who was suffering from homophobic bullying, it wasn’t brilliant but it was okay. After all the monologues had been read we had like 10 minutes left and we just started talking about persecution and stuff like that. We started talking about gays, and of course the boys started bad mouthing them and everything. The girls defended them of course, but I was just rooted to the spot. Here I was the person who had done a monologue about this very issue and I had no tongue. Sir asked me, and a warbled out the usual answer “Can’t choose, Live and Let Live”.
Mr Smith asked if there was another teacher I could tell, I said I trust all of you (and I do, especially you Mrs Parsons) although I said he could tell Mr Applewright, I also talked to him about doing my Autobiographical piece on this. I have to say afterwards, I regretted asking Mr Smith to tell Mr Applewright as I’m sure he would have asked me whether I was or not, after reading my 2nd monologue.
Anyway I showed Anna my monologue, she seemed pretty er puzzled, is that the right word? It definitely got her thinking. Anyway as I said Mr Applewright advise me not to perform it, which was a shame, but probably the right decision. Mr Applwright was brilliant, just told me it was no big deal and such and such, which was exactly what I needed. I felt so much better, but not for long!
On the Sunday before we went back to school after Easter, I decided that I’d tell Anna in English, and I got seriously freaked out. It was like my world had fell apart. I realised that if my parents found out they’d hate me, kick me out (my Dad’s irritated enough with having a liberal round the house). I just totally lost it, I felt like screaming, I just felt alone. I posted a message on the board, which is so desperate and distressing I’m not going to show it, but let’s say it was titled “WILL SOMEONE FUCKING ANSWER?” which pretty much details my state of mind. Harsch rang me; I felt so close to him. I was just whispering, and I realised how sometimes my voice just totally seems out of place, like I’m a six foot 2, brick shithouse and I whisper, strange. I felt better and I managed to get some sleep.
All day Monday I thought about whether to tell her or not all day. I talked to Mr Smith about it, and I made a list in Maths about the pros and cons of telling her. In the pros there was a huge list and I could only think of one reason in the cons “I’m scared”. I enter English not knowing what to do, and then I start down next to her and just COLLAPSED, literally I could barely talk and everything, Anna and I left and I told her and she said “So what?” (You know I really feel for poor Mr Smith, like both Mr Applewright and Anna knew/ had an inclining before they saw me. He was flying by the seat of his pants, poor guy), I was so startled I repeated it, we talked for a bit, then went back inside.
To be honest I felt good, I still felt depressed, and I was also a bit worried about how she took it. However I spoke to Anna on the phone on the Wednesday and I really started to feel better. From there to now, I’ve had loads of ups and downs, but to be honest I’d rather not talk about them (so there!). The whole Anna knowing is pretty cool, someone who can tell things that you wouldn’t tell a teacher (although I’ve not left much out of this, have I?), also when people are talking to you some funny situations come up that are sort of inside jokes.
To be honest I’ve written this, as I was starting to get a bit freaked out everything, but this has really helped. I was just thinking about how will it work out? How will my parents react? Will they accept me? What will my first boyfriend look like? Will my parents be happy for us? Will I have one of those gay weddings? (er maybe not) Will it come out before I leave school? Will all my friends hate me if it does?
And more importantly which dress will I wear this one or this one.
At first I was afraid, I was petrified…