Justin's Life...

~ October 1999 ~
~ October 22nd ~

October 22, 1999 - Friday

Normally, I try to limit what I write here to things that are about my life specifically. Our lives all effect each other, though, so sometimes that line of what is "my life" and what is someone else's gets blurred. The following was not one of those times. The conversations that ensued were primarily about Andrew's life, not mine, but I thought they provided insight into an important facet of coming out and that my advice to Andrew might have a more global audience. And so, this entry delves into into someone else's life much more than most while still containing my perspective. And, if you're wondering, I explained this all to Andrew and he said it was ok for me to post his slice of life here.

And so, with that caveat, here goes:

I've been in the mood to fly someone out for a while now. I first asked Adam from Alabama back in August if he'd like to fly out to LA for the weekend, but he had way too many issues with it all, and for several reasons, it never happened. Finally, it just got to the point of me feeling like I was beating my head against the wall, so I gave up.

And then, in September, I began e-mailing back and forth with a guy named Andrew. He was 18, just started college in Washington, and just seemed like he'd be fun to have around for a weekend. We exchanged several e-mails and tried to figure out travel arrangements. I was psyched about him coming... until I got this e-mail:

Friday night was like the best night I can remember. I was at my friend Mitch's house..I've been there the past two weekends. He's really cool and I like him a lot. (Not as in more than a friend...he's not my type at all). A couple people from gay.com came over, friends of Mitch's friend. My god, one of them was the most attractive person I've ever seen. So we all hung out there...they were all drinking but not me since I can't drive even after just a little. (Low tolerance and takes me a long time to sober up). We watched a movie and then went to the kitchen and just sat and talked a lot. It was really cool because I actually felt like I was a part of it all, and not just someone sitting on the edge. Normally really attractive people don't even speak to me. The conversation ended up being about sex and people asking questions everyone had to answer. Of course I was the one with the least experience (everyone else was older..30s...23, 21, 20, and me at 18)..but noone made it matter...I was still part of the conversation. After awhile of that we went back into the bedroom (that's where Mitch's tv is). 5 of us sat on the bed, ending up basically in a dog pile..although I was at the edge since I wasn't sure what to do hehe. Soon I got more involved and a little happened. I felt my first hairy chest which was cool lol (I'm obsessed). Some more happened but nothing major. A bit later Mitch wanted to go to sleep (it was 4:30am) so we all left. As I was about to drive away Mark came over and gave me his ICQ number. He kinda bit my ear too when we hugged goodbye lol. So I was really happy that night cause it was a lot of fun and I'd met some cool people who may be friends.

Time for new paragraph hehe. Anyways Saturday I went to Mitch's to do homework but couldn't concentrate and ended up feeling really sad. I came back here and had supper and worked some more on my homework, although gave up quick because I couldn't pay attention. I couldn't think why I was so sad when earlier that day (before bed) I'd been the happiest in so long. Finally I began to realise that I was lonely...even though I'm making friends...I was lonely for more. I went back to Mitch's house to watch a movie with him and another guy. It helped a little. Sunday I was on ICQ and Mark msg'ed to see if i wanted to go to a movie with them. I said sure...so I rushed to the shower and to drive to the neighboring town in 20 mins. I didn't make it since I hadn't thought about the movie theatre being on the opposite end of town...so I was 10 mins late. We rented two movies instead and Bob came over too. After the first movie Leon (Mark's bf) gave Mark a backrub, and then Mark got me to sit in front of him so he gave me one too. Then he did a bit more than just a backrub and I ended up lying back on him (he was propped against couch). It was really nice to be sitting like that with someone...I'd been longing for that ever since I can remember. Not to mention with the best looking guy around who's also really nice hehe. At the same time though, I knew from friday's conversation that his bf didn't like it when he flirted with other people. (does that a lot apparently). So I felt bad about that but it was too nice to get up. Later I went to the bathroom and came out and Leon was there (just outside bathroom) and we talked about how he doesn't like it when Mark flirts with people. He told me not to feel bad but I still did. I had to leave pretty soon after to get to my dorm's floor meeting and free pizza. I got here 1 minute late and all the pizza was gone. Anyways I was even more sad Sunday night. I was even more lonely it seemed, like having a bit of that kind of attention makes me realise how lonely it is without it. Some day I guess I'll find it..just seems that's a long ways away. At least I know there are real live gay people out there who are attractive and nice even to me.

So...that's basically what kind of state of mind I was in for the weekend and yesterday. I'm still feeling it today but getting better. I guess I was just feeling really alone and unsecure so that's why I wrote you that msg about your lack of a response to my e-mail yesterday.

I'm not always messed up in the head...just had a tough weekend :)

Thanks for cheering me up,

[ Edited For Publication ]

And then I was even more psyched, in some regards, but troubled in the more mature regard. See, part of me, the selfish part, thought, "He's just touched his first hairy chest!" He's a virgin. Extra points for seeing a virgin naked. But the other more mature part realized that I didn't need to take that away from him. He should share that with someone who's special to him, not just someone he said he admires.

And so, with that mindset, we talked on the phone... for me to find out that I was very much mistaken.

I was baffled. The guy I'd idealized as the Virgin Mary and was worried about "deflowering" had just touched his first hairy chest, but he'd had oral sex with a guy he found "disgusting" three times within the last three weeks. (He must have been smooth.) Once I could understand, but three times? Why would anyone have sex with someone they found disgusting multiple times? I didn't know what to do, but I managed to get a customary, "It was nice talking to you" e-mail sent out after our conversation.

The next day, Andrew wrote me this e-mail:

Yeah, i was going to write earlier but ended up going out. It was really cool talking to you..I felt really good after :) I was too late to eat at the dining hall so grabbed some cookies and a pop tart from a neighbour hehe...made it to lab and even got out in only an hour. I'm really not a whore though hehe...that one guy was for 3 times..but at least it was the same person hehe. Tonight was cool..about 9 I went to the neighboring town to go in a hot tub with Mark and his bf Leon...which was fun. A little happened in the hot tub, a bit more back at their house...but nothing major with me. I watched them have sex...didn't get too involved since I'd satisfied myself earlier in the morning..how was I to know? lol Oh I tried one of those leather ring things that goes around everything...I didn't really like it. This must be making you really think I'm a whore but I'm really not..and no I'm not in denial about it hehe. I wouldn't do anything I didn't think was safe...or with someone I was suspicious of. As of tonight it's only 3 guys I've had anything to do with since I was 15..even if they were all within the same month hehe...and two of them are a couple anyways. The other was disgusting enough I'd rather not remember lol. When I was 15 nothing more happened than minor hand jobs. With the disgusting guy, in case I didn't explain it well enough. (It's hard to try to communicate without saying the obvious hehe...being in a wal-mart and all...and thinking maybe that guy could be standing right around the corner...which is possible in a small town). See I was there and he said after 2 movies and 2 minutes of a porn movie, "so do you want to mess around?" I said I didn't know. He put his arm around me and said I was stiff. Then he said "let's go to the bedroom". He basically taught me stuff from there...and I was glad to learn some stuff...but was not into it much. Ok so now's your turn to say "but then why 3 times?" hehe. The second time like I tried to explain was because I had to stay over in the neighboring town...and I guess I did like the idea of sleeping with someone..by that meaning the actual sleeping together part....not sex. I said I didn't want to cum or anything like that but he started on it and I went along with it. Same thing in the tent.. I wasn't into it..still sorta wanted to sleep close to someone...but he started in again so I went along with it. Don't get me wrong, he didn't force me to do it..I could've got up and said no...but i still wanted to be friends with him...so I was like whatever.

Besides, whores get paid. hehehe j/k

The five guys on the bed thing I guess sounded worse than it was hehe..only two of us got off (yes I was one hehe). I think you got that part though.

You know it's sounding like I'm being a bit defensive about it. Maybe I am a little worried I'm acting whorish...but I don't think I'm doing too bad...am I? I never used to be even able to hug my friends..I'd shrug away and step back.

Anyways I'm really tired so going to bed....it's going to be so cool to meet you...can't wait :)

My brain's totally blank right now so I can't remember what I've said and I"m too tired to check the last bit hehe so let this be my goodbye msg hehe goodnight..er good morning when you get this I'm guessing.


(yes I did roll my head on keyboard hehe)

[ Edited For Publication ]

More shocked than before, I had to write and let Andrew know exactly what I was thinking:


This AIN'T an uplifting newsletter[sic]... so if you'd in a bad mood, it'd probably just be best to hold off to later... but I'm still going to go buy the tickets this morning, so don't think otherwise, k?

To be totally honest, one of the reasons I was having trouble writing you back about coming to LA was caused by your remark that you'd just felt your first hairy chest. The pictures you sent were doofily cute and I figured that if you came out to LA, there would be pretty good odds that you'd end up in the hot tub/pool/etc. without your clothes... I was mulling over the fact of was it ethical to have you fly out. On one hand, it is a rush to be someone's first... first anything... but on the other hand, I don't *need* that designation for myself. And with you, it wouldn't have been because I was the first guy you trusted (you'd obviously trusted the bed guys), but instead, it would have been because I happened upon you at the right moment in time. I'd have simply beat someone to the finish line, know what I mean? (You were gonna fool around with someone soon, so "anyone" and I could have been interchangable.)

So, since there was no trust issue with me (i.e. I hadn't become your mentor, first crush, etc.), I thought it would have been very selfish of me to fly you out. I didn't want to take any first's away from you which you might have shared with someone special. (That's "special" not "worthwhile". I would be "worthwhile" but I am not "special" to you.) Yet not flying you out didn't seem right either. I wasn't flying you out JUST to get you skinny dipping... but I'd be lying if I said that wasn't part of the equation.

So, anyway, I didn't want to "take advantage" of you. But now the equation has flipped entirely. Perhaps because I thought you were sooo pure, you now appear so... well... otherwise. Relativity plays a part in our observations much more than we realize, but thinking that you were a total innocent virgin and now finding that in the past THREE weeks, you've had blow jobs and passionate kisses with a guy you think is disgusting, you came on the bed with those guys, and last night you were naked in the hot tub before watching two guys have sex... all people you just met and who don't sound like they're quality people. (The first one's "disgusting" and the second two are high into drama if one is waiting for you at the bathroom to tell you that he doesn't like his boyfriend flirting... yet he's having you in the hot tub and letting you watch them have sex a few nights later. Drama!)

So, there's my thoughts on the subject... it's one thing to be someone's first... it's another to be someone's first this week... I know you didn't ask for my advice in this regard, but I'm one of those guys that has to say what he's thinking of it just sorta blows up in other ways. (Like little veiled comments popping up here and there with more bite than you could imagine.)


I knew it would hit him hard, but he needed a wake up call. What was he thinking?

Shortly thereafter, he wrote back:

Thanks for the warning. Well..I was in the best mood I'd been in in as long as I can remember...so I read. I'm not sure what mood I'm i now...but I'm glad I started out in an really good one. Can't blame you for it though..it is the truth. I know I feel like I've dissapointed you..and I hate dissapointing people. I guess it's also like a reality check or something.

There isn't really much I can say about what I've done..I mean I can't undo it. I wouldn't want to undo most of it...maybe undo the 2nd and 3rd times with Sam though..pretty sure those should be gone. It is kinda bad that he was the first person I did much with (it was 4 weeks ago actually...but really a week doesn't make much difference)..in that it wasn't anything special..but good in a way that at least now I'm over the first time...so there isn't this whole block thing. At least now I can be at least a bit comfortable around people while not wearing clothes.

The day before the first time with Sam, if asked I would have said I didn't think I would ever do anything sexual (well besides the minor hand jobs that allready had happened when I was 15) until I was in a long-term relationship. So I guess I'm wondering what happened to that...and it seems like I don't know myself as well as I'd thought.

As for being quality people, Sam is not. He runs a gay men's health group type thing who do activites..and so despite what he says there was some trust because of that. I can't say for sure nothing would have happened if it was some other guy I met...but the chances are much slimmer. I mean I only was alone with him because I was the only one that showed up for the meeting.

The other two guys, they seem like good people. I don't quite get the thing that you call "drama"...I mean I understand what you mean..but don't understand Leon's part in it fully...but I guess he just wanted to be involved too.

I don't know what else to say now..so I guess I'm going to go lie in bed until it's time to go to english class. Sorry I let you down.


[ Edited For Publication ]

I understood his feelings. Disappoint is one of the feelings I have the most problems with. I can't stand to disappoint anyone. So I wrote back and explained that I understood what he was going through.


You burst out of the closet... it happens that way a lot. For so many years, you've been repressing stuff and then FINALLY there's an outlet, so you go to extremes and allow other virtues to be compromised. Like I said, my first hands groping was with a guy I found gross... but I stopped it there. I wouldn't let him kiss me. I didn't want any of his semen on me. It was roaming hands and that was it. I got to experiment, but I knew I didn't want to share anything special with him. BUT I'm a rarity and I'm not saying that you should be like me either... and I'm not a saint. I like getting guys naked. I'd run over a pedestrian to get to a cute red head. The main thing that knocked you off that pedestal on which I'd placed you (and which I was having difficulty tainting) was that there doesn't seem to be any connection with these guys other than physical location. If you'd told me that you'd gotten your first blow job from a guy whom you admired or thought was attractive or who just rocked your world, I would have understood. And maybe I'm over-analyzing the Leon bathroom/don't flirt deal, but I have to be honest and say that I doubt it. The first time I saw two guys have sex (anal) in front of me, I was totally FREAKED. I'd known them both for a while and thought they were both attractive and so forth, but when they actually butt fucked each other in front of me, I was extremely uncomfortable and kept pushing until finally they left before anyone came.

So, I don't know why I wrote... except that I knew that I'd throw barbs otherwise until it hurt much worse than a single letter. I just want you to respect yourself and remain true to who you are. Being comfortable with yourself and realizing that it's ok to be a normal guy who happens to be gay is a great thing. Just don't let something you do now mess you up later.

Your big gay mentor... WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT! ;-)

I got what I needed to say out of the way. From then on, I knew whatever the outcome, things would be productive. Of course, I was still a little shocked to receive the following e-mail.

I think that definately makes sense...bursting out etc. The whole reason I forced myself to go to the GLBTA open house that day (the day I met Sam) was because I really needed to be in contact with some gay people. It'd been two weeks since I'd had to say goodbye to my best friend (the girl from MI who was in Seattle with me)..so I was pretty lonely. While driving back from Spokane the weekend before the open house (had to go to office depot to buy a chair) I got really sad and lonely so I decided I would have to make myself go and meet some people. (brb...back..had to fix someone's network setup down the hall) Anyways what you said makes sense.

Yeah, I guess there wasn't any other connection besides physical location. Well, I was/am like incredibly attracted to Mark...but Sam was the one with which the most stuff happened and I wasn't hehe.

They didn't just start having intercourse right in front of me...we'd been looking at some porn mags and they showed me a few leather things (I'm not into leather tho..least not that I'm aware of yet hehe)...messed around a little..then they asked if I would like to watch. I said ok and they went ahead. It was interesting. I'd seen it done on videos, but when it's about 2 feet from you it's a bit different hehe. They asked if I was disgusted by it at all (I'd lost my erection...it's hard for me to keep one for long without attending to it if i've allready taken care of things a few hours before)and I said no...cause I wasn't. I used to think I'd never be able to do it...that it was gross..but now I think I could with the right person..after knowing them ages and really trusting them. I don't know if I'd be top or bottom..maybe both hehe.

I'm glad you wrote what you thought...it made me think about it more. I for sure don't want to do anything that's going to mess me up forever.

Well I guess I'm going to go work on some homework till my friend comes on ICQ..then I'm probably going over there so he can take a look at the truck.

Talk to you later

Oh and

> Your big gay mentor... WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT! ;-)

I do like it

[ Edited For Publication ]

Was I reading a religous right produced gay recruitment manual? The older gays iniate the young children into their realm by showing them porno movies and introducing them to sexual toys?

Subject: And I wonder why people think we're obsessed with sex...


> we'd been looking at some porn mags and they showed me a
> few leather things (I'm not into leather tho..least not
> that I'm aware of yet hehe)

Just the other day Larry and I were having some friends over and I whipped (pardon the pun) out the harnesses and torture devices. NOT!!! Dude... this is not typical behavior, gay or otherwise. I think the last time I saw a porn magazine at some else's house was when I was over at David's and an issue of Freshman was on his nightstand. I picked it up, leafed through, and put it back. All in the course of 15 seconds. That's about it. He said that he liked one guy in it because the guy reminded him of me. That was it.

I'm just a little amazed at how stereotypical it all is. The religious right just needs to read a few of your e-mails and voila, that part about us recruiting the young folk is more than apparent. BUT what you really need is someone who cares about you, not some guys who get off on the fact that they're initiating you into the big gay world of porn and leather. And I'm not saying that porn's bad, but it's certainly not what you show the company. It can be fun. I like a video myself every now and then, but I just can't fathom having someone over and showing him a porn magazine or video with the intent of turning him on. I might show him part of a magazine for some other purpose (like the guy looked like him or something), but if I had to turn him on with magazines before having my way with him, I'd rather just pass.

So, yet another reason that I don't think they're a good influence... I'm just afraid you're going to get stuck in the idea of that's what you have to be like to be gay... but being gay is just a part of your life. Sure, it influences a lot of other facets, but the actual sex part shouldn't be so... forced. I don't know.

It just really aggravates me. I wish I were there, with Larry and the kids, to show you that being gay doesn't limit you in any form or fashion. You said that you read the site and "I, like everyone else who writes you, was glad to find out there are other normal people like me out there," but you're selling yourself short and it's a damn shame.

Keep your dick in your pants dude... at least until I can meet ya face to face and hopefully show ya what it's like to be a "normal" guy who happens to be gay. At least then you'll be able to make an informed decision, realizing what possibilities are out there.


In the time since then, I purchased the ticket and Andrew's "kept his dick in his pants". But, upon his telling his sister that he was flying to LA, yet another issue arose.

She was apparently very worried about him flying to LA and said that Andrew trusted others too easily. On that latter point, I agreed, but I knew relative to the guys he had been hanging around, there was absolutely nothing to worry about coming to LA for a weekend with Larry, the kids, and me. Of course, telling his sister that I was good by comparison wasn't really an option as that would mean telling his sister about Andrew's sex life.

And so, it sort of just passed until Andrew forwarded me an e-mail that his sister had written.

Hi..I got this e-mail from my sister last night. I haven't replied yet because I'm going to try to find some kind of website or pamphlet to mail to her..or something. I thought she understood everything. I guess not. I got the e-mail when I got home from having a great time with some people...and then lay in bed (it was after midnight) trying to sleep but couldn't. Even now I'm trying not to cry. I don't know what good sending a copy to you does..but I guess I want to know what you think of what she's said. It seems she thinks I'm pretending to be gay since I deny having a hormonal imbalance. I'll type out a response later on. I don't see what she wants your website address for...I don't really want to give it to her though since then I would feel weird about posting things to the bulletin board.

I was late for calculus today and think I failed the quiz. Today would have been my godmother's birthday too so this is not the happiest day for me.

I've got Friday to look forward to though :-)

Maybe I can track down Bob and have lunch...it'll feel better to be around people.

Talk to you later


Hi Andrew,

Since you have decided to go to L.A., I'd appreciate it if you would supply me with a few more details in case of emergency: Justin's website and email address, his last name, and the full name of his partner.

As for Dad and your mom, they have mentioned that when they phone you are often visiting Mitch. There has been no mention to me of anyone else. Their constant questioning shouldn't come as a suprise to you; your mom and our dad are very curious people. Sometimes they might be considered by others as nosey, but in this case I think they are mainly concerned for your welfare. Yes, it can be a big pain to have them scrutinizing your every move. However, that is probably the only way they know how to show their love for you.

Once again, I suggest that unless you have fallen in love with someone really special and you want Dad and your mom to know, you keep your social life private. What good can it possibly do to say anything? Your mother has seen so many men die from AIDs that she will obsess over your decision forever. Dad will only become more angry and bitter at life and that doesn't help anyone of us.

I know you are unhappy with the way you've been treated at home, but you aren't at home anymore. Your parents cannot command your every move anymore. So let it go. If you are looking for unconditional love, Dad definitely has not shown that capacity. He is simply who he is.......set in his ways.

Just start living your life as you wish, but make sure you ask yourself some serious questions before you find yourself in a serious dilema. How do you define this feeling that you are gay? Is the feeling more that you are not heterosexual?

It is important to realise that most people are very unhealthy in how they approach sexuality. What is considered desireable by the masses is usually not what is beautiful. Most sexual relationships are nothing more than perverted conquests gained by means of seduction and therefore leave one of the particicpants in a submissive, vulnerable and weakened state. In order to be homosexual, you have to have a physical desire for the same sex. This is not an intellectual process but the result of a predisposed hormonal state. Wanting sex from men and wanting physical affection from men are two different things.

Your taking psycology; why not do some real research on the subject of how men and women make lifestyle choices. I use the word choice because it is a choice for people to become homosexual unless they have a biological hormonal predisposition toward same sex partners. In your case, based on what we discussed last year, we know this is not an hormonal decision, it is an intelectual one. Because a person has no sexual desire for the opposite sex, it is not fair for that person to have to make a choice. Many people have no sexual desire at all, and many more, don't have sexual desire until a specific person enters their lives.

People make choices based on many things. Usually, their choices have more to do with their past experience than who these people really are inside. Somewhere there is statistical information on all of the choices people make due to various experiences. For example, if you wanted, you could find out what percentage of men or women who come from divorced parents decide to marry. I would be willing to bet that it is a lower number than the number of people who on average decide to marry. I know for a fact that I am content not to be married because of my mother's poor experience with marriage. That doesn't make my relationship with Steven any less valid. I love Steven. But ultimately I wouldn't be with a man that expected me to be a conventional wife and mother. I would never choose one. Now who is to say that I wouldn't be happy? Although I am perfectly happy now, I might have been just as happy in the other circumstance. All I know, is no matter how I claim to be an independant woman separate from my family background, if I am not extra careful about scrutinizing my decisions and ensuring that I am making them in my own best interest, I can find myself living a life biased by my upbringing.

No one anywhere on the planet truly thinks any differently than me. It is the result of having to use our brains the way they were designed. Our thoughts are not always our own. Are you studying transactual analysis in pyschology yet? You might want to look into it. Check out a book called, "Born to Win" by Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward. It is a very interesting, easy to read book that gives insight into transactual analysis.

Freeing oneself is going beyond how we act by learning what we base our actions on.

Now, I love you and want you to be happy no matter if you fall in love with a man or a woman, but I want you to know why you choose what you choose and I don't want to see you seduced by a man or a woman. You are too important to me. I want you to be your own person, not someone pigeon holed into living some stereo typed lifestyle as the mere sum of your life experiences.

As always I want the best for you, please e-mail back with those three things that I need from you asap. Thanks, Michelle

[ Edited For Publication ]

I thought the problem was with flying to LA. The problem was with Andrew being gay. Two completely different issues. So, figuring that Andrew was still upset, I called him instead of writing an e-mail. We talked for a bit in crypto-speak as his roommate was in the room, and I told that I'd write a letter for him to forward to his sister.

When we got off the phone, I wrote and sent:

If I told you that I understood your point of view, would you believe me? I had six cousins and I was always the one making sure that they weren't out playing in the road or beating each other with baseball bats. It wasn't my job; I wasn't even the oldest, but I did it.

I've always been the type to want to take care of the rest... and in many ways, it's that same feeling that wants Andrew to fly to LA. See, being a gay kid (something I'll address more in a minute), you really have no gay role models. You spend most of your adolescent life looking for others like you... but there are none. Then finally, with the attendance of college, you finally have a chance to be who you've always known that you were. You finally have a chance to be "YOU!" with no preconceived notions about you being "so and so"'s kid, about you being "so and so"'s brother, or about being straight.

Andrew's gotten to that point. He's kissed his first guy. He's embraced another man... He's done the stuff that most kids did when they were in high school... but he's finally had a chance to see what those straight kids were talking about. He finally doesn't have to report to anyone and that freedom which you've enjoyed for much longer is now, at least partially, his. He's finally being able to have what you and most straight kids have had since day one. He's an adult now and while he may have a lot of learning to go, he's finally able to be treated like an adult and make decisions like an adult. Your demands that he report to you are usurping that power, that power which you had by default.

See, I'm just a small town boy living in the big city. I've still got those small town morals. I've still got those small town ideals. I've got a husband, two kids and two dogs. It's about as normal as you could ever want to be. I want Andrew to see that. I want him to realize first hand that while the gay guys he knows as college are ok, there's no need to lock himself into any preconceived notions about what a gay man should or should not be. Most of us do not cut hair for a living. Most of us do not work as nurses (although I'm sure you see your share). Most of us are completely indistinguishable. We're mechanics, chemists, construction workers, CEO's. etc. And I'm not just whistling the PR brochure. I'm talking from experience.

You wrote to Andrew:
> I suggest that unless you have fallen in love with someone
> really special and you want Dad and Barbara to know, you keep your social
> life private. What good can it possibly do to say anything?

Do you realize what you wrote?

Do you realize this mindset is why Andrew contemplated suicide when he was younger?

Do you realize that this implicit hatred of who he is caused him to cry after getting your letter?

You said that Andrew is a product of his upbringing, which I agree with... but that should all the more clearly illustrate how strong his feelings are towards other men. He's risked it all and is still largely living in silence, but he knows that he has to be true to himself.

Andrew forwarded me your e-mail not to show that you were a cruel person or out of any ill intentions, but rather he forwarded it to me because he cares about you and he wants you to understand who he is. He hoped I could help.

Being gay is not a phase or a hormonal imbalance. It's who he is, just as much as someone being left handed. Sure, you can make that left handed person write with his right hand, but it's not the way he's programmed to be.

Andrew is gay. Nothing will ever change that.

*That* is the issue. You've got to address that first before you can even hope to understand why he needs to fly to meet me. Andrew is gay.


Andrew forwarded her that e-mail, and well, other than "I got an email back from my sister that seems good :)" I really don't know what happened. See, you're now up to present day and in about two hours, I pick Andrew up from the airport.

I have the warm friendly feeling like I've just written an old friend a long letter. Thanks for reading it, and in some 21st century definition of the term, thanks for being my friend.


October 26, 1999 - Tuesday

I know I should write about the weekend with Andrew before writing about anything else, but I don't feel like writing about the weekend. Actually, I feel like crying... but the tears aren't there. I feel like sobbing; I feel like crying myself to sleep, but the tears simply are not there.

See, nearly a year ago to the day, I wrote the following in the newsletter to explain why I hadn't written a newsletter the previous Friday (as the diary was offline)

I went to school, but on the way to class, I decided that I was feeling too sick to sit through a boring hour and a half lecture. I came home and got in the bed. Larry intervened, determined that I might have an appendicitis, and off to the doctor we went. The doctor said that the symptoms were right and referred us on to a board certified surgeon who, in turn, determined that there was a 70% chance that I did have an appendicitis. Sooo... he sent me to the Evaluation and Treatment Center where I had blood drawn and was given an IV. After laying in my little blue and white butt-showing hospital gown for a while, a "Patient Transport" guy came and got me, wheeling my gurney to Radiology where I had two chest X-rays performed. From there, I was wheeled to another room where I had an ultrasound of the area. My appendix was found and determined to be perhaps slightly swollen, but nothing conclusive. The doctor said that I could go home and would definitely be worse or better by the next day... and if I should happen to have immense pain in the middle of the night, I should call and he'd come in to do an emergency operation. So, I was wheeled back to the ETC, got dressed, and came home with Larry.

Yet the pain wasn't worse or better by the next day. It was mostly the same, perhaps slightly better, but mostly the same, and through the course of this past year, I've had unexplainable pains everywhere from my head on down. The above mentioned board certified surgeon thought that it could perhaps be a "grumbling appendix", but a CT scan in January revealed nothing.

In the months since January, the pain has moved from my appendix region, to my testicles, to my armpits, and then to my inner thigh and appendages where it is now. In addition to that surgeon who thought it might be a grumbling appendix, I saw a urologist, a dermatologist, and another general practitioner. I was told that it was blue balls, nothing, and an overzealous psychosomtic reaction to too much media coverage of ailments, respectively.

All this was several months ago and I finally just decided that if no one could find anything, it probably wasn't going to kill me, whatever it is. Yet lately, the inner thigh/groin pain has been increasing and last week I woke one day to find myself unable to walk without limping for several hours... yet there was no explanation for it.

What really baffles me, and the doctors apparently, is that there's no commonality between the pains. The parts that have been hurting aren't in the same system.

But all, or none of that (depending on how you look at it), hasn't really made me feel better. Some days I feel fine, other days I feel horrible. For the most part, I've learned to ignore it, but today just hasn't been one of those ignoring days. I'm worried that it's something major... something incurable, something fatal, but I've been living with it for so long that I just don't have the tears to cry about it.

It's a weird concept, I know... but that's the way it is.

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© 1999 Justin Clouse
Justin's Life...Justin's