by Oscar Churniak
My face is starting to heal. The swelling has gone down around my eyes and my fat lip is slowly deflating, so I guess that’s one positive thing in an otherwise bleak reality right now. Part of me can’t figure out why Patti couldn’t understand what I was trying to do and dumped me, and then another part of me can’t really understand how she put up with me for so long. I can understand her confusion over what I was thinking and feeling, but I never cheated on her and I continued to love her as much as when we first started going out. The whole thing’s a mess.
At the heart of the problem was my need to prove how normal homosexuality is. People are scared of things that they can’t understand and because of that, they usually end up condemning them. Homosexuality is no different. Most guys can’t even think of the idea of hugging another guy without having being revolted at the thought that their hug might turn ‘dirty’. North American culture is especially homophobic in this regard. Take a trip into South America and you’ll find that it’s just the way people interact. Most people are so comfortable with their sexual preference, that the thought of homosexuality resulting from a simple hug doesn’t even enter their minds, whereas here - it’s ‘totally gay’.
Homosexuality isn’t just a phenomenon found in human beings either. I bet you never thought of that. It’s actually been observed in over four hundred and fifty species of animals. Same-sex behaviour is widespread among insects, birds and mammals. There is long list of animals from the domestic dog to the African elephant that practice homosexual behaviour. It just goes to show you that it’s not a choice people make to fulfill their own ‘sick’ desires – it’s genetic.
I don’t believe that Patti, such a smart and open-minded person, would end a relationship because my sexual orientation is a little different. I think it all comes down to respect, openness and trust. I broke a date with her to go out with somebody else. It would have made no difference if it were a guy or a girl; I left her alone, with nobody to talk to, or dance with and that probably made her feel terrible.
I don’t regret the stand I took with Nathan, because I think it was an important issue to address. Plus, it did create a bit of awareness in the school, and hopefully that will lead to tolerance. I am sorry though that I had to hurt someone I care about in the process, and this is the beginning of a long road of self-evaluation. The hard times haven’t even started yet, and I’ll sure miss Patti’s voice of reason in this crazy, crazy world.