Copyright © 2008 by Grant Bentley.
All Rights Reserved.
If any person, place, event, happening, thing, sport, nice person, or nasty person, seem familiar, it is purely coincidental. And, if Thanksgiving sounds like it’s happening in October… this is a Canadian story and our Thanksgiving IS in October.
This story actually began about a month before our Thanksgiving on September 10, 2009, two days, eight hours and forty one minutes after I turned 14.
Like all good teacher’s kids, I was exploring an educational website when I came to the realization that I liked looking at boys.
It wasn’t a sudden realization. There was a reasonably lengthy thought sequence involved.
My first thought, as I looked at the screen was, ‘He is sooo hot.’
My second was, ‘Did I just think HE is hot?’
Third was, ‘Yep, I guess I did.’
Fourth, ‘I’m not supposed to think things like that…am I?’
Fifth, ‘Whoa, I didn’t know two guys could do that.’
There were a few other thoughts, but they aren’t really important here.
So there I was, sitting in front of my laptop, putting all these new thoughts together.
One thing happened as a result…besides…well, you know…
Actually a very significant thing. At least I think it was.
It took me a while, but I came to the full and unequivocal realization that I was, am, and always will be…gay.
You want to talk about a life-altering moment?
I went from, ‘Oh my God.’
to…‘Oh my God, why me? Shit!’
to…‘Just a minute…I’d better double check.’
click, click, click, ‘Oh yeah, I so want to do that.’
Now, the strange thing was that, during this whole process, for some reason, I didn’t become filled with fear and trepidation.
It was more like, ‘Damn, this is going to be so freakin’ inconvenient.’
Suddenly all the ‘normal’ high school activities took on a whole new meaning.
Showering and changing after P.E…who not to look at, who to look at, how long is too long to look, what happens if it…
Talking about who’s hot, what’s hot, who has the best boobs, who could eat crackers in my bed anytime…
I began to realize that almost every word out of my mouth from now on was going to have to be a lie.
Whoever said, “The truth shall set you free,” wasn’t in high school.
In high school, the truth does not set you free…it gets your ass kicked.
There was one other inconvenience that occurred to me.
From some obviously seldom used part of my brain came this voice, ‘Okay, so you’re gay, now you need to find other gay guys.’
Well that makes sense, right?
One simple question though. ‘How exactly do I do that?’
There are 850 boys in my high school and none of them seem to be running an ‘I am gay’ ad campaign that I’ve noticed. None of them have ID tags, tattoos, badges, or rainbow flags on their backpacks.
There are no ads in the school paper like:
Looking for friend/friends for extracurricular credits,
Must be …
So…considering I don’t want to spend the next several years alone in the closet, what do I do?
Okay, let’s think…‘Hmmmm…Uhhh….Let’s see…Okaaaaay…Ummm…No…Well maybe…No, don’t think so…Uhhh…Shit!’
Then again, you know, just because no one else is doing it doesn’t mean I can’t be the first.
I could put a rainbow sticker on my locker at school or on my backpack.
I mean, yeah, why not? Just cause no one else has the balls to step out of their nice safe little closet doesn’t mean I can’t.
On second thought, like I said before, all that’ll do is get my ass kicked. That’s not what I want to have happen to it.
Not only that, but my Dad’s the principal…I’d probably end up being shipped off to military school.
Hey, aren’t they ‘all boys’ schools though?
Oh, wait a minute, they play with guns in military school don’t they? Don’t think so…boys with guns. Just the idea scares the crap outta me.
And so the cycle began.
Get up, go to school, hunt for other gay guys, go home, get up, go to school, hunt for…well you get the idea.
Then it occurred to me, aren’t we supposed to have like, gaydar or something.
I’m not sure how it works, but I think your body is supposed to like tingle or vibrate or something when you’re near another gay guy.
I know if the statistics are true, at least 80 to 85 guys in my school are gay and, if I pay real close attention, I should feel it kick in at least a few times. Right?
So, for the next three weeks I get up close to as many guys as I can…without looking totally obvious of course…and nothing.
I’m thinking, the odds are it should have kicked in at least once. Don’t ya think?
I mean, I know I’m gay, so I should have it. Right?
So now I’m beginning to think maybe mine’s not working.
And naturally, I start to get worried. ‘What if there’s something wrong with me?’
Maybe I should go see our doctor. You know, like get a prescription or something for it.
On second thought though, maybe not. First I gotta tell him I’m gay and then…no, I don’t think so.
Okay, so it’s been two months and not a single gay guy in sight. This really sucks…and not in a good way.
I’m starting to get really concerned here. How the hell do gay guys find each other? Like, there’s gotta be a way.
I hope I don’t have to wait till I’m eighteen and I can to go to a gay bar. That’s like four years away…almost a third of a lifetime.
Four more years of improvisation. I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle that.
My Mom’s already started to make two lists every time she goes grocery shopping.
Speaking of which, this week’s grocery list is like two pages long…you know, what with it being Thanksgiving and all. Because there was so much to get, she’s asked me to go with her to help out. She even gives me one of the lists and makes me check off everything she puts in the shopping cart as she checks it off on her list. Actually, I should say shopping carts, cause this time one cart wasn’t big enough. We had like a 27lb turkey, a 10lb ham, 50lbs of flour, 25lbs of potatoes, 25lbs of sugar, 3 huge pumpkins, 10 foot long zucchinis, the whole nine yards.
So sadly, here I am packing a hundred bags of groceries into the house and all I can think about is, ‘What do I have to be thankful for?’
My thorough and exhaustive two month search has been totally fruitless.
I guess I’ll just have to make something up when it’s my turn to tell everyone what I’m thankful for.
Then again, if I had found someone, it might be a little hard to explain to the folks why I was so thankful for him.
So, anyway, it’s the big day. Woo hoo!
I’m up in my room exploring educational sites on the Internet as usual. One can never have too much knowledge you know.
Right in the middle of a particularly interesting nature scene, the doorbell rings.
“Can you get that please!” my mother’s voice sounds from the kitchen.
I jump up, run down the stairs, open the door and freeze.
Five three, deep blue eyes, black emo haircut, sweeping over his right eye and just along side his left, wicked smile showing perfect white teeth, smattering of freckles across his perfectly shaped nose, the cutest little ears, the right one pierced with a small loop earring with a pink ball, smooth flawless skin with a tiny mole just to the left of his nose, perfectly shaped eyebrows, beautiful long curly eyelashes, and dimples to die for.
There’s a couple other people standing there too, I think, but…whatever.
As I’m standing there more or less immobile, my Dad comes up behind me.
“Hi, come on in. Welcome to our home.”
“Jody, these are the Wilson’s. Mr. Wilson is going to be taking over as our new coach starting next week.”
“And this is Casey, I think he’ll be in all the same classes as you. So, you can show him around school on Tuesday.”
“Why don’t you take Casey up to your room and entertain him until dinner’s ready.”
Entertain him? Alone in my room? Like…just the two of us? Oh wow.
Okay…deep breaths…focus… more deep breaths… bring heart rate back down…yeah…I think I can do this.
I give him a small smile, start up the stairs and he follows me up and into my room.
As I turn to close the door, I hear…
“Oh, hey, cool laptop!”
Oh, shit! Please! No, no, no!
He brushes the touch pad and the nature scene I had been studying pops up.
I can see it now…not just military school but military school in the northern Yukon. Sleeping in a room full of boys with guns and -40° weather to make the experience complete.
I close my eyes and wait for the inevitable.
“Whoa, cool, I have the video that that clip comes from. Have you seen Another Gay Movie yet? It’s funnier than hell and Mitch Morris is so totally hot as Griff.”
I just love Thanksgiving, don’t you?