To Be or Not To Be" ut existence throughout my life – I knew that I wanted to keep on existing, and suicide was not something that crossed my mind overly much (no more than any other person who has lived through teenage years, probably). For me the question centered on my sexuality. Who am I? I asked myself, and what am I doing? Am I gay? These are questions that troubled me for much of my growth, and I spent a great portion of my development denying who I was. To be gay, or not to be gay, I asked myself, without even realizing that the question in being asked was probably answered.
It is not like I was a child of the fifties or sixties, growing up in a time when being gay was the greatest sin one could ever imagine. By the time I had graduated high school it was the late eighties, and gay rights activists were already marching down streets in San Francisco and New York, academics were discussing a new Queer politic that was emerging, and gay people everywhere were being told “come out, you have nothing to fear.”
But the problem is that this conception of being gay and coming out, that you know it internally but choose to hide it from society, is not something that actually happens very often. Before even having the option of “coming out” to friends and relatives, you have to have a great internal dialogue with yourself, and find out who you are. Doing this alone in your teens is not an easy thing, not by a long shot.
I remember the first time I had an inkling that I might not be like everyone else (or at least, how I thought everyone else was – looking back now I’m sure I knew many closeted gay people growing up.) I was just entering the ninth grade, a time when many people are first learning about their sexuality, and I looked across my homeroom classroom at a close friend who was sitting their, wearing spaghetti straps (I had a somewhat lenient school) and cleavage somewhat exposed. Now this was someone who I had known for almost my entire life, and a