Student CAMP: Back to School and No One Cares
Well, I guess it goes without saying that I am back in school. Which, really, can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Explication:
Good thing: Weekends.
Bad thing: Um, well, everything else.
Well, okay, maybe not everything. Besides weekends, there is one other "trend," as it were, that I have noticed this year, and this trend is indeed quite good. To discuss this trend, let me first take you back to the very beginning of the school year. (Note: Being "taken back" makes about the same sound as the beginning of a Hollywood dream sequence, but not quite. It's more like Beethoven's Fifth played backwards. So anyway)
The first day of school, I was pretty nervous to be going back. Not because I was worried about my classes (as I already said, I don't have any). Instead, I was nervous because I had changed a lot over the summersome would say that I had become "gayer," but I prefer to think that I became more comfortable with just being myself. Needless to say, I was concerned with how the new, gayer [sic] me would be received by my classmates, who, in past times, had not been particularly receptive to the message, "It's okay to be gay."
So what do I do? I show up the first day dressed flamboyantly and wearing a rainbow bracelet. Talk about reverse psychology! And what happened was, well, nothing. Sort of surprising. What happened wasnothing. Absolutely no one said anything, or gave me a funny look, or snickered, or sniggered, or anything. I was just another student.
I thought that maybe it was just a fluke. So I let some time pass. Days. Still no negative feedback for the new, queerer Adam.
Now more than a month of school has gone by, and still nothing bad has happened. During this time, I have come out to numerous people, talked about guys in the presence of straight people, and so forth. Another friend of mine, a guy, came out to everyone, and even he received only minimal antipathy. The worst thing that happened to him was that someone scribed "fuget" into his locker. That's right, "fuget." He misspelled it. As they say in the Blair Witch Project, "Rednecks aren't that smart." And it's true. So we made it into a running joke"You fuget!" and so forthand that was the end of it.
The conclusion I'm beginning to come to is that people, of my generation particularly, don't really care any more about homosexuality. Which is not to say that they don't necessarily take sides for or against. They just don't care enough to be vehement about it, the consensus being that every individual must have control over how he/she lives his/her life.
The other day, I was reading a column in Spin magazinean interview with David Bowie about his new albumand in it Bowie made the comment that the actor who portrayed his likeness in Velvet Underground was cute. The comment, in and of itself, was not particularly surprising coming from David Bowie, who is the token bisexual and inventor of glam rock. What was surprising was that no remark was made upon this by the interviewer. In other words, the statement was considered unremarkable enough to even merit a comment. In previous years, David Bowie was at the center of a massive controversy regarding sexual orientation, and would have been reminded of such a throw-away for years to come. Now Spin magazine, a publication which helps to define pop culture, doesn't even feel that bisexuality is worth noting.
This trend, I feel, is very closely related to the grass-roots trend which I noticed at my school. And it's a trend I find comforting. It seems to suggest that all of the work that has been done for decades to achieve equality and acceptance for homosexuals is finally starting to pay off. One can only hope, and suspect, that as more people change their tune from "Don't Tell Mama" to "I'm Free to Decide" it will continue to spread until it is no longer a trend, but a given.
Adam is a senior in high school. In his free time, he enjovs studying, writing poetry, playing the piano, acting, and reading anything and everything. He welcomes email at email@example.com.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 9, No. 14, Oct. 15, 1999