Feb 15 shortly after midnight.

Actually I'm writing this at exactly midnight, so I technically still consider this to be the 14th as I still haven't gotten my Valentine's kiss from you know who. I was late getting out of work and will head over to Greg's as soon as I post an entry for today. I know that I could probably leave it and no one would die, but I won't be home till Monday or maybe even later... and you know how I hate to have missed days on my index.

I use the word queer and homo and such on my page alot. I know that some gay people and straight people have a problem with those words and don't believe that using them is productive, but instead is detrimental and self-effacing. I don't agree, at least not personally. In my life I've very seldom come up against severe homophobia, by that I mean that I personally have never been attacked, beaten, and was only ever threatened once as a result of my sexual orientation. In all actuality my being gay has been the least of my concerns, and I don't give it a whole lot of thought. I occasionally attend gay pride, but I don't support gay businesses as a rule and only eat in gay restaurants and gay coffee shops when .... well I guess if I'm walking by and I'm hungry. I haven't been to a gay bar in close to a year, and less than half my friends are gay.

Some friends who I know have had a hard time with being gay and have had such phrases used hatefully against them and feel stung when such words are tossed around. My high school years weren't all that bad. I did alot of drugs albeit, I also had alot of fun, I was openly gay, and made it through relatively unscathed. Any depression, anxiety, stress, etc that came outta those times were mostly due in part to my past and not my present. For that I'm immensely grateful. My father works in the oilfield and is an avid hunter and fisherman. My two brothers were jocks and both were voted "Most Valuable Player" in High School, were avid body builders, and my one brother was even captain of the Rugby team. So its not like there wasn't pressure on me to be butch, yet I never was.

I dressed like a freak, I was a total hardcore, and I was a semi-screaming queen. I was political, outspoken, artistic, and in constant trouble. I was one of those people who only had about three "best" friends, yet I knew people in every peer group and had already won their respect. So in essence I was able to attend most any party, hang with most any group, and was able to get away with murder. Everytime someone did attempt to single me out I can remember enough people intervening in a "oh get a grip and grow up" sort of way that I never experienced the cruelty that other's tell me about.

As an adult I find for the most part my life is the same way. I don't edit who I am and I don't use euphisms. And still when I worked anyplace I've always been openly gay, and yet no one ever asks me about my gayness or wants to discuss it. I feel that's because I don't make it an issue, and no I don't hide it or minimalize it either. People still talk to me openly about Greg and what are our plans etc. Yet they talk to me about him as they would any other coworker and their spouse. I think thats the sign of true acceptance. It isn't when people want to know what its "like" growing up gay or being gay but rather when you say, without them having any previous knowledge about your sexuality, "my boyfriend and I" and they don't even bat an eye. Thats how I think I can affect people's opinion's on gays and lesbians, yet I can still throw in phrases like "queer and homo" for good measure, as I find that it puts my straight friends at ease. Its like they suddenly don't feel uptight when they realize that I really don't give a shit.

I was out with a friend once that I didn't know really well, and some guy called me a "cock-sucking queer" and in a really hateful voice at that. I could see my friend, who is a straight male btw, get all tense and uncomfortable. Initially I was just gonna ignore it and walk away, but instead felt I should diffuse it or I knew it would just sorta hang there all day between us. So I just turned casually to this guy and said "well, duh". When he saw that it was a total non-issure for me it did thoroughly diffuse him and he just dropped it. Also I just sorta said it in passing as well so there wasn't a huge window for rebuttal either. But my friend still tells that story to people, and to him I know it somehow put him at ease. I'll still speak out against homophobia when I see it, but I'll still call myself a faggot, homo, queer, bitch, queen, and sometimes even a slut... cause hey, thats what I am.

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