I am a friend of Dorothy.
If you don’t get that ‘Wizard of Oz’ reference, chances are you either haven’t seen the Judy Garland classic, or you didn’t realize the ‘Tin Man’ was a raging homosexual. Living in what can only be described as hell, I was so closed off from the world that I didn’t even realize (until I hit a certain age of course) that being gay was even a possibility. As far as I was concerned, there was no such thing, and playing fashion parade or Chorus Line with my cousins Barbies was completely normal. It wasn’t until I was fourteen that I got slapped in the face with my gay reality. Ironically, I was sitting in the change rooms at school after football practice,when my best-friend at the time went to get changed into his favourite ugly shirt. As I had just begun to admire the delicious contours of his muscles, seeing that hideous piece of cloth prompted my mouth to open up, and before I knew it, the words
“Dude, that colour does nothing for your skin tone, and the fit is completely wrong”
tumbled out. There was silence in the change room. Feeling my insides fall apart, I calmly crammed my footy jacket into my bag and declared with feigned confidence and tranquillity: “Well, its true.” , and I got the hell out of there. To be honest, it wasn’t the fact that I was outraged by his terrible attire. I was getting out of there to hide my uncontrollable erection that was poking though my footy shorts. I mean it was a hideous shirt, but the sight of this muscular god was causing more problems in my pants rather than the issue of the fashion crime. And thats when it hit me like a cold shower. It now made so much sense why I never found fart jokes funny and why ‘Two-Girls One Cup’ had revolted me more that the others. I had the hots for my mate.
So I did what I had to do; for my high school days I ‘straightened up’. At one stage I even convinced myself that I could be remotely interested in vagina and I can tell you, that phase didn’t last long. Luckily I had my best friend Olivia, she ended up being the first person I told about my uncontrollable love with Harry Potter actor ‘Daniel Radcliffe’ and luckily for me she was totally okay with it. She was more of a red-head fan so we didn’t have to battle over which one of us would Daniel marry. Liv was the only person I could talk to about boys or fashion and she’d talk to me about her family problems. As I got older I got better at hiding my ‘fabulous’ qualities, I used to think of myself as an actor that was playing a character, and this character was straight. I should have won an Oscar for my performance because I had the whole town convinced. The problem with this character is that I had to play him all day and everyday. The last year has been the most difficult, there have been times that I’ve just wanted to scream and shout out to the world “I’m gay and why do you give a shit?” But I knew that if it became public it would devastate my family, being the only son; it would kill my father. My folks might not have been the best at dealing with me, (How could they not know? I asked for pink shoes on my fifth birthday) but I couldn’t bare to put them though this all because I like guys. I wish it wasn’t like this, I wish it didn’t matter but in the ‘small country town’ it does.
Now living in Melbourne, I finally feel like I belong. Before I moved here, I never met another gay man. But now I feel like every second guy I meet likes ‘Ikea’ as much as I do and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy.
I’m now excited for tomorrow, and it’s the greatest feeling.