The world is quite horrible at the moment. Recent events, such as the Orlando gay massacre have left me feeling hopelessly upset.
That’s why I decided to write about something a bit lighter this time. I use to write comedic things when I first started blogging, but I look at those posts now and I feel like the person who wrote them must have died somewhere along the way.
Damn, Wentzel. Back at it with the fucking morbidity again.
High school was tough. It is for many of us. In my case, I attended a highly religious Christian school. It is a very tiny school, with more or less 100 pupils. I had very few friends. People tend to avoid you when you are bipolar and borderline suicidal the whole time. Apparently it doesn’t sit well with them.
Oh, there was, of course, the other tiny issue of me being gay and closeted. Many people asked me if I was gay (or a faggot, whatever worked for them), and I always denied it vehemently. There is a guy who lives in my hometown who worked at the local Spar at the time. He was in a long term relationship with a man and everyone knew him as “Gay Sam” (not his real name). I didn’t know much, but I did know that I didn’t want to be known as “Gay Wentzel”. I find it dumb, quite honestly, to define people by their sexuality. It is such a small part of the person as a whole. And yet society continues to put us in boxes.
Despite denying my sexuality, I didn’t make any effort to date girls. Two things that really don’t sit well with me are lying and betrayal. Now yes, I was lying in any case, but it only hurt me. And looking back, I wouldn’t change it. Coming out at that stage of my life would have been a disaster. The entire school would have turned against me. You need to understand that I went to school with people who were glad when Heath Ledger died because he portrayed a gay character on screen. And while there was a lot of speculation behind my back, it’s one thing for people to think you’re gay. Saying it makes it real. There was no way that it could happen.
And then a new girl came to town.
The boys in my class, who were pretty much all jerk-offs, saw this as an opportunity to push me into asking me out. The other girls in my class all either had boyfriends and/or were friends with me. They didn’t think of me as attractive, and I preferred it that way.
But the problem was that this girl actually liked me.
Usually I didn’t pick up on it when girls flirted with me, but this girl was very persistent. She was probably also egged on by my amused classmates, but I soon realized that I was now her prey. She got my number and proceeded to send me messages. I didn’t know how to handle the situation. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings and simply tell her off. I also knew that rejecting her would further fuel the gossip fire surrounding my sexuality. The guys kept pressurising me and I saw no other way out. I knew that it was a test.
So I asked her out on a date.
It was cringe-worthy. I had to make sure that no one was around, which wasn’t that difficult, because she had a tendency of following me. Mid conversation I asked her, matter-of-factly, if she would like to go out with me that coming Saturday.
And then all panic broke loose.
I knew even before I asked her that it was a mistake. I could lie about being straight, but taking the lie up to the level of being in a relationship was a step too far for me.
And so Saturday arrived.
I planned it carefully. I picked the biggest and most unromantic restaurant in town – the Wimpy.
My mom and I concocted some bullshit story about having to go and visit a friend in a neighbouring town. This would be my excuse for not staying too long. In fact, my mom was parked outside waiting in the getaway car. I believe that she probably already knew that I was gay, which is why she helped me think up this mastermind plan to escape *gasp* a girl.
I don’t remember much about the date. Usually my memory is quite strong, but this is a blur. She did most of the talking. I contributed most of the awkward silence. When I finally felt that we had spent a respectable amount of time there I pretended to be irritated by a message from my mom.
I can’t remember, but I don’t think that I hugged her goodbye. I was too scared that she would want to kiss. Please understand that this has nothing to do with her personally. She is a lovely girl. But she is a girl and I’m not attracted to them. Since then I have kissed the odd girl or two, and I guess that it wasn’t that bad. But it’s nothing compared to kissing a boy. My brain is simply wired that way.
After the date, she continued to message me, sending me kisses, etc. I realized that I had to end this somehow. So I did it in the worst way possible.
I ignored her. I switched my cell phone off. I disappeared.
School holidays came and went and when we returned our teacher asked us about what we did. When it was her turn she said that she was “done with boys” and shot a glare in my direction. I realized that it was supposed to be hurt, but I was so freaking thankful that it was over that I didn’t care.
I wish I had handled it differently. I wish that I was braver. But I don’t really know how else I could have handled it without hurting her and protecting myself.
A good 8 years later, I am as out of the closet as can be. All my fears of being gay and judged have dissipated. They have instead been replaced with the fear of being gunned down or beaten up. But hey, at least I’ll be hated for my truth. Boys are just too delicious.
As it turns out, she wasn’t finished with boys. She is now engaged to her soulmate.
And I’m still alone.