I’m From Leicester, UK.

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That’s the way it feels sometimes. Disgusting. I’ve just been reading I’m From Driftwood. Before that I was masturbating. I stopped. It felt disgusting. Not the physical act – what I was looking at. Or maybe not. I thought I’d write this instead.

I’m seventeen, and consider myself gay. I’ve told a fair amount of people. My best friend was first. “What?” he said. “You can’t be. I know you too well. It’s just a phase.” That made me smile. A few weeks ago he casually mentioned he always knew. Which version is true I don’t know. Both I guess.

My parents know too. I didn’t tell them. Well no, I did. I didn’t want to though. Both put me in a position where I had to tell them. They already knew, of course. Some parents just do I guess. It’s not like I’m effeminate. Anyway, I’m a little bitter about it. It was mine to tell, not theirs to take. They love me though. In their separate ways. My mother was being selfish – why hadn’t her son told her first? My dad was upset – why can’t his son talk about things with him?

I’ve had four kisses. Two girls. Two boys. The first was New Year’s Eve 2007. I had a soft spot for my friend. We were drunk. I wanted a kiss before I turned seventeen. The second was last November. My first date. I wanted to take things slowly. That didn’t mean I didn’t want a kiss. Failed attempts. Walking back to the bus stop, I got fed up with him and pushed him against a wall, and I kissed him. I gave him the wrong impression.  I realised how annoying he is. I didn’t want to take things further.

I told quite a few people during MSN conversations. Seemed convenient. Makes it less important, less of a big thing, I suppose. One friend claims she stopped breathing.

The third kiss was the 30th December. Very drunk. In bed with two girls. All I wanted to do was hold hands with her. The fourth. At a birthday party. Boys toilets. “Take her outside, lean in and kiss her!” “Like this?” It’s not like I haven’t kissed girls, so I’m not annoyed with him for kissing me. Alcohol does funny things. I used to really like him, all last summer.

It takes a lot for me to really like someone.

I still think about Daryl a lot. I have no idea what he looks like. I have no way of contacting him. I’m scared I’ll forget his voice. That’s a long story.

The more people I tell, the worse I feel. Before anyone knew, it didn’t bother me one bit. So I like boys. And? Now people know there’s pressure. Can I remember not to mention it in front of other people? Can I trust people not to tell?

It’s not common knowledge yet and I don’t feel it should or needs to be. I’m not ashamed. I’m just not comfortable with myself yet.

I like girls a lot. I wish I could be attracted to them. I want a girlfriend. There’s so many girls to choose from. So many girls to flirt with.

It’s not always disgusting. Just sometimes. I have to think about it usually. It’s the me being gay that’s disgusting, I think. Not what I’m looking at or thinking about. It’s the fact that it’s me looking at it.

What scares the hell out of me is being old and gay. And by “old” I mean past thirty. Relationships, too. Do you hold hands in public? I don’t want to walk into a furniture shop with another man. Sex is more understandable. Love and all that – not sure yet. Oh it’s exciting, but not as much as it is scary.

My mother never mentions “it” apart from when she’s making a sarcastic comment we can both laugh to.

Some Muslim preacher wants to stone all homosexuals to death, “isn’t that awful? That’s simply awful.” You don’t need to say that, Dad. I don’t care what others think. People can be homophobic if they like. “I wonder what he’d say if it was his own child,” says my dad’s fiancé.

The fact that I’ll never have biological children. Now that’s upsetting. Sometimes I think I’ll just be celibate and adopt some children. If I find myself in a stable loving relationship, wouldn’t it be cruel to bring children up with two gay fathers?

Sex might be more understandable, but it scares me a lot. I tell myself that I’ll wait for the right guy. There may never be the right guy.

I often see boys I like. I try and make eye contact. Invisible. That’s what I must be. Oh wait, no. Of course. Boys like girls. Why would they want to look into my eyes?

Last week I went to London for the day. Lots of boys to look at. No boys looked at me. Only a man with a funny accent twice my age. How naïve can I get? The moment the tone changed and I realised what he wanted, I was scared, upset and angry. A man in central London doesn’t talk to you to be friendly. He isn’t interested in my plans for the future. He’s talking to me because he wants to fuck me. He was trying to charm me into going back to his house. Why me? Do I look gay? The woman next to me can hear what you’re saying. Help me. But he isn’t saying anything bad. Nothing explicit, nothing even remotely sexual. Just a lot of talk about how we could be “friends.” A lot of talk of how he’d like to “entertain” me. No I’m not writing my number down. I’m doing the Sudoku.

The last thing he said to me:

“You’re breaking my heart.”

Perhaps that man with the funny accent is even more vulnerable than I am.

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