Tuesday, July 29, 2008

June 7, 1983

I really dont know how to really start this off. Just an impulse to start a diary set it off. I do hope that I'll keep this going for several years, and that it'll help me through some of the hard times.

Maybe I should describe myself. I'm 21 right now, and at times I feel a lot younger and a lot older, but neither really seem just right. Its probably from the way I get treated at work alot of times. Since I'm in Minnesota, working with this team, I just Happen to be the youngest. There's nothing wrong with that except that I catch a lot of flack, being “the baby” or “junior”. I'm not really all that upset, in fact, its kind of nice. Being with people that are 10 to 25 yrs. older than I am has helped me to mature a little. That seems to be what I think about the most, growing up and being a little more mature. I do hold my own, though.

Well, enough of that. Let me finish describing myself. As I said I'm 21, about 6 ft. 1, weigh about 160 pounds. I'm hoping to change that weight as soon as I get back to Montgomery though. I have a membership at a health club, and plan to make full use of it when I get back.

I'm in the Air Force, with a rank of E-2 (airman 1st class), and have been here since Feb 10, 1982, totaling 1 year and 4 month. I'll recap what happened in that year, or at least what I can remember of it.

Starting with Basic Training, I was on a plane on feb 10, and Basic started on Feb 11. It only lasted 6 weeks, or 30 actual working days, but it seemed the first 2 or 3 weeks were a long time, or so it seemed. But once I got into the groove of it, it just seemed to pass quick. I never did get lonely or homesick, though I did call home quite a bit. And then there was the time I called Jenny Toth and tried to talk her into joining the service. She didn't seem too excited about it, and now that I look back on it I feel like a fool, ah but what the hell. And then there's the day that the T.I. Told us not to do any “unauthorized” smoking breaks and then I get caught! I had to clean bird shit all morning long. And then getting arrested for deserting Dorm Guard duty! Ha – ha, it seems so funny now. But the best of all was when I found out that I was to be made into a computer programmer. I about jumped through the ceiling with joy.

And then after basic came tech-school. In Biloxi, Ms. Or all places. But then, thats where I wanted to go, just because of the beach. Oh well! But tech-school was fun. I took a detail that released me of almost all other duties. Road Guard! The only duty I had was to go to a meeting of the other Road Guards once a week, and it wasn't nothing great. And don't forget A.F.I. Painting trees, roads, basketball courts, and what-not. But there was school. I thought it was awful tough. But the day that I passed was great. Again I felt like jumping for joy. I was now a Computer Programmer!! Ah, but it's not all that its cracked up to be. It isn't bad, as a matter-of-fact, its been pretty good.

Off to Gunter I went. Down in the south. Montgomery, Al. A sleep little capital, but not too bad. I arrived after a little leave between school and there. I was moved in with John Howard. Not a bad guy, all-in-all, but strange in his own way. Falls in love with a girl that barely knows he's alive and then tries to move in. I have as yet to see anything happen with one, but I wish him all the luck in the world.

And then there Danny Groves. Danny is a good guy, but at times, he and I don't mix too well. It's rare, but when it hita, it hits hard. All the rest of the time, we get along just great. I wouldn't say that we're the best of friends, but we do get along.

And then Bill. Cant think of his ^last (later:smullen) name right off. Bills very odd. He showers daily, but for some reason, he always has B.O. I don't know what it is, but he is almost always like that. I dont like to talk about it, but its a fact. But other than that, Bill is just great. Whenever we play D and D he's the Game-Master. He has a wild imagination, and that works out great. But as far as the game goes, I don't think I'll get into it right now.

And last, but most definitely not least, is Tom Blackmon. Tom is about as tall as I am, has red hair, and I would call him my best friend. I don't know what his opinionis of me, but I imagine I'll probably find out when I get back to Gunter. As for other things about him, I'll get to that later today.

Now, as to what I'm doing here in Minnesota. After being at Gunter for about six months, Danny Nieman (my boss) asked me if I wanted to go to Minneapolis to work on the system they are buying. Of course I said ”Sure” So here I am. I feel that Ive learned quite a lot here, but not quite enough. But I keep on trying. I've been here since January 9, 1983, and will be going home to Gunter on June 19. I tell everyone here that I really don't want to go back just yet, but I guess that I've been here a little too long, and I would like to go.

Now comes the thing that find hard to say. I'm Gay. At least I think that I am. I always find myself looking at a guy I find good-looking, and just can't help myself. Its a thing I always keep secret, for fear of what would happen. I don't really know what would happen if it were known all over, but I know that not all of it would be good. First, I would be kicked out of the service, no matter how much I enjoy being there. I haven't had this good a time in my life, making friends, meeting new people, and different sorts of things. But behind it all, there is the fact that the very next day, I might be out on my own, just because I'm gay.

It really bothers me at times. I don't know if it's something that I think I am, or if I really am. I dont act like the stero-type, but then, most people that are gay, dont act like the typical image that most people think a homosexual should behave. Peer-pressure is part of it, along with “society” shunning it, but it really does bother me.

It's caused me a lot of heart-ache, making me think and do some things that I really didn't think was right or sensible. For instance, while here in Minnesota, I tried to cover my tracks, make people think that I was straight. There was this girl up here, her name's Leslie. To the best of my ability, I made it appear to everyone that her and I were a little serious. I even had her fooled. But after a couple of weeks it all went sour. You see, she had been dating another Air Force guy, but he ended up going home. So thats when I thought that I might start all of it. She had asked me if I wanted to go to a party (function) that some of the people at Sperry were throwing. I accepted. [ed: see photos at end of entry] From there, I went on with this charade, using Leslie to help me cover up what I was. Well it went sour when Don came back up here. He thought I had designs on Leslie, and I imagine his friend, Dave, told him what I'd been doing.

Well, the two broke up, and I felt that I was responsible for it. I couldn't stand to see them breaking up, not if it were my fault. Well, during this time, I had been working at night, and about the time that things were getting to a good boil, I went back to days.

All of a sudden, I was thrown into it. For some reason (I still haven't figured it out), I went into a truly super-black mood. Anything and everything made me mad. This lasted for 3 or 4 days, and I just couldn't get out of it.

Last Friday, Jo-Ann (our secretary) decided that we should all go out and get to tie-one-on. So most of us went, and after I started to buzzing pretty good, Jo-Ann asked me if there were something wrong with Don and Leslie. Thats when my black mood hit its climax.

I just started telling here everything that had been going on (except that I'm gay. must keep it a secret, now you see what I mean). I just plain unloaded on her. Told her about everything that was bothering me. It helped a lot.

The next day, I was still not in such a good mood, so I went for a walk. I ended up walking about 3 or 4 miles to the theatre, watched “Return of the Jedi” and walked back. From then on, I felt the blackness lifting. I felt awfully good, and even better when I went to Grand Old Days Sunday. Parades, parties, and bands all up and down the street.

Since then, I've been in a lot better mood. And tonight I go back on midnights. So you can see what being gay can be like, but I'm still not sure just what my feeling are. Its like some great conflict is always taking place within me. I can't help it if I find other men attractive. I've been fighting it since I was 16, but its always there. No matter what, I still turn my head when I see a good looking man.

Of course, I've been writing about the bad points. With everything people around me keep saying against gays, its a wonder I'm still sane. There are time when I feel good about it. I just hit a natural high on it, and I'm in a fantastic mood.

And good things have come from it. I met one guy that I thought I was in love with. I thought about him quite a bit. His name was Mark Love. He helped me come to grips with what I am, or at least what I think I am.

For a long time in High School, and afterwards, he and I were best of friends. We did everything together. While I was fighting against being gay, I told him that I thought I was. But his reaction was a lot different than what I expected. I thought that we would probably break away as friends, and go our own way.

But it wasn't that way at all. He just said “So am I'. I was amazed, to say the least! We went to bed several times after that, but he was just as new to all this as I was. I eventually became too possesive of him, and that was our downfall. I still think of him a lot. But from that “So am I”, I came to accept myself for what I am. I told 2 more people after that, my sister and Linda Toth. I told Linda because at that particular time, I became a little depressed (not the 1st nor the last). She ended-up telling the entire Toth family, which I didn't find out until a few trips to their house later. I love that family because they never did treat me any different after that than they did before-hand.

Kaye, my sister, just said “I kind-of thought so”, and that was that. She doesn't bring it up very often, and she doesn't disaprove or dislike it, so there isn't any worry there. But I haven't told my parents yet. I'm going to have to do it eventually, but I just don't know when or how. I think that my Dad already suspects it, but, I don 't really know.

My second lover is Tom. I said that I would tell more of him later. He's at the same point that I'm at right now. He's not too sure if he's gay and being in the service forces him to keep it secret also. He and I have gone to bed a few times, and we're learning off of each other. We're also trying to help each other come to terms with what we are.

Well, I don't know what is the real problem with me, but I working on it, which is why this diary is being written. I just hope for the best. Its time to get ready for work, so bye for now. Mike, I wish you the best of luck!!

(16 hand written pages)

Leslie and I at the function in Minneapolis


Something serious?

Tuckered out

Dave. Yes ... Dave!

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