October 2005


Two Friends

For some reason, my old friends from UW are on my mind and I feel like talking about two of the most important ones—which by inclusion of significant others, that makes four people.

What’s funny is that the two key people have switched places and roles in my life in part because of the person I was and the person I became.

JS was one of these two people—a Wyoming native, who as a freshman encountered me drinking beer in my dorm room and apparently was fixated on the fact that I was drinking beer, completely forgetting whatever else it was that we were talking about. Eventually he became an RA. In fact, he became my RA while I was a grad student living in Hill Hall.

Overall he was a decent guy, with, what we thought at the time, a sweet girlfriend, who eventually turned out to be a bit of a whoring unfaithful slut.

I blame her for the end of JS and my relationship, for after his discovery that she was a whoring unfaithful slut, he became a Christian. He was one of those bad Christians too—the kind that attend an enormous church that has multimedia equipment, live signing, video reports, and bible passages put on the screen, and when it was time to sip wine—they (and I, the one time I went) sipped grape juice.

He was so involved that he went on missionary trips to Mexico to build churches for the poor people. I never said anything about it, but really—do poor people need churches or do they need health clinics and schools? What a waste of money.

It was also a church where he made friends who were uncertain about gays—actually he told me one of his friends was opposed to gays because they got promoted ahead of her at work. As time went by I became more and more of a flamer and he probably got more and more Christian, eventually we drifted apart.

I’ll never know exactly why we drifted apart—I suspect it was a combination of my becoming more and more aggressively gay and his acquisition of Christianity.

On the other hand, Rian was somebody who I was fairly close to at UW, and shortly after he graduated, I was a groomsman in his wedding.

For me, it was one of the most surreal experiences of my life—I was acutely self aware at the time—I was secretly gay (at least as far as I knew), attending a hyper-heterosexual event, something (at the time) I thought would never be possible or applicable for me. (Now, I just need a man.)

After his wedding I sort of kept Rian at arms length until we drifted apart—he’s on my Christmas card list, and I sent him and his wonderful wife, Cari-Ann, a present after the birth of their son last year.

Ironically I was keeping them at arm’s length despite the fact that Cari-Ann once made a positive offhand comment about gays that provide me a great deal of personal reassurance at the time.

It’s strange how difficult it was early on to say “I am gay,” and now I tell people indirectly all the time. For example, this week I told a new colleague at work that when I go out, I go to the Schwule club in Erfurt—a direct way of saying I’m gay—either that or that I’m a straight man who likes gay clubs, which is not inconceivable.

Rian lives in North Dakota now, and I made a point of calling him a couple weeks ago because I’ve been neglecting our relationship for far too long. It would be swell to see him again (hey, I need to go to North Dakota, it’s one of the six US states that I have yet to visit) and to have a real relationship as opposed to the Christmas Card one that we’ve had of late.

I wouldn’t mind re-establishing links with JS either, although I suspect hell would have to freeze over first.

1 comment to Two Friends

  • ChrisC

    Oh come on Adam! Nobody knowing you’re gay? *grins*

    I remember When I got around to coming out to you and the amusing conversation we had. The following is paraphrased:

    Chris – Adam, I’m coming for a visit, and by the way, I’m gay.

    Adam – Well so am I. What would you have done if I had a negative reaction to your telling me you’re a homosexual?

    Chris – I would have just driven on past Bloomington, but I knew that telling you would pose no problem because I know you’re gay.

    Adam – (shocked) How did you know?

    Chris – I’ve known since 1993 when I first met you at the University of Wyoming.

    And so on… This conversation was in late 1998. I guess my “gaydar” was on!