My High School Reunion
My 20 year High School Reunion is this Saturday. No, I didn't graduate from The School for the Socially Retarded & A.D.D. Afflicted. I actually graduated from a public school. My High School was segregated by brain power, so I was somewhat sheltered by being in the honors program.
I spent most of my time at High School doing homework and studying in the library. I was nice to others, but very shy. Back then, there was no Facebook or an Internet to easily make connections to others just like me. Being gay made the whole High School experience quite horrible because I was the only gay person I knew.
I envy the young people today who are able to go to progressive schools built just for gay people. Do you realize how lucky you are? Can you imagine how much self esteem can be built up going to a school specifically built for gays? That's reality now in New York, Milwaukee, and coming soon to Chicago. I didn't have that option in High School. It was more like a horrible game of ... Which One of These is Not Like the Other?
Which is exactly why I don't want to go to my High School Reunion. I was the odd duck. High School was a traumatic period of time in my life that has left my psyche scarred. What if I go and feel these same haunting feelings come back?
This is precisely why I skipped my 10 and 15 year class reunions. My twin brother told me later that there were lots of people asking about me. I was quite surprised they even remembered me. He said they kept telling him that they always remembered how nice I was.
Hmm. Being nice certainly didn't help me make very many friends back then. In retrospect, perhaps my own insecurities sabotaged the only chances I had of forging friendships. What if it was really me choosing to isolate myself away from others because I feared being rejected for being different?
A part of me feels like I should take the chance to go back in time and mend my present life with the shadow of my past. After all, I am a totally different person today. Since coming out in 1993, I experienced a burst of happiness and found many new friends. I am now a confident gay man who no longer flinches when asked the question as to whether I am married or have kids. I am no longer the duck that is so odd. Maybe going to the reunion will heal my past wounds. I will never know if I don't take the chance. Hmm.
Labels: High School