Christian Science and masculinity

I tried to convince myself I really did love her. The long letters I wrote from school would, I hoped, convince her too. I was actually relieved when she saw through it. Her last letter read: "I was surprised at first that you took an interest in me, and I asked myself over and over again why. I now know the answer—sex." Suddenly an exploit that I had thought proved I was a man seemed totally empty. I had only succeeded in deceiving and hurting someone and in lying to myself. I wondered how the other high school sophomores in my dorm could brag about their experiences and not feel a little foolish inside.

Another frequent topic of conversation back in the dorm revolved around who among the faculty and students was probably a homosexual. During spring vacation in ninth grade I'd unwittingly allowed myself to be courted by a homosexual, and the fear that perhaps his attentions meant that I was one too began to gnaw at me. I became nervous about displaying any mannerisms that might be considered effeminate and wondered if perhaps my name hadn't come up for addition to the list of suspected deviants.

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The past has no hold
August 13, 1979
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