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.

The past has no hold
August 13, 1979

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