Absolutely, Positively Not Booktalk
Steven is certain he's not gay. He absolutely can't be gay. Can he?
"Hi. My name is Steven. I'm a sophomore in high school and I'm not gay. I'm absolutely and positively not gay. So what if my best friend's a girl and I suck at sports, and can't stop thinking about how cute Mr. Bowan, one of my teachers, is? I'm still not gay.
But trying not to be gay is harder than it looks. I tore up the two magazines I'd hidden under the bed — Men's Underwear Catalog and International Male — and started putting pictures from the Victoria's Secret catalog on the walls of my bedroom. I was sure if I looked at them long enough, I'd eventually find them arousing. I even started dating girls. I had 23 dates with 21 girls. I guess the first one and the last one were the most memorable.
For my first date I asked Bree Caruthers, the most popular girl in school, to go to the movies. I picked the one with the most romantic title — You and Me and Love. How was I supposed to know it was boy-boy romance, not girl-boy romance? My last date was with Solveig, our school's Norwegian foreign exchange student. We were supposed to go to the movies, but she drove us out to this deserted clearing and said she wanted to make out. Man, she was all over me, and I did my best to respond — but nothing. Finally I just said stop and she took me home.
I gave up and took the sexy women in their underwear off my wall and threw them in the trash. Then I called my best friend Rachel and asked if I could come over and talk. But when I told her I thought I might be gay, she wasn't surprised at all. In fact, she said, "It's about time!" She — and her parents — had figured out a year ago that I was gay!
But how could they know when I didn't know? Does everybody know? Ohmygod — does Mr. Bowman know I'm gay and that sometimes he's the only thing I can think about? What am I going to do? I'm absolutely, positively sure I'm not gay — or am I?"