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boys like me
William, as he introduced himself, was tall and handsome, and his hair was a little red as if it had been burnt on the edge.
I guess he might be a year older than me, though it\'s hard to say, because all the students in Namibia are wearing the same uniform, a polo shirt and khaki cloth pants.
\"You are American!
He announced after sitting down.
I say \"New York or Los Angeles\" and \"Chicago \".
Now, in my third week in Africa, I learned that it would not be possible without some explanation.
\"It\'s in the middle of the country.
\"During the post-90 s boom, this kind of school field trip seems very natural.
My 15 high school students have traveled in South Africa, Mozambique and Swazi.
Windhoek, the dusty capital of Namibia, is our last stop.
On this question, the second oneto-
The last day of the trip, our team leader launched the last day
By providing students with a local school seat on our bus, let\'s take a ride across the city and try to get us to really interact with Africans. “Chicago.
\"William\'s Adam\'s apple came and went back in the word.
\"I have heard that I want to go there.
My study is almost over. I will travel.
I\'ll do it when I get rich.
\"Delivered as it is a well
Americans sitting in the air
William\'s comments point out that there are conditional buses.
But he kept a low profile after that.
We talked a little bit about whether Chicago was colder than some European cities.
Wandering from abroadlanguage-
I noticed how the muscles and tendons on William\'s arm were differentiated as his hands moved.
\"And you,\" he asked.
\"You are traveling\", this is a good question.
While the trip has some vague educational goals for international understanding, these lavish receptions have ruined the most superficial impulses of the trip.
We want to take risks, there are extra stamps on the passport, where the classmates have not been.
I want it all like anyone else.
But more importantly, I\'m just happy to be in a place where I don\'t look gay. ----
I find it hard to believe I\'m gay.
In retrospect, it is hard to believe in itself.
My file contains all the stereotypes: a secret love of performing tunes, zero athletic ability, and even a sharp turn when the Baroness is the fourth time --
More importantly, I have a problem with my sexuality.
When I was 9 years old, I found myself seeing Marshall Field\'s illustrated underwear advertisement on the front page of the Chicago Tribune.
This trend has not weakened with age, and by the time I was in high school, it has increased by a terrible order of magnitude.
But I am a good boy and a man of high achievement.
I can\'t imagine being gay.
I grew up in a relatively acceptable community and I am not afraid of being abandoned or abandoned;
I just don\'t want to disappear in this unknown gay country because of strange language and dark customs.
Sometimes, I think that my desire is only a stage and a stop to the norm.
Sometimes I think I can correct myself by getting rid of the thoughts on boys and girls.
Sometimes, most of the time, I just wish it would go away and I\'m just normal.
About when I was in high school, my father put a novel on his bedside table called \"people without quality\".
\"Although the book is long and the title actually advertises boringness, this sentence sticks to it.
This is the state I desire. This self-
What brings me to Africa is to eliminate impulses.
In the winter of junior high school, my friend Natalie discovered the trip and I immediately thought of the idea.
Africa seems to be the perfect place I want to be a non-individual: a place so strange, with such a different person that I will be an American, a traveler.
My homosexuality will be eliminated by the submarine. Saharan sun.
During the three weeks of the trip, as I imagined, I was a man of no quality.
At Soweto, I refuse to giggle with others on the free condoms provided in each restaurant bathroom;
During the Safari, I remained silent and alert like a mongoose, while my companion whispered with a smile beside me;
On a Smoky Hill in Swazi, I asked the guide some questions about the monarch of this small country.
From bustling, running-
Follow Maputo to the wind blowing veldt and it\'s easy to lose my personality once I leave my environment. (
I have never noticed that I have been so firmly planted in my environment, and the American privilege of my team is a movable feast, taxiing in southern Africa on charter buses and prop planes. )
When we enter Windhoek, no one is happier than being a password.
I have no desire, only observation of the scenery, my little identity problem is the most distant thing in my mind.
At the end of our conversation, William and I rode silently at Windhoek, passing through an empty beach park dotted with bushes.
My heart is still racing in silence, which is why I can\'t be sure. ----
Then William confirmed it for me.
Right above his knee, he grabbed my leg hard.
\"I am not the same as the other boys,\" he said in a tone without any helium.
There\'s no need for him to talk-
When he touched me, I understood what he meant and I leaned on him without meaning.
But as soon as he spoke, I was ready to deny it.
\"I am,\" I said instinctively.
\"I am the same as the other boys.
But I think it\'s okay.
I mean, you\'re fine.
William looked at me a little surprised. “That’s good. That’s nice.
People here are not like you, even normal boys can-boys like me.
\"I smiled and said to him that there is nothing bad about it, but I am not like this.
\"I mean, what is gay like in Windhoek,\" I whispered. of-
I can be honest. “Not very good.
There was a youth center, but people found out and started throwing bricks from the window, so we met in secret now.
\"It\'s terrible,\" I said.
But if my voice betrayed any attention, it was purely for myself.
I have had the last few minutes of instant replay.
If William refers to me as the only gay person on the trip as soon as he gets on the bus, or becomes clear when he talks to me, \"My parents don\'t know, my friends don\'t.
\"Neither do I.
\"I will never tell them.
That\'s why I\'m going to America.
I said foolishly, \"it\'s better there . \" Then turn to the window.
All the progress I have made here is imagined.
There is no difference in culture, geography, school buses, Charter cars: Even teenagers around the world can know what kind of person I am, which means I am really one.
After William took his hand off my leg, even after he left the bus, my speeding heart didn\'t slow down.
He is still a threat: in the evening, we will visit William\'s school to have a barbecue for our honor.
I hope William will not be there as much as I can.
I don\'t want to talk about how gay he is anymore, and I don\'t want anyone to see me with him.
But when night fell and he didn\'t show up at the barbecue, I didn\'t take a sigh of relief.
I was disappointed.
At last, I felt ashamed.
I\'m not gay, but what\'s worse: a braver person than me, asking me for help in a more terrible situation --
Not even helpful, really, just a little brother would-
I flatly refused.
I pushed him away to keep my identity.
If he showed up at the barbecue, I could have prepared and told him the truth about me.
He will be the first person I come out.
I can talk to him, or kiss him, or-
Well, this is no longer possible.
As we bid farewell to the sun setting in the barbecue, I watched Kim, the young teacher who traveled with us, flirt with an Angolan French teacher with a firm arm.
When he handed her a beer, his hand lingered in her hand.
Soon his hand leaned against her on the wall, and she came towards him.
Looks like something I want.
Maybe one day I should have something.