Out There Collaborations came up with the concept of writing what your life would be like as a television show. I ran with it, and this is the result.
You Don't Have To Be A Star
A Gay Opinion 5/11/01
by R.A. Melos
Being I was born in 1963 and am part of a television generation, it's not surprising I have looked at my life as a series of sitcoms, the occasional very special episode, and one or two long dramatic segments, all of which go into the big screen version of me. Since it is my life, I, of course, am the star, with many supporting cast members.
The early segments, my formative years, were a cross between The Danny Thomas Show, Donna Reed, and The Twilight Zone. I'm not saying the formative years didn't have their memorable moments, only the memorable moments all seem to surround my confusion over what was expected of me by society.
I was never really hung up on the idea of fitting into society, since I was pegged as "a fag" by my so called peers at an early age. I remember the gym class episodes with particular disdain. Now you could say it was just sour grapes over being the last one chosen to play, but it went beyond that anger. After all, I was the shortest kid in my class, and of course being the smallest made me an instant target for cruelty by my peers.
Now since my parents did not believe in fighting, I was raised to believe fighting was wrong, and I should not hit someone, or hit someone back, if they struck me first. This was okay with me, since I wasn't all that strong at five years of age, nor did I know how to hit someone. It didn't matter, because society taught me my place, which was to be abused by my peers, because they needed someone, even someone smaller and weaker than they were, to make them feel strong and important.
We can skip most of the formative years, and go to the high school, puberty years, segments, which could be called "What The Hell Was I Thinking?"
You see, high school wasn't much better than grade school and it took on new terrors, as puberty hit and I began to understand, or at least recognize, the feelings I had for the same sex. Now it could be argued homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle, and since I was told at an early age, and everyday thereafter, by my peers, I was gay or queer or a fag, I was just giving society what it expected of me, but that isn't true.
Yes, my peers were right the first time they saw me and decided I was gay, but they didn't make me gay, or guide me into being gay, they only pointed out what God made me by birth. Yes, I said God. I know, the censors don't approve of the "G" word or many other words, but if my life is a television series, its on cable and I can use any words I choose.
So the high school segments were spent viewing the rest of my closeted adolescence, and I'm sure ratings fell throughout those seasons, but I wasn't canceled. Instead, I graduated, went to college, and changed the name of the series to "It's My Life, And I'll Cry If I Want To."
College was spent closeted, but in a happier, more mature environment. It was more nurturing than the formative and high school years, all seasons of much emotional and physical abuse at the hands of my peers and society in general. Those were seasons I refused to even allow to be rerun for many years. I wouldn't even view them in private because of the levels of emotional pain and suffering I dealt with on my own.
I say "on my own" because I was closeted and felt no one whom I knew at that time would understand my pain or fear, but I now know I was wrong. Unfortunately, those seasons could not be rewritten, and I had already moved on to the next segment of my life. I'd call it "The Real World," but MTV already took that title. And, in retrospect, even though I was living it, it really didn't qualify as one of those reality based series. On top of that, no one was there to give me a check for one million dollars after surviving the cruelty of my formative years, and I wasn't expecting much in the way of residuals from the society of which I was now well aware and horrified by.
So, my series was again picked up for another season, after college, and it took a long run, really getting interesting when I was given an love interest. Suddenly, all of the past seasons, subtle innuendoes and scathing sarcasm, all made perfect sense and "The Adventures Of Homosexual Man" became the best show no one was watching.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the more adult show, most definitely a late night cable classic, only suitable for mature viewing, it was short lived, only running for two and a half seasons. In its wake came an extended hiatus, with only a few guest appearances.
But, lo and behold, after that long dark hiatus, during which I did a lot of recasting, I underwent a change of heart, woke up, and am back in my current incarnation called, "You Don't Have To Be A Star." This incarnation is much more cutting edge than previous segments, and I've actually gotten up the courage to rerun many of the earlier segments of my life and share them in a way many people would prefer I had not.
I've become more active in my own creative control, and have taken over the roles of producer and director with more responsibility for my own happiness with the finished product. I control the casting, at least as far as my love interests will be concerned, and I'm always on the lookout for a fresh new face to fill the role of costar, but in the meantime I'm busy creating future segments which will be filled with interesting guest appearances, lots of humor, and a whole new direction which will eventually spin-off into a new series.
The best part of this is, my series has been picked up for life.
Out There! Collaborations