How are you? I know... It's not very good right now eh?
Let me cheer you up by telling you that you're not going to look anywhere near as bad as you might think when you're pushing forty. Seriously! You're going to mature quite well compared with most of the boys at school you are so jealous of at the moment.
I know they seem so cocky, self assured and a lot more mature sexually than you, but believe me, most of them have the same insecurities that you have right now. The ones who bully you are only doing it to make themselves look good. It's really nothing to do with anything you've said, done or worn to school.
There'll be an invention in a couple of years called the 'Internet' and although it might seem hard to believe now, there will come a day when these bullies and shallow creeps that are giving you such a hard time at the moment will actually want to be your friend and will be proud to be associated with you. But for now, you're doing the best thing by keeping a low profile and studying hard. I promise it will pay off sooner than you think.
I know things are really tough at the moment with Mum & Dad separating. New step-parents and their kids seem to be taking over and you feel completely isolated. You really don't need to feel guilty about hating all this Colin. What you feel is true and you need to start believing in your own instincts and trust your feelings. You've been thrown into an adult world way before you're ready and you're doing amazingly well so far. I promise that this experience and what's still to come will make you a stronger, better person. You just can't see that yet.
I wish I could tell you that things will get easier with the family but I'm afraid they'll get a lot worse. At the moment you are feeling so raw because you felt so secure with mum, dad and your brother and now it feels like they're being ripped away from you. Over the next few years you'll gradually drift further apart until you have virtually no contact with any of them. I realise how awful and nightmarish that might sound right now but let me explain something to you.
Over time you'll come to realise that the people closest to you aren't necessarily the ones who care for you the most. Sometimes you have to leave behind the ones who make you unhappy and surround yourself with people who love and care for you, people who make you feel happy, wanted and appreciated. This might sound hard, but if people cause you to feel sad or angry, and if they don't respect you, you need to let them go and live your life.
Colin, something will happen one day that will put everything I just said into perspective. I can't tell you what it is because you need to experience it so that you can learn from it. But I promise that it will trigger something in you that makes you realise that happiness and love are far more important than family ties.
This is all sounding very negative! I'm sorry, it will get better. As hard as it's going to be, you will gain a lot of good from it. You'll develop into a caring, generous, intelligent and according to a few people, a handsome man. However, before I move on I've got one last piece of bad news. I know that you would make a fantastic Dad, and as time goes by you'll want nothing more than a son of your own. Unfortunately, you won't get that chance. (Not before you're forty anyway). Please don't dwell on it or let it cause arguments.
Okay, before I go any further, whatever you do over the next couple of years, don't buy a salmon pink jacket. It really won't suit you, no matter what the girl in the shop says. It might be a good idea to take somebody who has some fashion sense when you go shopping for clothes over the next ten years or so. No offense. Also, your boss at the radio station (Christa) is destined for bigger things. It might be worth getting friendly with her even though she treats you like shit.
Right. Are you sat down? All these feelings you're having at the moment about other boys are because you're gay. I know you've been thinking about it for a while and what you're feeling is very natural and nothing to be scared or ashamed of. Oh, that guy Steven from the radio station, he's straight so I wouldn't waste any more time trying to impress him. Take your time, let your confidence and self belief develop, and within a year or two you're going to start having the time of your life! Before you do, please change your hairstyle. It's really not as cool as you think and it will save some embarrassing photos later in life :)
Now for some good news. You'll soon realise that the gay scene is full of bitchy queens, boy-whores and shallow liars. It'll be great fun and you'll be a very popular new boy in town, but it won't be long before you start to crave true love. This is where you're in luck. You'll find a guy, and not in any way you could possibly imagine. You'll fall in love and settle down for many, many years. It's not all going to be moonlight and roses, but he'll be the love of your life and you'll spend more than half of your life with him.
Before you settle down, some guys are going to tell you a whole load of porkies to get you into bed. Don't believe a word from most of them, but enjoy the attention (and boy you'll get some). They'll tell you they love you, buy you flowers, gifts, take you to nice places and promise you the earth. Enjoy it. You might want to think twice about a couple of them though; Especially a lad driving a Porsche or somebody who smells strangely of glue. No spoilers, but you won't exactly be coming home with a smile on your face.
One day you'll meet a guy who seems a bit nervous. You'll see him for a couple of weeks and everything will seem fine until you bump into his boyfriend! A few days later, when you're convinced the boyfriend is following you and going to kill you, go and buy him a drink. You never know what might happen :-)
If you want to avoid a few big rows, stay away from Ian's flat in December 1996 and don't talk to a Scottish guy if you go to the Maldives. (You'll know when it happens!). You'll make a really good friend when you start working on the railway. (Jeeze! I can just imagine the smile on your face when you read that you'll get a job working on the railway.) For God's sake don't tell his wife that he's gay. It really won't be as funny as you imagine and it will lose you a caring friend.
Some other bits you might want to remember: Buy insurance for your first car. Don't have ice in your Coke when you go to Tenerife for the first time. Don't eat the BBQ chicken on Angsana Island. Become a pen-pal with a young lad called Matthew Ryan Phillippe. He lives in a town called New Castle in Delaware, America. He's a couple of years younger than you at 14 but you'll be so glad you became his friend in a few years time. Oh, one more thing. Don't ever go into business with family.
Colin. You don't realise it now but your life is going to be amazing. You'll develop from this shy, nervous, self conscious and timid hermit into the creature you are meant to be. (That will make more sense in 1990 when you buy a Pet Shop Boys album). You're going to meet the man of your dreams, travel the world, work for some amazing people and run fantastic companies of your own. You'll earn (and spend) lots of money. You'll set up a charity and make friends around the world because of it. You're never going to stay still and you'll love every single minute of it. Eventually, you'll start to see how amazing you actually are. That will be a life changing moment.
Don't ever worry about tomorrow because things always work out one way or another. Don't lose sleep worrying over nothing, it's really not worth it. You're a stress-head, just accept it. Things will happen that will screw with your mind and people will try to pull you down. Deep down you'll be able to rely on your instinct to tell you whether you're right or not. I'm still learning now so just take each day as it comes.
Okay, a couple more things before I finish off. Don't be scared to sing, dance and enjoy yourself. But don't beat yourself up if you don't fancy it. You'll always be quite fit & healthy but you might want to hit the gym a bit more in the summer of 2010. It will snow like never before later that year and you'll be surprised how memorable that winter will be. Don't be influenced by what people say or think about you. Judge yourself against those who judge you and you'll soon see who's right.
Colin, the awful things that are happening now will haunt you for the rest of your life. There's nothing I can do or say to make that better because I've tried everything I can think of. Spend your life with people who love you and treat people the way you would like to be treated. You'll soon sort the people who genuinely care from the ones who don't.
Enjoy every minute!