Oregon daily emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1920-2012, April 11, 1980, Page 7, Image 7

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    Portlander dreams of
helping you
ng gays
By YVONNE BEASLEY
Of the Emerald
Coming out is only one event
in the life of a young gay. For
many gays, as for many
straights, socializing and enter
tainment revolve around taverns
and bars, but where does
someone under 21 go once he’s
"out?”
Alienated by parents and
friends, considered misfits in the
high-school social structure,
many young gays have no
where to turn for recreation. At a
Gay Pride Week forum on gay
youth Thursday, Tony
Radovich, a 19-year-old gay
man from Portland, discussed
one way some young gays are
trying to fight the lack of oppor
tunities for social interaction
among gay youths.
Many students consider
gays misfits in high school
“Young (gay) people in Port
land have a really big problem
with themselves," Radovich
said. They drop out of school
and sometimes get thrown out
of home by their parents, he
said. They need to escape,
through drugs and by going
“out dancing till 4 a m. every
night.”
“It’s really sad,” he said.
Radovich's dream, along with
about 15 other gays between
16- and 19-years-old, is to help
young gays build a framework
for their social lives more like
those of their heterosexual sis
ters and brothers. The group
plans camping trips, potluck
dinners, roller skating, private
parties, and jaunts to the coast
and mountains.
It may sound a bit like Aunt
Polly’s church group, but
Radovich considers these more
wholesome activities greatly
preferable to the alternatives:
loitering in Portland's downtown
Galleria shopping mall, or drug
ging and dancing at the Me
tropolis, a nightclub downtown
for people under 21.
Getting the "down-and
outers” motivated toward
something — other than being
down-and-out — is the greatest
challenge the group has to face,
Radovich said. They can be
apathetic toward the group, or
so full of youthful rebellion they
won’t listen to someone "telling
them what to do."
Radovich is full of dreams for
the future of gay youth in Port
land. He’d like to start a recrea
tion center in order to attract
people away from the Me
tropolis, which he describes as
a haven for drugs and danger.
His group has been asking area
counselors to donate time for a
gay youth rap.
Radovich said he hopes his
group will succeed where
others have failed. Past gay
youth groups in Portland have
disintegrated when the
members turned 21 and moved
into the mainstream of gay
social life there. He says the age
diversity in his group will keep it
alive for a long time.
Another panelist, who wished
not to be identified, is a gay
woman studying at Lewis and
Clark College in Portland. She
spoke about a different set of
problems for young gay people
— career goals.
"I’ve always wanted to teach
PE," she said, but she’s ham
pered by her sexual orientation.
She can’t teach and openly take
women lovers, she said; society
forces the young gay person to
make a choice between career
and sexual preference — often
they can't have both.
The fight, though, has just
begun for gays in politics and
society, she said. "It is now up
to the young gays" to make
strides politically and socially for
all gays. Young gays, she said,
should devote their energy to
breaking down societal repres
sions.
“People ask, ‘Will you still feel
the same way when you’re 35?’
They think it’s just a phase I'm
going through," she says. “I
know I'll feel the same."
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