I just realized something. I've known I was queer since I was fourteen years old. And from the time I was fourteen until I was eighteen I looked, and looked hard, for evidence of other people like me without success.

So how the fuck did I miss the recruiter? By various and sundry accounts, they're everywhere. I mean, aren't they supposed to be hard to miss? Isn't that kind of the point? So how is it that I looked for four solid years and never bumped into one? Why couldn't I find a yellow pages listing, or an office address? Why didn't anyone drop by the house on weekend mornings like those nice Mormons did, or the Jehovah's Witnesses with their free magazines? Why didn't they have the forethought to swing by my high school and address everyone during History class, like the people from the Air Force did my senior year? I didn't even get anything in the mail, promising me free track lighting if I'd sign up for three years.

None of my queer friends have ever met a recruiter either. Well, that's not entirely true. One of my friends met one down in West Hollywood once about a year ago. But by that time, he didn't need a recruiter (and this guy recruited for the Navy, anyway). He'd been going to West Hollywood from Bakersfield of his own free will every weekend since he was 15 years old. He'd tell his mom he was spending the weekend at a friend's house, and she really, really wanted to believe that. My friend knew she was just accepting his lies, but she didn't seem to want to talk about it. So he just let it drop. Weird, huh?

If you can't say what you mean, then you can never mean what you say. So ... what is meant by those people who say or think or feel that homosexuals recruit young 'uns into their ranks? Is recruitment a euphemism for something? Organized brainwashing, perhaps? I'm reaching here.

I'd really like to know. 'Cause I missed the recruiter.