Squad Goals

The Golden Girls as Sailor Scouts by Abraham Perez
The Golden Girls as Sailor Scouts by Abraham Perez

Sailor Moon and The Golden Girls created the blueprint of what friendship looked like, and then Tales of the City expanded friendship by introducing the concept of the found family.

Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts were similar in nature and temperament, supporting one another while forming deep bonds.  While every character was an individual, their personality traits overlapped with each embodying a type of girl.  For youthful elementary and pre-teens, the Sailor Scouts modelled the necessary conflict resolution skills needed to be an individual within a group.

The Golden Girls kept their cast much smaller than Sailor Moon, focusing on four women and not nine characters, which allowed Golden Girls to present more complex characters.  Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia, were women who each embodied character traits with less overlapping.  Unlike the school-aged Sailor Scouts, except for one (and later the Sailor Soldiers), attended the same school, The Golden Girls were brought together by circumstance and experiences to form friendship.

Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City exemplified the concept of the “chosen family,” the supportive people in a life that actively assume the ideal family role.  The novel, and the series that came after, was the first time that friends were not similar, but radically different from each other.  They showed that sharing experiences create a united humanity.

Verve (5/22-5/26)

Maintaining goals’ timeline is a tricky proposition, finding the balance between what is necessary for life (job, family and/or friend commitments) with the artistic (experiences, solitude, and time).  The necessary seclusion to write runs contradictory to the desire to participate in humanity, providing new experiences to build upon.  The self-reflection I have been doing is looking backwards, which removes from existing in the moment – allowing emotion to wash over and be felt.  Those emotions provide an anchor to the everyday, dressing moments and interactions in person-specific contexts.  Without personal experiences there is not shared humanity, isolating from loved ones and strangers, removing beautiful complexity from my world.

 

Every year I create a soundtrack that can be used to act as touchstone for that year; during the year, the playlist is a living breathing thing, its songs coming and going as I change throughout the year.

2017 Playlist

  1. Secrets (feat. B.o.B.), Mary Lambert
  2. Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time, Panic! At the Disco
  3. Your Song, Rita Ora
  4. Bad Liar, Selena Gomez
  5. Nights With You, MØ
  6. Still Got Time (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR), ZAYN
  7. Don’t Kill My Vibe, Sigrid
  8. Needed Me, Rihanna
  9. Freedom (feat. Kendrick Lamar), Beyoncé
  10. Don’t Touch My Hair (feat. Sampha), Solange
  11. Rose Golden (feat. Jaden Smith), Kid CuDi
  12. Pawn It All, Alicia Keys
  13. Cocoa Butter Kisses (feat. Twista & Vic Mensa), Chance the Rapper
  14. There For You, Martin Garrix & Troye Sivan
  15. Dear Theodosia (Reprise), Hamilton Mixtape
  16. Small World, Idina Minzel

The Lone Vagabond

The Lone VagabondI stood, dressed in a vintage 50/50 Merc-Tile shirt and Adidas track pants, in front of my leather lined full length mirror, holding both outfits critiquing for all flaws or compliments; examining and modifying for the best narrative.  The first was J. Crew dark jeans, blue Gant Rugger cardigan, denim grey colored shirt by Band of Brothers, and Ralph Lauren shoes.  The second outfit was all Sean John: a brown leather racing jacket, black crewneck sweater, dark vintage wash jeans, and white shelltop shoes.

It had been two years since Ian Jimenez; four years since ending with Jeremy Schwach.  I believed they were different, but they weren’t.  Both smiled to confuse, while I talked; they were egocentric, but I thought myself unique.  They were cowards asking opinions like collecting pebbles, demanding emotional risks from others.  I expected others to provide answers I was not willing to discover; I read greedily choosing pieces of others’ ideas to get through situations with a minimal guilt.  To help with this delusion conversations and gestures were considered foreign languages to be deciphered.  I had dated but remained perpetually single, only selecting those that were unavailable either emotionally, physically, or by lifestyle; there was no risk of fault or blame when everything went wrong; I only wanted the appearance of trying, that way people felt sympathy.  “Dating is difficult,” they’d say and stop asking questions, so I could stay safe by not including anything that wasn’t previously established.

Continue reading “The Lone Vagabond”

Undergrad Dating

 

“In the Year 2001″ by an illustrator in 1895, via The Appendix
“In the Year 2001″ by an illustrator in 1895, via The Appendix

For my undergrad I attended SUNY @ Purchase, where perfect was the antithesis of high school, evolving to be the artistic and eccentric.  In college perfect was chased by girls and boys, and perfect boys were more likely to chase boys back.  Perfect was still not the quietly humorous one who liked school and read in his dorm.   He was cool though, which afforded me the opportunity to be entertained by a peer as a possible date.  Refreshed by a sudden gust of attention, I set my sights on who was deemed the most desired boy on campus: Daniel.  He wasn’t actually a student, but was the friend of the students on the floor below me, and visited every weekend.  Luckily, the friends I had made on my floor knew the people down stairs through a mutual friend from Long Island; guess New York City isn’t that big of a city. Continue reading “Undergrad Dating”

Lamprocapnos

Lamprocapnos [Bleeding Heart Flower] 02

“Icy Cold”

Shut the lights off

Put the candles on

Turn the 808 up

 

I ride up high on the beat

Like a bike with no seat

Working my hips

I ride deep

With the beat

Like a bike,

With no seat

I’m an icy cold freak

 

“I’m Not Happy That I’m Not Safe With You”

With philosophical morals as strong as a sea fog,

You laid barbed wire around my circular orbit;

And now I’m at the point

When I look in another’s eyes

All I can say is,

You don’t have to stay until morning

 

Oh, Solace, it’s true:

You still look pretty counting my rosary of addictive solutions

Leaving sadness as the only lover to invade my demeanor.

 

I’m not happy that I’m not safe with you.

 

“Loneliness”

As the flower said to the blowing wind:

“I’ll never easily give up my mystery.”

As the hilltop said toe the rising morning:

“Never let our unknowing passion ignite.”

As the winter said to the blistering sun:

“From time to time love me slowly.”

 

Dating Templates

I learned early that existence was being in a state of constant heartbreak, longing to be within a cozy weekend bubble with another.  In the past I sunk under the weight of pursing others like a puppy only to not be selected.  The superficiality of idolized physicality in homosexuality was not me.  Perfect was the Abercrombie & Fitch model or Justin Timberlake; the pop-idol and the porn star got all the attention.  Not me, the queerly geek whose authenticity – the interests, experiences, and beliefs –existed on the peripheral of popular.  How could they not see how cool I was?

I didn’t go to local gay youth groups to meet peers because I wasn’t ready for an identity label, which was rooted in the denial that was needed in high school to survive.  The homosexual teenagers I conversed with through the internet seemed so much braver than myself because they had found and proclaimed their inner authenticity.  Their assured identity gave them the bravery to ask to meet immediately.  To me they had already labeled themselves and claimed to have said as much to their parents.  Being exceedingly reluctant of labels, I was intimidated, fearing their permanence.  I wasn’t ready to be placed in any box, let alone the wrong one; and then go through the embarrassment of changing labels.  I was incapable of reading other homosexual teenagers’ eagerness to meet as a shared isolation, and so made excuses as to why that couldn’t happen.

There were homosexual adults whom I interacted with through the internet, and their eagerness to meet only reinforced my Jodie Dallas induced greatest fears of being queer.  Still, though, I more quickly accepted an adult’s invitation to meet than a peers’.  In adult companionship I saw a greater possibility of the exciting homosexual adventures, like those in Queer as Folk; their adventures seemed like the safe juvenile antics I should be participating in.  I entertained ideas of big city adventures like Sex & the City, and meeting Mr. Big, who’d take me to the theatre and art openings.  What I instead found was sneaking off to the backwoods of Upstate New York and trailer parks, where their own inauthenticity funhouse mirrored my own.

I was in college by that time and finally saw healthier homosexual relationships, through Will Graham, Will & Grace, was single through the majority of the show’s run, having serious relationships after the show found success.  The domesticity on Will & Grace was not perfection, but the characters created a bubble of playing house.  I wanted to emulate the relationships by running errands, sharing chores, and cooking together.  Our existence would be dictated by shared calendars and outings.  It would be teamwork and comradery.

I crafted doctored acceptable variations of myself, believing my exposed self would not be good enough.  The knowledge my authenticity was deferred to others in an effort to avoid insult and derision.  Receding behind partners’ goals I built up their hopes, while exploring how to play with the truth, creating chaos that would ultimately result in implosion.

Personal Essays

I crave and have been longing for something, anything, new to create and build upon.  Personal essays allow me to explore my world and explain myself to that world.  Part of creating the foundation involves sharing alleviating of secrets because secrets form a warm comfortability; particularly after being kept for so long.

Personal essays will reveal the humanity that links us all, put a spotlight on the dried and cracking leather hid of my baggage.  Writing affects the physical world, re-shaping personal experiences.  Writing allows me to make sense of an increasingly complex world, and it to make sense of me.  In looking to the past I have hoped to forge new-ness.  By editing and revising my story, crystalizing events into formative moments allows for the creation of sound foundations to go forward.  As I have worked through this by analyzing my past, celebrating my interests and what they mean to me, and connecting through failures, relationships are deepened with friends and family, resulting in an increased quality of life.  The creative process has me searching for the root cause of what I would like to ignore or disagree with in life, and to recreate the world through new contexts.

Verve (5/15-5/19)

I crave and have been longing for something, anything, new to create and build upon.  In looking to the past I have hoped to forge new-ness.  By editing and revising my story, crystalizing events into formative moments allows for the creation of sound foundations to go forward.  Part of creating the foundation involves sharing alleviating of secrets because secrets form a warm comfortability; particularly after being kept for so long.  Growing up I could not actively be authentic, developing into chronic shame.

For myself, chronic shame came from the best of intentions of my parents when raising two children.  And they were good at it, striving to create balance for two radically different kids.  When they didn’t live up to expectations they privately, and I’m sure to this day, scolded themselves; they failed less times than they believe they did.  The majority of their concern was aimed at my sister and her uncontrollable outbursts.  My sister’s (then undiagnosed bipolar) behavior drew my parents’ attention, exhausting them, resulting in an often chaotic home life.  My parents did what they could at the time, as an adult and child I understood that, so I crafted a compliant personality designed to make life far simpler.  This allowed me to get attention when my parents sought respite from my sister.

Compliance also allowed me to go unseen, with my homosexuality never being addressed.  This self-imposed inability to say out loud that I was gay.  I had seen modelled on TV even how the most progressive of parents reacted, which was with tears of worry.  I was not going to add more concerns to their already full plate.  I vowed to be the straw that broke any one’s back.

A Political Discussion I Had Recently

ME: In today’s job market and society we have produced too many people with degrees that there is no longer a blue-collar work force, which is a factor in the shrinking middle class.

THEM: If the middle class and blue collar contingent disappears, who will be left to vote republican? Bible thumpers and assholes?

ME: Plenty of Bible thumpers and assholes vote Democrat. To believe that “the opposite” political party is made up of “deplorables” minimizes the needs of a large group of Americans – further pushing the polarized state of the country. Middle class and blue collar are often voting for, what can be loosely described, as “family values.” If you are attempting to refer to the large electoral college vote that Trump received, then it might be best to try and think “What has the country not done to support them?” The states that Trump won were “no collar” states, the miners and farmers, and those without college degrees and trade-skills, who – more than likely – saw a country that was increasingly looking beyond its borders and supporting foreign interests. Those that voter for Trump were more than likely attempting to vote for themselves, their families, and their neighbors, by voting for localized economic resurgence. What they saw was how others are getting more and more rights for very specific demographics, while their own was being maligned as “ignorant” or “racist,” which was largely probably not the case. Your statement also ignores recent NYT, LA Times, and Politico articles that are finding, in young America, a 2 party system no longer is viable. As well, there were the Bernie-die-hards that abstained from voting because Hillary wasn’t Bernie, which also cost her the election, and perhaps a more progressive government. Continue reading “A Political Discussion I Had Recently”

Playground Inauthenticity as Survival

Playground Inauthenticity as SurvivalOn the playground we are taught, as evolutionary survival, that it is important to be like everyone else, to find acceptance into the group dynamic.  From pre-historic to ancient-times, and beyond, avoiding being ostracized meant avoiding death.  This evolutionary hold-over is what pushes queer youth to hide our authenticity from others, keeping our interests, past-times, and loves from friends and families. Doing so stagnates the formation of a queer identity, rooted in beliefs, attitudes, and values.

I grew up in a suburbia that wasn’t ticky-tacky little boxes, but a nostalgic Mayberry: students walked to school, left campus to eat lunch in the village, and formed cliques based upon clothing labels; there was a dairy to buy milk fresh from the cow and boutiques that were hobbies for doctor wives.  The school district heavily focused on academic success and rigor, not grit or character; children were taught to be students and not to interact with educators.  We were academically prepared but street smarts were not taught between Great Expectations and chemistry.  The few gay boys that were known easily fit the mainstream suburbia of backyard pools, in ways I never could.  I sabotaged acceptance by defensively rejecting the labels and tokenism they appeared to willingly accept.  I deliberately kept to myself, denying myself a confidante, by refusing anyone I could divulge to because I was scared that if anyone knew my real fears, secrets, and thoughts, they’d not like me. I was different and I knew it, but didn’t wish to be separated from the herd.  By exaggerating what didn’t fit homogeneity I created a smokescreen of descriptors against isolation, hoping no one would the gay.  I allowed peers to silence my identity and interests – a little for all but not everything to one; and no one to me.