My Gay Royalty Proclamation/Coronation

I have decided to name myself the voice and face of the gay community. Why not? Who’s going to stop me? Sure it’s self appointed, and sure most of my opinions tend to run against what most feel, but I find that the ones that have stepped up to the plate are shameful and stupid.

I sat down the other day to see if I could in fact think of gay icons that represent or are the final voice for my homo homies. The ones I could think of were infamous characters who should be banned from ever stepping foot in public again. I speak of course about Perez hellno and Milo yaya-BGB. They made themselves famous by saying off-color remarks and having hard opinions on things, which, to their credit, is what someone claiming to be a voice for their people should have. None of this wishy-washy bull-shit. We need leaders. I can be that voice.

To offer some credentials I have dabbled in most scenes or are VERY aware of them, however I live a very sedate life with my husband, longing for an expanded family through invitro or adoption. (The jury is still out on which route we intend to go.) While I have hard opinions on most things I have a thing that those other gents lacked… what was that word again… Oh yeah, apathy. However, I am by no means a pushover. Sometimes the gays can be so immersed in their own bull shit that they can’t see the pile of shit for the turds. It’s a horrible an unfortunate analogy but I was going for a cohesive image.

Then, my gleaming credit is that for two semesters I wrote a column for my college paper called “The Gay Agenda.” It dealt with a bevy of topics, all of which were discussed within the limited character length. My first column, discussing my coming out twice to my parents, won me third place from the California College Media Awards. Sure, I had to pay $65 for a ticket into the banquet to physically receive the award, but that doesn’t lessen the fact that I did in fact win. (First and second were both columns about Colin Kapaernik, so… That’s way more important than the baring of my soul to an audience primarily comprised of conservative individuals that own guns. So thanks for that.)

One of the gay icons I love is Jonny McGovern, and he has a song called “Gay Questions” where he croons “I got gay questions, and I need gay answers.” Well, Mr. McGovern, while you have the questions I may certainly not have the answers, but I will try my darndest to find them. And I don’t know how the two fisting bottom doesn’t get trunk but. Kegel exercises on the reg? Or Maybe they just made a deal with the devil.

So for my first and foremost “final answer” to end all commentary and questions, I will discuss the comments made by Andrew Garfield.

If you are not in the know he said he considered himself a gay man, just without the whole nasty business of taking it or giving it up the butt. He was a little more eloquent in the way he conveyed it, but I am trying to reach my readers through humor.

How I see it is the man had nothing but love in his heart when he said it. Sure it’s weird, but at the core of what he was trying to say is that he sees through our eyes in such a way that he can identify. Sure he won’t face the same kind of discrimination most of us will encounter (luckily I have found next to none, praise Albus) yet he will be the first to step up and defend us. At least I would hope. What we need are allies. We can’t do this alone and getting angry with him over something he said, when his intent was kindness, is just petty. It appears that at times the community allows ourselves to be consumed by our own victimhood and we let it run our lives.

The truth is Andrew Garfield will never understand what it truly means to be a gay man. Ever. Unless he’s a fucking gay man. If he is… bitch… Quit  being a pussy about it and come out. The more people are honest with themselves and those around them, then will change occur. The Gay rights movement has made leaps and bounds in such a short amount of time. I say that with certainty because we seem to be more accepted by people than most people of color. We are still fighting that shit today.

So, kids, when someone says something that seems off-color, stop and THINK! Ask yourself, what are they trying to say? Are they a friend/advocate? Is their message coming from a place of love? People make mistakes in an effort to show their a friend. Don’t overreact with some bullshit about using the wrong pronoun or assuming someone’s gender. (Fuck, that stuff irritates me.)

So sayeth the spokesman for the gay community, J.R.

 

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Faithful Musings

I know that I will not offer up any new insight into religion. More than likely most of my views have been gathered by others around me. What I can say in regards to religion is from my own perspective of having grown up in a deeply religious household, in addition to attending Christian school from pre-k to 8th grade. 

Through all that time I can tell you that religion does not make people good. On the contrary most of the people I have encountered in the faith are cold, cruel, and heartless unless it directly benefits them. There have been a few that exhibited what it is to be a “Christian” but they are few and far between. Primarily what I witnessed was “oh you’re not in our faith? You don’t go to our church? Then sorry. Not my problem.” Also, if someone wasn’t attractive or thin they weren’t wanted. 

My worst nightmares from church were the moments when the pastor had everyone in the congregation stand up and greet their neighbor. I hated it because most people didn’t say anything to my parents or myself. No one was ever friendly. They were doing it because the man in the suit told them too. Which is hilarious because that is the summation of what faith is. 

At one point faith was created as a way to explain the things that didn’t have a basic answer. It was man trying to understand all that was around them. Science has done away with the mystical powers. That’s why any scientific thought was considered heracy. It made man begin to question the world around them and as one of my heroes, Jim Jefferies, says is nothing is more toxic to religion than questions. 

With science the reason for even having faith, other than getting sky cake when we die (thanks Patton Oswalt), was to tell people how to be good and not be sinners. The strangest part about that is I have seen more hatred in the name of faith than anything else. At least if an atheist does something cruel we all just know he’s an asshole. When someone of faith does it they rationalize it and try to justify their actions with this made up bull shit from their respective texts. 

A couple weeks ago a gay couple in Indonesia were sentenced to a public caning for having sex. Now, they were discovered by accident but their punishment was deliberate. A news organization that covered this event interviewed the attendees to see their reaction and one woman, with her head scarf, said that she was glad they did it. That way no one would do it in the future. That statement shows her ignorance like someone would just choose to have sex with someone of the same sex, without any attraction. That’s not how sex works. Or just attraction. If there’s no spark nothing’s happening, you know?

I have gotten to the point where I want all faiths to go away. They really don’t offer anything to society except a reason to be a dick without being labeled one. And my thought is if you have to have some “higher being” tell you to be nice, you’re just not a good person and no amount of prayer will save you. 

When I was younger I prayed every night for god to take away the gay. I didn’t want to be at all. Yet as I got older I realized it wasn’t me that was broken, it was the thought behind that prayer. If god doesn’t make any mistakes then me being gay isn’t one of them. However the faithful work around is that it’s the devil trying to corrupt me. Okay, sure, Mary Beth. I think the real evil was if I had forced myself into a Hererosexual relationship with a woman to please god while all the while having no real attraction for her and lying. More than likely I would not be able to fight the “urges” and I would meet up with a stranger and thus have committed adultery. Then the lying gets stronger. It seems like I’m doing more sinning pretending to be straight than I am just being gay. 

Which brings me to the strangest of my week. I encountered a conservativel, Christian, gay man. The first two statements make sense but the gay part is the one that doesn’t fit. Out of the three that is the one I think is the most honest. The other two need to go because it’s him trying to live up to a standard or expectation that is inauthentic to who he is. And because he’s forcing himself into a mold he does not fit he is a RAGING alcoholic. This dude got so wasted at our game night I couldn’t believe he didn’t pass out. (Not to mention he used the n-word in the way it was originally intended. And that is NOT okay.) 

Religion is truly a harmful thing and is used to control the masses. Anything that forces you to not question anything and expects everyone to follow their faith is a cult. 

Always with the gender identity

I have a playlist called “Gay Shit!” and on it resides the songs that one would think lived up to the title. I forced my husband and roommate to listen to it on our way back from a day trip to San Jose. (We saw Bianca Del Rio’s stand-up show.) Now, I say forced because my husband doesn’t like a single song on the list. He’s more of a country and 80-90’s rock kind of beast; our roommate couldn’t have given two shits, as long as it wasn’t more country.

As I raced along I-5 in the middle of the night, we bumped the usual kind of club beats. As it reached the end I felt a pang of guilt for subjecting them to my “poor taste.” So, I readied up my next favorite playlist called “The 90’s.” I didn’t, however, tell them that I was doing that and after about eight or nine songs into it our roommate said, “Damn, this is all on ‘Gay Shit.’ I like all these songs.”

I quickly corrected him and changed the subject.

After harmlessly rolling over his statement it occurred to me, even if these songs he liked were on my “Gay Shit” playlist what would that have meant? That he is somehow ‘gay’ for liking them? It should be noted, that our roommate is the gayest heterosexual I have ever encountered. It is this detail that gives me the confidence to say that he meant nothing by his statement. But it definitely got me thinking.

For instance, why did I even feel the need to label the playlist “gay shit” in the first place? Couldn’t it just be “fun favorites?” Just because a song happens to be attracted to a sub-group of society doesn’t mean that it should just be bulked with them.

I get that this is just me being over analytical about a mundane statement. No matter what way I cut it. My title was just me being cute for the sake of myself. But is there a level of shame from both of us in what we said and did?

For me I concluded that it goes back to the idea of gender identity and what is and isn’t masculine and “appropriate” for a man to do. Society is so hung up on what is meant for one sex to do over another. If a man goes outside of the usual tropes they’re seen as a sissy or less than a man. Because of these deeply ingrained ideas we keep ourselves from enjoying things without some sort of baggage or label attached to them.

God, I hate people. We can never let someone just enjoy something. Even I am super guilty of that. I made catty and bitchy comments about this dude at the Bianca Del Rio show.

First off, this queen was GOING OFF. He was standing, waving his finger until it was just a blur above his knuckles, shouting “YAS QUEEN,” and snapping like he was at some sort of slam poetry. It was relentless. It got to a point where this dude, just enjoying himself, was distracting me from the show and I was having a horrible time. I couldn’t stop watching. (Plus it didn’t help that some fag-stag’s head was in my way of viewing Bianca Del Rio so I was forced to see only this queen.)

Now, I’d like to think that I hated this stranger because he was being super obnoxious. However, I’m afraid that it’s because of the bullshit male stereotypes I found his overabundant “faggotry” to be offensive and thus ruin my time. Although he was having a blast. Well, until Bianca turned on him and told him to kill himself. The entire theatre erupted in cheers and the bitch rushed from the theatre in shame.

So maybe it was just that he was annoying as fuck.

High school sweethearts

Today my husband encountered something that shocked and astounded me. 

He’s taking the photojournalism class I took last semester and today they did the assignment for “portrait.” One of the volunteer models was this 15 year old boy. 

My husband said that this boy had brought another along with him and they were being playful with each other in a way that gave him the impression that they were together. They were lightly touching the others waist or arms. Nothing that screamed “hey! We got a gay here!”

All of the students in the class grabbed a model and disappeared to do the assignment, other than my husband and this boy. He went up and asked him to be his model and they took pictures.

As they were walking my husband asked if he and the boy were together and the boy said “how could you tell?” 

It turns out that this 15 year old boy and his boyfriend are engaged to be married in a year. A year. He’ll be sixteen. His fiancé is 18. 

What I find so shocking is that in my conservative, bible buckle of the Bible Belt, town that not only do this boy’s parents accept him as a gay man BUT also have given permission for the two to be married. That’s insane!

I shouldn’t be this amazed, my mother alone is testament to the power of love and acceptance, but I think this a testament to change. Real change. 

While I wish the best for these two, part of me thinks that they won’t make it very long. Teenage romance has it tough already, the fact that they’re also gay men doesn’t really add to the potential success rate of this relationship. 

Pessimism aside, the fact that I even have this story to tell brings me so much joy. 

A Gay ‘ol Anniversary

It’s strange to think that I’ve been out of the closet for the past 12 years.  It’s really not that long, but looking at how much I struggled with my sexuality prior to my admission it is astounding that I ever came out at all.  I guess all it took was a pretty face.

In retrospect the face I thought was “handsome” was in fact not at all.  Looking at the pictures now I have NO IDEA what I was thinking at the time.  The dude is hideous.  But in that moment I was smitten and only two days after telling my friend, at her bowling birthday party, that I liked guys and her friend, I went on my first date.

The friend I had made my admission to was someone I had at once had a “crush on.”  She was a buxom 12 year old with a mouth like a sailor.  We could make each other laugh.  I think we went on one “date” that comprised of us walking the length of the mall.  Our relationship was a flash in the pan.  After that we never spoke again until her 17th birthday when I told her a part of myself no one in the world (and in reality myself) knew. It’s a strange bit of kismet when I think back on it now.

I had originally left my friend Becky’s birthday without saying a word.  I had no intention of telling anyone, in fact.  But when I went out to my car the battery was cold dead.  I don’t know if it just bit the dust cause it had run it’s last or because I left the lights on.  Either way, while waiting for AAA to give me a jump or a tow, I went back inside and told her.

The thought has crossed my mind so many times before, what if I had gone out to my car and it had worked.  Where would I be?  Would I have driven home and never-ever-ever made that admission to anyone? Would I have married some poor girl and forced myself into a life I didn’t want at all?  Or would I have told someone some day… At this point it’s all speculation.

Like I said, I don’t’ even know how I admitted it to her.  Seriously.  I was still struggling with myself.  Even the day after I had I mentally berated myself for saying anything.  How could I!?  I’m not gay!

Whatever caused that spur of courage I am grateful for it every day.  My life has turned out wonderfully because of it.  Even though it ultimately resulted in a ton of heartbreak, I eventually met the man I’ve spent the last 11 years with and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.