lonely lovely city

lonely lovely city

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

PRIDE!

Beaming should be my new middle name. I've never felt prouder or more accepted than in this span of existence. Having celebrated many gay pride days in my short time as a gay man, this was quite different. For some reason, this particular year was about transformation, and the ultimate, my favorite, the actual acknowledgement of a group of people who refuse to be treated like third class citizens.

As I stood standing on lower fifth and twelfth, I could feel a buzz in the air where everything, for once, would be all right and that my community would be marching towards a pinnacle of freedom and liberty. Yes, perhaps I sound a tad bit, dramatic. I don't care. When I saw Andrew Cuomo walk with a gay flag in his jacket, my heart jumped. I wanted to run past the metal barricade and hug him.

In this realm of radical progression, I can't help but be hopeful. Yes, it is not a federal option as of now. I do think that in my lifetime, it will change and others, in spite of their religious beliefs, will have to just deal with it. Sorry, but that is the truth, or should I dare say, my truth? This subject is not about anything abnormal or depraved, but rather simply, an allowance that refuses to be diminished in the eyes of others who deem themselves moral compasses.

This momentous occasion is one to be celebrated, cherished and remembered forever. These victories signify my own pride in being a New Yorker and realizing how great this state is. Kudos to all the gay couples who can now marry the person they love, matched with the same rights granted to heterosexuals. This hot issue is only going to grow bigger and brighter, not entering utter completion until equality reigns.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Identification

I just listened to an interview on the radio. I don't know the specifics of the story, but that the interviewed subject is a song writer and just released a book about gay identification. I couldn't help but listen intently, lying half awake from a bad dream about aliens taking over the planet that woke me up. He briefly discussed his own revelation about coming out and how he had major issues identifying with the gay community.

As a gay man, I relate to that struggle. I am not sure what it is, but even in my mid-thirties, I still don't seem to identify with most of them, let alone, mold into their sub-communities that have been perfectly formed.

For the most part, I consider myself to be an introvert. As I've mentioned a few times, I tend to gather my energy from within, as opposed to outside groups, which is probably why I am still lacking in the gay department. Socially speaking of course. Aside from managing to pay for and attend a costly and prestigious college, work a full-time job, manage a slew of personal issues, and living on my own, I rarely have time to connect with those in the gay community.

Perhaps I sound lazy or bitter. I am not. Actually, I am enlightened. As I am growing into my thirties, I don't feel the need to prove myself as much. It seems redundant. But, as I reflect on yet another gay pride holiday, I am still scratching my head. What happened?

Why do I feel so disconnected to a group that has been discriminated against by so many others?

Not everyone, but certain gay men are very discriminatory against other gay men. It can be that you don't sport a six pack, or that you don't have a beard, or that you don't produce a lengthy salary, or that you simply don't have the looks to be in their pack.

I feel that too much energy is given to finding a place where one belongs and fits in. But, what if you refuse to fit in to the unrealistic demands of a group who hasn't fit in with the rest of the world? Give up. No really, I am not giving up. That is just my automatic response to the situation that has risen since I came out sixteen years ago. I still don't fit in.

Sometimes, I feel that whether I lack the look, or the career, or the personal connections, or the walk, or the right amount of confidence, it really doesn't matter. I am not in high school, nor am I a fresh piece of meat who can be ordered the way someone else wants.

I am who I am. I am a writer. I am a Uncle. I am a friend. And, I am someone who values genuine, cherished relationships, as opposed to the slam bam thank you sir kind of approach. I like my individual approach to the community and the place it holds in my life.

I just wish there was a balance where I did relate to others who felt the same way. While I fully embrace my gay self, I just don't want to be entirely defined by it either. I wish I was one of those guys that pranced and walked proud in the parade, showing they belong somewhere, or hopefully, to someone else.

As I still struggle to accept my own limitations and place, I am over thinking about it too much. Done. Being gay is a wonderful thing. I am proud. And, I am gliding towards the part of my journey where being independent and singular is cool.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Great Wall

It seems that I have a wall up. The other day in my Symbolism Art Therapy class, a fellow student made the observation when we were dispersed into small groups via the teacher's instructions.

We all interacted and observed one another through an exercise. Tackling different turns, we all spoke about what affected us through the drawing we made. When it was my turn to explain what I drew, the other commented. I felt naked as she spoke softly, yet directly in her French accent. Taken by her language, I had to process what she was saying.

She branded me an introvert and mentioned that I am deeply connected to myself, but not to others. That her observation included my inability to be in the present. I was shocked not because of her honesty, but the words she used. A part of me knew she was right.

How do virtual strangers have this capacity to deconstruct us in a matter of minutes and hit every mark so effortlessly?

The writing is on the wall, or rather, on my wall, the side that I am apparently not showing to many. It made me think about the energy I am putting out into the world and how others perceive me. As I get older, I try not to hold much stock in what others think. While their perspectives are somewhat important, I shouldn't care, right?

There are some things about myself that I am trying to change. Personal elements to my best and worst parts that require a bit of shifting. What I am discovering is that even in the midst of our own guise, we are sending out signals that are unavoidable. We are all these pools of energy who have an impact on those around us, even a group of strangers.

How do I break down my wall? My summer project is to become more vulnerable and believe in the good of others. In the meantime, I am going to be in the now and just breathe and not take everything so literally.