My Dear, Dear Friends.

How long have you known your best friend? A year? Five years? More than ten? Most likely, you’ve seen each other through everything significant: first love, first fuck, tough times with family members ― or, perhaps they were the first person to put up with your sarcasm and shitty attitude, which, up to this point, most people couldn’t stand. The love between you two is strong because you have seen one another, since the earliest days, at your worst, and neither of you are afraid to share painful truths. And you, knowing they come from a place of compassion, accept their feedback, expressing your gratitude with tears of joy.

But, beware: this nice shit is over.

The days of humility and compassion are dwindling; fading into a machine world of bytes, swipes, and data. In this so called “Information Age”, we are obsessed not with technology as a means to connect to others or to gain knowledge. We instead use phones, tablets, Macs, and their corresponding apps to do two things: lust over people and things we cannot have, and cater to others’ strengths/weaknesses to get the most “Likes” on our pictures and comments.

I’m certainly not innocent of this ― I can’t express the amount of time I’ve spent configuring my dream cars online, ticking and un-ticking the options boxes to get the best price, then calculating what the monthly payments would be. Perhaps worse, people are hyper-obsessed with pointless, brain-melting games like Kim Kardashian: Hollywood because it only takes two hours (honestly, in real-time) to meet a famous “idol” (Kim), gain a manager and publicity guru who start a Twitter-fight with another celebrity on your behalf to, you know, boost your followers, become a model, and buy whatever clothes and jewelry you want.

In this Insta-Age, we use the information that is readily available to give ourselves and others a new perception. Running late? I can order an UberX driver and pretend to be timely. House a mess? I can tap the GetMaid app and order someone to my residence within two hours to clean that shithole right up. Diplo once liked and retweeted a comment I made a few years ago, and my first instinct was to take a screenshot and post a picture on every social networking site on which I had an account. “LOOK AT ME! I’M IMPORTANT! MY FRIENDS WHO LIKE DIPLO WILL SEE THIS AND LOVE IT (OR, BE JEALOUS AS FUCK, WHICH WORKS, TOO!)” We no longer want to help others or share valuable information. We want to buy for ourselves and pretend to be someone we are not. Insta-uh-oh.

Our friends, the ones to whom we should have the most loyalty, are now the most disposable. As magazine covers increasingly showcase chiseled bodies and Instagram features the rich, famous, and most-liked, we try and hide our flaws as much as possible, fearing they make us unworthy of attention or front-page stardom. The secrets of our past, or any association with a D-list lifestyle, has to be eradicated in order to build a new internet personality ― An Insta-Me, capable of on-demand feelings, looks, and emotions based on what our followers want or what we want to show them. Tinder, Instagram, Grindr ― these tools let us find new friends instantly based exclusively on how they look and our perception of their personality. “Shit, he has 4,000 followers, a boyfriend he loves, and is very stylish! ADD!” I met this person I’m describing at a bar recently. He was hanging out with a crowd notorious for shitty and immature behavior. He did not look like the man I saw in the pictures (which isn’t bad, just not what I expected). And, much to my dismay, he ended up pulling me aside, kissing me, and asking me to leave with him. I ran (literally) out of the bar. His poor boyfriend; oblivious, just like I was.

This song isn’t new; “We All Want What We Can’t Have (Right Now).” Fortune. A car. Perfect sex. Beyonce’s “talent”. World peace. So, we drop people, our close friends, because they know our flaws; they’re old news; they don’t have a big following, so their views and opinions must not really matter. We believe we can change the perception of our followers enough to take us with them to stardom. Imagine this scenario: Instead of spending your weekend with your best friend who’s visiting from the east coast (whom you haven’t seen in years), you spend your night drinking and fucking some dude you’ve only known for twelve hours. You oversleep and miss breakfast the next morning. Seven hours later, you are STILL hungover and don’t make it to dinner. Your friend, the one visiting, has typically stood by your side during altercations of this severity, but not this time. This was your last chance to show compassion..your love. But, you blew your chance ― just to blow a stranger.

Long-lasting relationships ― the ones built upon trust, loyalty, and honesty ― are precious. Cherish them. The beautiful person you find on Instagram, the Tindee who also likes Humans of New York and the movie Amélie; while they may be someone worth your time, your longest-lasting and genuine friendships are worth more. More than clothes, sex, or fame. Once these friendships are gone, they’re gone. And what’ll you have? You’ll have 900 followers on Instagram, 875 of whom you’ll never meet, and 850 of whom think you’re someone else.

View more awesome illustrations and photographs by my friend Josh Zoerner at


Smoking a Cigarette.


Having spent the last eighteen minutes outside wishing my fifteen minute break were longer, I return to the basement of my office building at the corner of Yuppie Street and Privilege Way. Luckily, my coworkers are nowhere to be found. This allows me a brief moment to freshen up —not because I smell like B.O. (although I do sweat worse than a sixteen year old boy driving high on weed when a cop pulls up in the next lane) —I smell like something else. Something more noxious and, despite usually covered up well with BANG by Marc Jacobs cologne, it is the smell of ridicule and condemnation. Sss-sss. The sexual, peppery scent fills the room and my nostrils. My colleague Oxana enters the room just in time, once again rewarding my choice of fragrance with a compliment. As I type in the password to unlock the iMac at my workstation, Oxana sits down at her desk next to mine and begins writing frantically on a Post-It note. A few seconds later, a hand emerges in my peripheral, sticking a yellow square with pink writing on the wall next to me. “786 minutes 😡 “. I peek around the corner to look at Oxana, her smirk reminding me that she, as a mother of two children herself, is only looking out for me. “Thank you, Oxana. Ill buy you some soon for being so caring”I say, sarcastically. She looks at me with distaste and snaps back, “If you do that, I will shove them all down your throat.786 minutes. Divided by six minutes taken off my life per unit (Oxana’s personal assumption, which she assures is proven scientific data) equals 131 cigarettes smoked since I started again a few months ago. And those are just the ones she knows about.

I smoked my first cigarette at age four. My single mother, working day and night to support her two children, often left us home alone, where mischief undoubtedly ensued. Although we were always punished for our misdeeds when caught, there were often times we got away with murder. This, of course, rendered us in our young minds as invincible. The first puff started on our front porch. Erin and Terry, brothers who lived around the corner, sat outside waiting impatiently for Kira (my sister) and I to return with the goodies. We scoured every ashtray, every nook and cranny, to find cigarette butts that still had a few good hits left. After finding two, we returned to the porch where our friends immediately jumped up, saying, “Hell yeah!”Two four year olds, two six year olds, and two half-smoked cigarettes. A parent’s dream!

I continued smoking sporadically until age twelve, taking my mother’s half-smoked butts from ashtrays or standing on the side of 7/11 asking strangers to buy me a pack. Not once did anyone turn down an offer, knowing they would make a few extra dollars in the transaction. More often than not after each transaction, the now-criminals would ask, “How old are you, kid?”I always answered in the same manner, cooly, smugly, “Not old enough to buy cigarettes.”The concept of “smoking-to-be-cool”was my incentive, looking to fit in with the older kids who criticized my feminine nature, as well as my failure to “act black”in order to fulfill the stereotype expected of someone with brown skin. Despite my future goals of excelling in academia and one day attending Harvard Law School, there was something refreshing and exhilarating about hanging out with hoodlums who didn’t share my aspirations. My association with this confused, troubled group of kids never hijacked my ambitions of prosperity and success. I knew our actions were “against the rules”, but why? Phrases from my mother’s lips such as “gateway to other bad things”and “destroy your future”come to mind —she was only 99% correct.

I cannot deny the fact that people with whom I associate —peers, colleagues, family, etc. —influence my thoughts, behaviors, and perception of the human psyche. The first time I tried cocaine, I was attending a party hosted by close friends a few years back. I have since tried the drug only once, as my perception of its heavy users and abusers is that they lack goals and ambitions for a healthy, successful future. I have not seen or heard from those older children with whom I used to smoke for quite some time. Most of them remained confined within that small town in Indiana, having children with their “true loves”, not attending college or, quite horribly, being killed by gang violence. My mother’s fear of smoking cigarettes leading me down the same path as these other children was valid and understandable, since my sister, two years my senior, took a similar path of the other children. Yet, what my mother didn’t know, nor did I understand at the time, was that I smoked to avoid further ridicule from people I feared. As a “white-acting”mixed boy with flamboyant tendencies, my white flags came in quantities of twenty per box at a rate of $2.50 per pack.

I didn’t touch a cigarette between ages twelve and sixteen. Some of those kids with who I previously associated moved away. Others made new friends. It was a blessing, really, as I truly hated the taste and smell of cigarettes, as well as the accompanying memories they triggered. My reintroduction to them occurred as a sick twist of fate. Before coming out as gay, a boy I found attractive convinced me I could buy him a pack of cigarettes without being carded because I looked older than sixteen. He was right; it worked on my first attempt, prompting me to smoke a victory cigarette with this hot hunk of teenage influence. Despite being older and having a better grasp of the decisions I made, here I was again, doing something outside my own norm to be accepted by a peer. I recently saw this person in San Francisco, where he now resides. After quitting the habit nine months ago and picking it back up again recently (UGH!), I remind my friend, still not out of the closet at age twenty-five, that his good looks and charm have cost me thousands of dollars over the last nine years. “I’ll repay you by giving you cigarettes each time you come visit.”Thanks, fucker.

It is undoubtedly difficult for a non-smoker to grasp any sort of benefit from smoking cigarettes. The story I just laid out for you, coupled with the known health risks of smoke inhalation, stained teeth, and the $12/pack price in Chicago, certainly do not scream “beneficial!”But think: how often do you spend money on processed, high-fat, non-organic, artery clogging food? A few times a week? Your daily Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappucino® addiction costs over $2,000 a year, which, by the time you retire, could be a fully loaded Audi A6 TDI (my dream car, by the way.) Alcohol. Showering too often. Antiperspirant. Jogging. Looking at a bright computer or phone screen before bed. Like smoking, all of these things are believed by some to have severe health risks. So why, then, would anyone consciously do harm to their bodies? It is simple: to look good…to smell good…to see what your Instagram friends and crushes are doing at 3AM. Social interaction and acceptance are important forms of sustenance we sometimes overlook when we do or don’t do (or, criticize others for doing or not doing) certain things. We grab a drink or a bite to eat on a first date, or with friends after a long day at work. We shower right before our Grindr hookup arrives to alleviate the always-lingering scrotum smell beneath our Calvin Kleins. We lift, stretch, and tear our bodies at the gym to attract attention on the beach or in photographs. We are addicted to this routine because we crave a look…a conversation…a kiss. Many self-identified “non-smokers”admit to smoking cigarettes “when they’re drunk.”Indeed, after dancing away for hours in a club, I’ll head outside to light up, finding other smokers with whom to converse. In fact, asking (or being asked) for a lighter or cigarette almost always prompts pleasant, intelligent, and/or valuable conversations. Some of my current friendships are a result of venturing outside an establishment (a movie, concert, restaurant, etc.) to smoke a cigarette. While seeing Disclosure at the Lincoln Park Zoo this past June, a man I would have typically overlooked asked me for a cigarette. Handsome (and seemingly straight), I obliged. Two hours later, he met me at a club in Boystown. After two hours of dancing and drinking, the next thing I knew I was inside of him, in my bed, in my apartment. Had it not been for my smoking vice or his vice of inebriated courage, I would not have met this gorgeous man. Furthermore, I would not have performed the random sexual act to which I have been struggling to open myself up more often. I really thought he was straight, the trickster!

I cannot eloquently analogize my smoking, your drinking/jogging/use of antiperspirants, or any other practice in order to alleviate their negative associations or portray their perks as more impactful on life experience than their risks. After all is said and done, we act in a manner that works best for us in the moment. I am going to mask bad smells with showers and Mitchum. I will accept a drink from a handsome fellow at a bar. I will join my colleagues for a cigarette on our fifteen-minute break. Life, in its temporality, must be enjoyed now. Whether I die in my fifties or nineties, I would prefer to remember myself as young, fun, and social —not old, listless, and alone. “I think when you’re young you should be a lot with yourself and your sufferings. Then one day you get out where the sun shines and the rain rains and the snow snows and it all comes together.”- Diana Vreeland.



When a Prude Celebrates International Mister Leather.


The line to get in is down the block…Is it worth it?

This was my third excuse within a matter of minutes to get out of this sleazy, smelly endeavor. Once a year, thousands of sexually-active, bear-daddies come to Chicago for “International Mister Leather” – a gay celebration of the appreciation of new toys, apparel, and furniture men use in the art of sexual pleasure.

Each year when the festivities begin, you see an increased number of middle-aged, pec-throbbed pairs roaming the streets of downtown Chicago; their child-size “large” shirts bursting at the seams. As a skinny, bi-racial “twink” (I do not classify myself as anything, but my rail-thin stature places and keeps me in this category), everything about IML — the bondage, the musk of stale poppers emanating from alleyways — makes me nervous and uncomfortable. I am not very sexually active (perhaps two or three short-term partners a year), and people who frequent IML certainly are not seeking salvation or forgiveness from God for their sins — they are attending these events to fuck, get fucked, and/or find new, pleasurable ways to do both.

Despite my fear, there I was, signing a waiver in front of Bijou Theatre and Sex Club, taking off my shirt to adhere to their admission requirements — “pantless or shirtless” (I stick with the purist one). Waiver signed, my three friends and I cut in front of the long line as one of them kisses the bouncer in a “thanks for hooking us up” fashion. Once inside, dozens of almost-naked men cramp the tiny waiting room as they stand shoulder-to-shoulder, waiting for the two inebriated coat-checkers to figure out how to efficiently inventory the hundreds of grocery bags full of our belongings. I slide past them to the ticket window, their beefy, sweaty bodies rubbing against mine, their eyes, widened by the prescription drugs they snorted in their cars before entering, undress the bottom half of my body still covered by pants. I reach the ticket-window and offer my American Express, only to be directed to a sign by the vendor, which reads, “CASH ONLY, $35.” THIRTY-FIVE FUCKING DOLLARS? REALLY?! I squeeze my way back through the steer, wait ten more minutes for the drunk attendants to find my shirt, and head across the street to the too-conveniently located bank. “Guys, go without me”, I say to my friends. “It’s too much money, and I’m not even going to do anything but be a fly on the wall.” One of my friends is on the fence about paying the money as well, so we all decide to get back into the car where bottles of beer and bubbly are waiting for us beneath the seats.

POP! The four of us take a swig of champagne each. Our ages do not differ much — 22, 26, 27, and me, 24 — but I am the only one who never attended an event such as this before. “Josh”, one pleas, “you’re going to have so much fun! I will protect you, I promise!” I give him the side-eye — “Oh, please! You’re going to be face-deep in sphincter after five minutes and I won’t see you again for the rest of the evening.” My other two friends also insist, passing me booze and speculating how each of our nights will go. My mind begins to give in — Maybe (probably) it was the booze…maybe it was the amount of comfort I felt in that very moment with my friends…or, perhaps, the “start living outside your comfort zone” pep-talks I had recently been offering my peers and work colleagues had, at this moment, finally resonated within me. “Fuck it. Let’s go.” One more chug of champagne. $40 out of the ATM. Shirt back off. $35 to the ticket-vendor. I’m inside. I am a shirtless, vulnerable human inside my first sex club.

Penis. From the early 1990s. The first room on my journey contains the movie theatre. Only a handful of the forty seats are occupied, and everyone seems to be just getting comfortable in the space. No one is naked except for the two-decade-old men blowing each other on the 15ft x 10ft screen in front of us. “This isn’t what I expected” I think to myself. “The night is young — this ain’t shit, yet,” my friend says, reading my mind. We exit through a door in the back of the theatre and enter a narrow hallway. To the left, a narrow, metal staircase entices us to the second floor. We instead notice a sign that says, “BOOZE”, directing us outside to the back patio. I hadn’t smoked a cigarette in nine-months, but as men in leather straps and chains peek around the fence to see if the corner in which we’re occupying is “open-for-business”, I feel a level of anxiety only a cigarette can cure. It is chilly outside, my nipples stabbing the air like knives. I throw the half-smoked, nasty cigarette on the ground. “I’m going exploring.” My friends finish their cigarettes and follow me through the maze of men, back into the abyss.

Once upstairs, we find numerous corridors that lead to dead-ends, square rooms with benches drilled into the walls around the perimeter, sheer curtains, and oh, the smell — the smell of scrotum, sweat, ass, and balls. The staunch aroma instills a new level of excitement in me. Somewhere, perhaps everywhere, behind the walls, above and beneath me, strangers are fucking one another in an unknown place, with unknown voyeurs watching, stroking their own penises while they pinch their nipples. I hadn’t yet seen any “action”, but the night was still young.

I decide I need to find the dance floor first, as music always calms my soul. My friends had disappeared. Typical. I later found out, two of them, ex-lovers still in love, went off together to lick each others assholes and cocks, inviting others to join them. Meanwhile, I was swaying back and forth alone in front of the stage as house music boomed from the loudspeakers. In front of me on stage, provoking the male gaze of all these horned men, one man was turned away, rump exposed, his arms bound to pipes coming from the ceiling, being spanked with a wooden paddle by another man. His red ass made me cringe, a pain I attribute to being spanked by my mother as a child when I was being an asshole. I ignore the spectacle in front of me, continuing to dance on my own (blatant Robyn reference) for another thirty minutes, telling approachers, “I’m new! My friends made me come! I don’t normally do this type of thing, but this is amazing!” Of course, in my head I’m saying, “Keep your dirty fucking hands away from me!!” The crowd begins to shift. I look over and see four men: one facing me, the others in a line — one blowing the man facing me, one licking his ass, and so on. What a sight! I stare, obviously, and look around at the other gentleman to make sure they’re all staring, as well. Others, strangers, climb on the train, their eagerness yet calmness blending together perfectly, like an experienced runner waiting to fly off the starting blocks at the beginning of a race. Other parties continue to dance, others are sucking and fucking. These acts, once meant strictly for private procreation, are now a means for study — for understanding; for exploration; for pleasure. Despite my continence, I admired the art form…admired the confidence and self-awareness it takes to stabilize your mental amplitude enough to get naked, get it up, and get off in a room full of eager eyes.

I left the dance floor to unhide my phone, as they do not allow picture-taking in the venue and I did not want to be tempted. Prior to coming here, we had drinks at Taverna 750, a cocktail lounge in the heart of Boystown a few miles away. One of the bartenders, a friend of a friend I’ve been unsuccessfully courting for a year now, looked considerably handsome tonight, so I told him so. He thanked me, his eyes showing a vulnerability I had never seen. I told him we were going to “Men’s Room” (the name of tonight’s event at the theatre), followed by, “I hope to see you there.” Now, in this theatre, drunk from copious amounts of champagne and PBR, buzzing on adderall, I found his name in my iPhone, opened messages, and hit “Compose”:

I was going to ask you if you have a boyfriend.”
“Nope. No boyfriend. You guys still at mens room?”
Yeah. It’s scary
You off work?”
“Yeah. We standin in this awful line.”
You’re here?”
“Ha. Yeah. In line.”
Let me know when your inside.”

(Twenty-three minutes later)…
If you’re not coming, I’m going to cab it.”
“We’re in the front. Just took off our clothes.”

The “We(‘re)” referred to him and his colleague — whom I had seen before, but never met. I greet them both with a hug, then take them outside to the bar where his friend takes a joint out of his clutch. Knowing full-well that smoking after drinking spins my brain directly to pukey-hell, I take a hit anyway, letting the smoke engulf my lungs and bloodstream like a wave of ocean water penetrating every crack and crevice of a cliff at high tide. In an attempt to spend at least a little coherent time with my friend, I invite him to come dance with me. He takes my hand, smiling, as I lead him upstairs to the steamy dance floor where even more gentlemen are inside one another. I pull him close to me, forcing his evenly-leveled crotch into mine, syncing my hip-movements with his. Feeling his warm erection in my torso, I slowly, intimately, kiss his neck…his cheek…his lips. Thank God: a great kisser! My mind raced. “I’ve wanted you for so long…how funny it is that our first time hanging out is here…come with me.” The latter thought actually comes out of my mouth. I grab his hand again, leading him through the chains of men connected by phalluses and bottoms, off the dance floor and into a dark room, closing the door behind us. Passion and fire ensues. We don’t have sex. Well, we don’t have my definition of sex. At one point, someone opened the door and saw us, but we carried on, our silence prompting them to leave us alone. A few minutes in, I say, “Let’s go. I’ll hail a cab.” We would finish later.

My two friends, the ex-lovebirds, are still missing in action, while the other, who had some tame fun himself, is ready to leave as well. I order an UBER for my date and I and take us back to his place to sleep. Laying in bed, it occurs to me that despite being acquainted with this man next to me, he is not more or less of a stranger to me than any other man at the club. Then it hits me: I am no different than any of these men — these men that disgusted and frightened me five hours prior — who seek a sense of community and sexual liberation. Although straps, fisting, and hooking up with complete strangers is nowhere on my Kinsey Scale, I long to open myself emotionally and sexually, putting to bed previous feelings and acts of fear, anger, and abstinence brought on by men of my past.

I am turning 25 this year, in July. I sense another trip to a bathhouse, and the beginning of my sexual revolution.


If God Were Gay, He Was Scared Shitless to Come Out.


How did you first come out of the closet? Were you always out — prancing around in heels, screaming “wooooooork” since you were a tyke? Were you caught in a non-heterosexual act? Perhaps you didn’t have to “come-out”…maybe your family and closest friends always knew, and were always accepting, preventing a “we need to talk” moment with them. For me, telling anyone in my family face-to-face would have been a nightmare. My entire family identified as “Christians” who believed homosexuality was the fastest way to hell. My mother, the more militant of the bunch, was a holy-spirit inducing, tongues-speaking, bible warrior. Despite us always being really close, she was the person I feared telling the most, as I knew it would hurt and confuse her.

So, I did what any technologically savvy, god-fearing teenager would do — I came out on my Xanga. For those of you too young to know or too old to remember, Xanga was an online journal; much like WordPress is now, but back then it was associated with whiny little tweens who needed an outlet to talk about their difficult fourteen-year-old lives. About a year ago, I tried logging-into my old account to retrieve my old entries, but the site had since been bought out and shut down. Retrieving the data was possible, but seemed time-consuming, so I decided to let the past go. Little did I know, my mother, who “has better things to do than lurk my online social life”, had saved a copy of my “coming-out” entry. She gave it to me about a week ago.

The following is an exact copy of what I wrote six-and-a-half years ago, on October 23, 2007 — two months after moving two-hundred miles away from home as a freshman at Indiana University. I was eighteen years old. (Grab a trash can — the grammatical errors are sickening.) Following most paragraphs, I will add my current opinion (italicized) on my past justification on certain topics.



I’m tired of living my life like this. Some of you may “know”, some of you may have suspected, but here it is…

I’ve been attracted to, and have been doing stuff with guys since middle school. When things first started happening I thought it was just a phase, so I dated and hooked up with random girls to see if my attraction to guys would diminish over time. Most of the girls I did stuff with were worthless sluts that I could give two shits less about now. After a while I knew that my attraction to guys wasn’t going to go away. I still am, however, attracted to girls, and if the right one came along I would have no problem dating one. It’s I said, a lot of the girls I did stuff with or who liked were more or less pathetic, overdramatic high school girls that were seriously worthless to life. My mind was set on the thought, “Well, if the only girls that go for me suck, maybe I should be with a guy.”
(It did not take long for me to realize how much I tried blaming my homosexuality on women. I wasn’t yet ready to say, “Hey, world, I’m 110% gay.” Instead, it was more like, “Hey, I’m only 30% gay, and I’m sure it will drop to 0% when a woman worthy of my love comes along. Currently, they’re all worthless, so, I guess I’ll be gay forever! Blame the women, Jesus!” To be honest, all of the women I dated or messed around with to suppress my real feelings were sweet, caring girls, who truly cared about me. And I cared about them.)

As anyone can imagine (but probably not), coming out and saying this is literally the hardest, scariest thing I’ve ever done. I’m still unsure whether or not there is a God, but if he does exist then, based on the religion that has been presented to me my entire life, I’m going to burn in hell for all eternity. If you’re my good friend you know how afraid I am of dying, and the fact that I like guys is why.
(From ages 4-14, I cried any time I thought about death. It scared the shit out of me. “Joshua, you’re so young, you have so many years ahead of you!” my mom would say. Little did she know, the fear of going to hell for my feelings was always in my conscious mind. It’s not surprising that so many religious men are virgins, or are thought to be “in the closet”, as they’ve had to suppress most of their sexual feelings. I don’t know whether sexuality is a result of nature, nurture, or a mix of both, but telling someone they have to be straight their entire lives will definitely lead to experimentation. We all end up doing what our parents don’t want us to do, right? =D )

For those of you who heard the supposed “rumor”, Alex and I did date for a few months in my junior year of high school. I’d like to apologize on behalf of Christie and Alex for trying to cover it up for me every time someone asked them about it.
(Christie was, and still is my best friend since sixth grade. Alex, my first boyfriend and I, were once caught making out at a party. I tried covering it up as best I could.)

If you’re my friend and you have a problem with this, I totally understand. But, to make you feel guilty, I’ll say this: you were friends with me before you knew I liked guys and just because everyone now knows doesn’t change who I am. I’m well aware that people look at “gay” people differently, and I hope that, if you care about me, you won’t give a shit what my sexuality is (sort of similar to you not caring what my ethnicity is).
(Hahahahahah, “sort of similar”….HATRED IS HATRED, Y’ALL. I WAS SO SCARED AND CONFUSED.)

When I come back to South Bend, if you even think of making any jokes, or think that calling me a fag, queer, or the apparent new popular phrase “faggy boy”, I don’t want to be associated with you whatsoever. The same thing goes for anyone who is going to be cool to my face just because you know me, but then talk shit when I’m not there. Being biracial, I’ve had to deal with enough racism and bigotry growing up, so I’d appreciate you keeping your negative, closed minded comments to yourself.
(All of my guy friends in high school were straight. And not “fake” straight (well, for the most part.) They started calling each other “faggy boy” as a joke. I went along with it, as any opposition would “out” me for sure. Once I came out, however, I figured there was no need for me to hide my frustration with and opposition to the word “fag”. Look at me now, parading around and promoting the word “fag”. I’m taking it back. Fagtastic.)

I appreciate everyone who has been supportive of me through this. Justin, Michael Jordan, and obviously Alex have known for awhile, and I just told Christie about it a few weeks after we came to IU. I can’t stress enough how scared i am to be posting it just because I know people will look at me differently…but these aforementioned people have treated me exactly the same, and I love them so much for it. In addition, this is my formal apology to anyone who feels lied to. People have asked me if I was gay and I’e always said no (even though I don’t label myself as gay, but that’s another explanation all in itself). For people I simply haven’t told, I’m sure you can understand why.
(I have always been over-apologetic, but after reading this now, I cannot believe I apologized for being gay. Granted, I’m not exactly apologizing for my feelings — rather, for not telling the people I care about who I truly am. I’m gay, and I probably made out with your boyfriend, ladies. NOT sorry.)

Whoever is able to make comments, I’d appreciate your support if you have it. If not, a phone call or text would be nice. Imagine yourself in my shoes. We all know how society looks at “gay” people which is part of why I’ve been so afraid to tell anyone. But here it is. I’ve felt flustered and sick the entire time I’ve written this, haha. Thanks to everyone in advance who will still treat me like the same Josh. If you want to ask me more about it don’t hesitate (in private, obviously). I have no problems talking to you about it just as long as you actually care, and if you know I trust you. Those of you who look at me differently can, frankly, take their simple-minded bigotry attitude and shove it up their ass.
(I received a lot of phone calls, texts, and emails immediately. I literally sat in my dorm room for an hour and a half before going outside and facing the world. My mother, who has better things to do than lurk, was the first person to call me. She was crying, ensuring me people had been healed of homosexuality in the past, asking why I didn’t tell her, letting me know people are praying for me, etc. etc. It took a few years for us to be okay, and we are still quite close. Every one of my friends, despite currently being separated by distance, was and still is happy to be associated with Ms. Joshua Jenkins.)

The longer you withhold the truth, the more your entire existence feels like a lie. Be who you are. Walk with pride. Ignore people who try to bring you pain. You’re #flawless, and I love you xoxoxoxoxoxo. Whatever your “coming-out” experience is, please share it in the comments.


Purses, Pussies, and Progress.

Do you remember the last time someone around you said something so degrading — so dehumanizing, that the only reasonable reaction was to spit in their face? Okay, I realize the utter hypocrisy of that reaction…but, anyone born into a family that promotes hate and bigotry and continuing to actively pursue these practices typically doesn’t listen to reason, respond to debate, or seek to understand someone else’s struggle. As a gay, half-black, Jewish man who walks the streets carrying a purse and wearing “women’s” clothes and jewelry, it is impossible for me to avoid stares, shouts, and denial of rights from my human counterparts. In fact, these oppressors take pleasure in the rising volume of the oppressed victim’s voice as he or she attempts to defend their human rights. He grins, evilly, as he calls you a “fatass”. A “nigger”. A “faggot”. He has no reason to align with or understand your feelings because he doesn’t have to. His 150-pound frame is never judged. His ability to walk into a department store and purchase every outfit he tries on is certainly not condemned or judged. Kissing his girlfriend in public, while perhaps making hopeless-romantics jealous, does not inspire disgust or riots by bible thumpers.

A few nights ago, my friends and I celebrated a colleague and friend’s twenty-third birthday, as well as her new job at prominent publication in Chicago. We started our night at Blue Frog’s Local 22 (, indulging in spicy wings and a few of their numerous local brews. I tried Ale Syndicate’s Municipal India Pale Ale — a floral, hoppy, yet light-tasting IPA which, after one, had me feeling quite hoppy myself. After paying our tabs separately (thank Buddha/Allah/Jesus, a fucking restaurant that doesn’t bitch and moan about splitting the tab), we decided to stop by “El Hefe Chicago”, a nearby nightclub, to dance and enjoy some margaritas. Unfortunately, my six friends and I never made it past the front door.

As we approached, still airy and lighthearted from the drinks prior, we noticed a line forming outside the door— the bouncer wasn’t letting anyone inside. Some guy, wearing sunglasses at 9pm (I will refer to him from hereon out as “douchebag”), was in an argument with the bouncer. The bouncer, clearly fuming, looks at douchebag and says, “I don’t care where you come from or how much fucking money you have. I could get the manager and see if an exception can be made, but frankly, I don’t think I’m going to do that because of how you came at me.” Douchebag, looking at his posse and laughing, unfazed by the denial of entry, demanded the manager anyway, holding up the line as we all wait patiently to continue our fabulous evening. After a few moments, a big burly man appears from inside. He looks at douchebag’s friend, whose sweatpants were in violation of their dress code. “Is this your entire party? Just you guys?” His “party” consists of two men and two women who, clearly embarrassed by the progression of events, were standing arm-in-arm far enough behind the douchebag to avoid association if a passerby were to look-in on the situation. They had clearly only been friends with douchebag for a few hours. I imagined what they were thinking…“What the hell, why not? He’s rich!” After a few back and forth comments, the burly decision-maker approves their attire and lets them inside.

Our turn. I approach the bouncer and hand him my driver’s license. I considered making a joke about douchebag, to lift his spirits, but the words were stripped by my conscious by the bouncer’s abrupt statement: “You can’t bring that bag in here.” He was referring to my humble 14×3 inch Michael Kors purse. Astonished, I point to the two women he just let inside, both carrying purses much larger and more obtrusive than my own. “But, the two women you just let inside have  purses,” I plead, blood pressure rising. The bouncer didn’t look me in the eyes as he spoke. “Yeah, they’re women,” he says. I paused, ears steaming.  “Here we go,’ I thought. I’ve experienced a similar act of ignorance in Bloomington, IN at a bar called “Sports”. (Surprising, right?) Luckily, in that instance, there was an advocate working alongside that person, who eventually let me in. In this instance, at El Hefe, I knew I wouldn’t be so lucky. I kept my glare upon this inhospitable man and said, “Yes, they’re women, and I’m a man. What’s the difference? It’s just a bag.” At this statement, he locked eyes with me and said coldly, authoritatively, “What’s the difference between a man and a woman?? A fucking dick and a vagina, that’s the difference.” Before I had a chance to respond, my friends grabbed me and pulled me away before I could debate any further. It was probably for the best.

His justification didn’t offer any sensible insight as to why someone with a “dick” cannot bring a purse into their club. His statement suggests that only widely-accepted social norms (from the fucking South, in the nineteen-forties) and people who agree with these ideals are allowed inside this club. His blatant disregard for my feelings hurt in the moment — especially after I witnessed the events that just occurred with douchebag. That smug asshole, throwing his wealth around as justification for breaking the club’s rules, was still able to pass right through. My friends and I, all honest, generous, and humble people, were denied entry because of my sex, and a purse.

Luckily, my friends presence and support turned my discouragement into happiness; my deep-sighs into laughter. The next day, I received a text message from the birthday girl stating she called the establishment to let them know their bigotry lost them six customers. This support, this advocacy, is absolutely heartwarming. The rarity of such a proactive response against hatred on behalf of another human was nipped in the ass today, and for this, Ms. Ashley Jackson (instagram: ashleeholla), I thank you.

In Spanish, “el jefe” translates to “the boss”. Changing the spelling of “Jefe” to “Hefe” so that ignorant clients pronounce the name correctly, it’s clear that “el jefe” of this establishment, Jon Wright, does not respect cultures or ideas outside his own. As the “hottest Mexican restaurant in Chicago Illinois” (, it is unfortunate that Mexican roots and heritage are lost so yuppie, Asshole-Americans can tell their friends about their slutty evening at the hottest nightclub in town without pronouncing “jefe” incorrectly and therefore being corrected, negatively impacting their view of the club. Disgusting. It is unfortunate for nearby authentic restaurants and museums owned and explored by accepting, educated individuals to have share a block (or a nation) with this hub of hate. El Hefe Chicago actually lives up to the German definition of “hefe”: “yeast: a microscopic fungus” (Source: New Oxford American Dictionary), which is ironic, as the only way for men and women to get into this place is to show their pussy.


Why I Will NEVER Own An Audi.

Let’s be honest with ourselves: perception is everything. That woman walking down Michigan Avenue in her fur coat with enough botox in her forehead to smooth Regis Philbin’s balls, has never worked a day in her life. That smelly brown guy on the CTA? He’s going to pull out a gun and steal my iPhone 5S as soon as I turn and face the other way. That group of beautiful men, giggling, shooting rapid glances in my direction, are definitely talking shit about me.

This evening, I went to my first car dealership, Fletcher Jones Audi, with intent to progress my lifelong dream of owning a brand new car. As a child, the only cars we could afford were shit-beaters; breaking down on the slightest incline, coughing when the temperature dropped below thirty-two degrees. When my mom would pick me up from school, I was the laughing stock of first grade. My peers’ parents picked them up in gleaming new Lexuses, Mercedes-Benzes, and Acuras. My chariots always arrived panting and sweating: a white-Peugeot station wagon, a blue Plymouth Reliant, and a gray Toyota Corolla. At such a young age, I (unfortunately) couldn’t appreciate the miracle which allowed us to even own numerous vehicles throughout my childhood.  My grandmother, who picked up on my materialistic mentality, picked up on my love of cars and did what she could to turn it around. She began arriving at school daily, promptly at 3:17pm when the bell rang, to take me out for a drive. Her car? A 1991, beige, soft-top Cadillac Deville. Woof. It was absolutely stunning: leather interior, premium stereo, and the forgotten iconic clunky gearshift lever attached to the steering wheel shaft. Twenty minutes (and one happy meal) into our commute, we were bumping along the back-roads of Northern Indiana’s boonies. My nerves were on edge by now, as I knew it was my turn to shine. Scooting my tush along the bench seat next to my grandmother, I grabbed the steering wheel. What a rush! I was driving! I knew I needed one of these bad boys for myself, and fast.

Ten years later, still poor, still driving shit-beaters, I dialed-up the world wide web and virtually built my first car: a gold, 2005 Toyota Camry LE. “One day, I will buy one of these; a brand new car — a car no one else has owned.”

It is now 2014. Three months away from my twenty-fifth birthday, I have owned two cars: a 1993 Nissan Sentra, and a 1995 Ford Taurus. Both were purchased used, and both cost less than $1,500 a piece. It still amazes me that both of them fought hard throughout their lives and, having more than 150,000 miles at acquisition, each lasted me more than three years. In fact, the Taurus is currently sitting in my mother’s driveway — it still runs. 25-year-old me doesn’t care that my first two cars were purchased used, rusted, and ran LOUD. 25-year-old me is thankful to have owned such brilliant pieces of innovative hardware that allowed for unparalleled experiences and road trips, which transformed me throughout and beyond my teenage years.

Concurrently, 25-year-old me is wise enough to realize that owning or operating a car in Chicago (or any metropolitan city) is an expensive, stressful, and dangerous endeavor. Purchasing city parking stickers, cursing at the words printed on the orange parking tickets, kicking das yellow boot, fender benders…I’d almost rather become a bottom sexually than deal with owning a nice car in this city. Despite these unfortunate and inevitable requirements of owning a car here, I can’t seem to outlive my 16-year-old dream of owning a new car; a trophy signifying years of hard labor and saving money — responsibility…accomplishment.

I was quite excited to attend the Audi A3 launch event at Fletcher Jones Audi in downtown Chicago. I have studied its specifications, marveled at its clean lines and intuitive interior, and of course, built the top of the line “Prestige” trim online dozens of times before attending this launch event. Two months ago at the Chicago Auto Show, I intentionally asked Audi representatives questions about the upcoming A3 to test their knowledge. As it turned out, I knew more about its features and pricing than all of them. I walked away from their showroom thankful to have grown up poor — I will never know (nor do I want to know) what it’s like to get paid for doing absolutely fucking nothing. In person, the A3 is much more stunning than in photographs. Its sleek, low roofline and ten-spoke wheels, which look bland and uncharismatic in every review upon which I’ve stumbled, come across as handsome to the naked eye. The base trim looks almost unfinished on the inside, with blank, lifeless switches littering the center console. The meticulous detail of the “Premium-Plus” and “Prestige” trims, however, which add a motorized navigation screen that pops-up from the center of the dashboard, a panoramic sunroof, and a fourteen-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, make the $11,000 price bump from the base-trim worth it.

The car itself really surprised me — in a positive way. Unfortunately, I didn’t purchase it that day, nor will I in the future.

From the minute I walked into the dealership, the atmosphere was cold and sterile. I was greeted not by a a handshake, but by a blinding light projecting: “A3: It’s Here.” on the wall beside the front door. It was difficult to find an employee, as 95% of them (all men), who, by the way, looked upon me as if I had stumbled in from the street to consume free food and drink, wore suits similar to those of the guests. Out of all the time I spent at Fletcher Jones, the only words spoken to me were from an elderly couple who shared my amazement of the size of the A3’s trunk, and from the bartender, whose nails, like my own, were also painted white. After two glasses of white wine, I told her to never get a no-chip manicure again, as it will ruin the hardness of her natural nails. “It was for vacation!” she exclaimed, smiling. “I won’t do it again.” Is it possible, perhaps, that every single employee (including the manager, whose eyes met mine multiple times throughout the evening) perceived me as intimidating? A bitch? A freak of nature who didn’t belong in their space? Did my smiles and consistent eye-contact with them carry less weight because I wasn’t wearing a suit, tie, and a drunk blond woman around my arm? Of the three A3 models on display, I sat in and touched every single one. Whatever the staff’s perception of my outer appearance may have been, how could they have not seen how interested I am in one of their vehicles? After an hour of wandering around, sipping wine, and taking photos, I left the dealership a little tipsy, but completely bored.

The experience wasn’t all bad, however. Despite leaving without a new A3, the opportunity to see, photograph, and sit inside it gave me a feeling of accomplishment. The slow-cooked bacon and other hors d’oeuvres catered by David Burke’s Primehouse ( were delicious. Maybe I’ll use a portion of the down payment I reserved for the A3 to purchase catering service for my upcoming 25th birthday party, which I still need to plan.

Having worked in sales for nine years, it is a pity (and frankly, a complete mind-fuck) that I expected to buy something from such mundane, standoffish humans who staff Fletcher Jones Audi. Perhaps I am being too harsh — maybe that woman on Michigan Avenue is single and bought that fur coat herself after years of hard labor. Maybe that smelly brown guy on the train just left the gym, and actually has never taken anything from anyone a day in his life. That giggling gaggle of guys? They actually find me really attractive and want to ask me out.

What is perception worth? Self-confidence? A friend? For me, it is a brand new Audi A3 Prestige. For Fletcher Jones Audi of downtown Chicago, it is a loss $42,000.


Single? It’s not them, it’s you.


How many people have you fucked in the last month? In the last year? Why is it that, despite constantly bitching about your thirst for companionship, you sacrifice a warm heartbeat pulsing against your bare cheek every night for a thick, throbbing instacock or instapussy once a week? You tell yourself these urges for instant gratification are natural —you also conclude that these people who fuck you and don’t want to date you simply want the same thing as you (which is: a relationship with someone else they can’t have). You are completely correct. However, you keep forgetting to tell yourself the other truth: you can have a relationship with them, you just fucked it up the first time.

Josh, I cannot tell you how many dates…probably a hundred, which, after it ended, I receive a text message from the guy telling me he only wants to be friends. I started seeing a therapist — I was convinced there was something wrong with me. My therapist thought I was crazy…perhaps it’s just the people who live in this area…

…After moving to an entirely new state, the problem persists.” — a friend.

Why is it that this handsome, successful, goal-oriented man with a SEX DRIVE cannot seem to get past, “check, please”? After further probing, it was clear at that moment there was something wrong: on that first date and each first date with a new human, it is imperative for him tell the guy three key things: his profession (he is quite proud…almost pretentious, regarding the company for which he works), his fluency in Spanish, and his mastery of the trombone. When I asked why he feels it is necessary to reveal this information up front, his response was, “because he needs to know who I am…and that I am amazing.” Despite the fact that I agree — he is amazing — the way in which he tries to control these strangers’ feelings and emotions automatically set him up for heartbreak.

No one should ever be afraid to talk about their strengths, passions, and interests that make them who they are. However, the insecurities caused by countless denials from people in which we’re interested causes the utmost fear of rejection; so much so that you do a number of things to sabotage yourself, including:

  • Constantly wearing your headphones in public (if you can’t see or hear someone rejecting you, it isn’t happening, right?)
  • Standoffishness; why say hello to the handsome Barista at the cafe when he is probably judging everything about you? (He is, in fact, because he is also damaged.)
  • Speaking without confidence, discussing topics you think the other person wants to hear. Or,
  • at the other end of the spectrum, speaking so highly of yourself your date thinks you’ve made up their mind for them (we all want freedom of choice! Duh, idiot.)
  • Being really picky over, say, a sloppy kisser, that we ignore the strong connection…that spark we shared before the sloppy porn kiss. (You can train someone to kiss better, but hell, you’re so perfect, that they should already know what to do, right?)

“There is no world; there are only six billion understandings of it.” — Drew Dudley TEDxToronto (2010)

Do you want people to understand you..the humble ‘you’ who is afraid to die alone? Or would you rather they know the perceived you…your hard exterior…your nine to five, your material possessions, your stupid, throbbing, phallic ego? Ask the hundred people who turned you down after the first date what they wanted. You may be surprised.



The internet is a marvelous thing, isn’t it? Shopping – spying – ordering – liking – sending – receiving – paying – balancing – storing – messaging – retweeting – tracking – blocking – grinding – hailing…


Do you remember Myspace? Coming home from school, sitting down at your parents $4,000 desktop PC (which had a single CD-ROM drive that couldn’t even burn discs), dialing up at 52K, opening Internet Explorer, logging into Myspace with your lowercase, digit-less password, and seeing this:


Holy fucking shit. “Sorry, mom! I can’t do my homework because my top 8 (top 16, if you were the fucking pwnzrz at learning HTML on your own) needs me!!” It was the ultimate feeling of happiness: someone cares about me. The smiley emoji comments on my first batch of selfies; the message from some scene bitch on the opposite end of the United States asking how the Set Your Goals show was; the hideous acronyms littered amongst everything (I used “LYLAS” way too often for someone trying to stay in the closet). All of these outlets of outreach were proactive ways of telling someone you were thinking of them.

In 2014, however, it isn’t about anyone else. It’s about yourself.

Your selfie. Your venti no-whip soy mocha. Your new car. Your selfie again, (christ…ten times this week?) The news articles you think are relevant. Your feelings. Your emotions. Your gratification.

Now that Myspace is dead (it is…isn’t it?), Facebook and Instagram reign as the most dynamic and robust “social networking” tools in existence. Shit, people that attended my middle school, who were in no way close to me or my group of friends, somehow pop up in my news feed. Oh, you had another baby at age 23? Cute. JK. SICK. People I work with, old boyfriends, family members, strangers, best friends — they are all a click away. Just a click.

Knowing this, why would I go out of my way to write and send them a letter in the mail? Why would I hop on a bus in the cold to bring someone flowers and an Emergen-C when they are sick, when I can send them an e-gift card for them to use at their “convenience”? Why would I ‘like’ their photo when they’re not even following me on Instagram? Why would I open and read their text message when I can open the notification center, read it there, and leave it “un-read” in order to respond at my convenience (time to fess up, y’all). Why in the fuck, man?

These technologies — these creations of innovative, life-saving software and hardware, are making us anxious, socially inept, and selfishly reactive to other people. I’m guilty, I’ll admit, and have been for quite some time. I have always felt like the shoulder on which to cry, the ear to listen, and the mouth to say, “everything will be fine.” Yet, when it’s your turn to be these things, you pull out your iPhone and tickity-tick away, your eyelids being the only physical piece of you that notices my pain. I think we’re all victims of it — we’re also all guilty.

I can also admit, I am much more eloquent in writing. If I were sitting with someone in a restaurant and this topic arose, it probably would not come out of my mouth as elegantly as you see before you. However, a picture of me or my surroundings with a catchy tagline, or a text message I send you that makes you fall in love with me — that is not me. That is not my in-the-moment attention or advice. That is not my love. That is not my caring nature. That is not the dedication I have to anyone who considers me a friend.

My mother, who has been misunderstood and chastised by society for years due to her religious beliefs, drove miles out of her way on Valentine’s Day to take flowers to an almost-blind, 80 year old acquaintance she met at the gym. Yet, my friend calls me and I ignore it because I am not quite finished scrolling through the photos I missed on Instagram while I was asleep. As your friend sits across from you, begging for your attention and love in the real world, you are becoming an isolationist, double-tapping your way into a four-inch island which is your perception of human interaction.

I think technology is beautiful. I love my iPhone and MacBook — these beautifully designed and easy to use pieces of hardware that inspire and create solutions for healthcare, communication, and learning. But, I can (and will more often) put these devices away to listen to my close-friend’s song recommendation or a compelling, personal story. I fear twenty years from now, when babies are born with a phone in their hand. How will they communicate face to face? How will they, without Adderall, Xanax, and other mind and body-altering drugs, summon the courage to ask that beautiful girl on a date? The sweat, the nervousness, the euphoric feeling of anticipation — will it all be missed because their phone vibrated in their pocket? 

I hope not. Because our world will be Instagauched and Instafucked. 



I encourage you to now take out a piece of paper, write to someone dear, and drop it in the mail. Or, call an old friend to tell them you love and miss them (hopefully they answer, fuckers). After I publish this post, I am going to surprise my sister, with whom I do not spend nearly enough time.


You’re Straight? … Damn, You Sure Fooled Me (and Everyone Else.)

[I began writing this piece in November, 2013]

“Josh, you just want everyone to be gay.” I really, REALLY don’t want this. Honestly. 

How many times have you asked your friend, Subaru [Not] Outback, who just-so-happens to have really short hair and doesn’t shave her armpits, “are you a lesbian?”

Here’s another scenario: “So Chase, let me get this straight. You are 23, your parents and entire family are a part of the largest church organization in America, AND you’re a virgin? OH! You’re a gymnast, too?? Who is this woman at your side? Your girlfriend!! Ashley, so nice to meet you! Did you know your boyfriend WOULD SUCK MY DICK IF I WAS ALONE WITH HIM FOR FIVE MINUTES?”

Being an IU Alumni (and having recently picked up the biography, Dr. Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research – Wardell B. Pomeroy) , I have a soft spot in my heart for Alfred Kinsey and his idea that society lies somewhere on a sexual spectrum between 0 and 6, where 0 is the straightest motherfucker ever…Like, this guy eats pussy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…and 6 is super-dee-duper ultra fabulous bottom-bitch Ru-Paul Jack Twist gay. Anyone who aligns with numbers 1-5 on the Kinsey Scale presumably identify as either gay or straight, but their actions, thoughts, and behaviors suggest they are not exclusively one sexuality or the other. And I’m not talking about “trannies” or “queer-boys”…You ask those bitches what number they are and they’ll go on a 30 minute rant that they are NOWHERE on the Kinsey Scale because “no man-made scale could ever describe the depth of their sexuality…”(I’m being cunty on purpose). The 1-5 gays are my man friends who fuck girls, but kiss me when we say “hello”. They don’t feel uncomfortable talking about (my) gay sex in a bar full of straight men. Hell, your good friend might even give you a hand-job in your religious mother’s home the evening of Thanksgiving (unfortunately, this guy didn’t realize he was a 2 on the scale until after this handy occurred, which caused him to hide out and pretend to be a 0 and not associate with me for three years)…

The most difficult realization about coming out wasn’t my descent down society’s hierarchical ladder…nor was it the impending, inevitable disconnect from my highly religious family (homosexuality was, in fact, “a demon, of which people before have been healed”)…nor was it the lifestyle — three car garage, white picket fence, children — I would miss by being with a man instead of a woman…nor was it the acts of hatred by passersby on the street, in their cars, shooting the word “faggot” out of their dry, pussy-eating mouths like a bullet…No, it was not any of those things. These spectrum gays, as well as myself before jumping out of the closet on Xanga at age 18***, are afraid to come out because of one thing: control.

Before coming out, as early as fifth grade, people asked me if I were gay. I would always say no and come up with some elaborate excuse…deny, deny, deny. Their blunt curiosity hurt my feelings, made me feel uncomfortable, and, ultimately, pissed me the fuck off that someone who knew me for an entire five minutes assumed to know more about me than I knew of myself. Despite where you come from, we currently live in a world where being gay isn’t so bad. We [homosexuals] tend to be more action-oriented, focused on human relationships, and rich as hell ::snaps and whips hair fabulously::

I do not think people now are as terribly afraid of what the world will think of their homosexual status as they were 10 years ago. I mean jesus, I’m sitting in Starbucks wearing leather-esque leggings, and my nails, painted “Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine!”, are long enough for me to go head-to-head with Wolverine. Are people staring? Sure. Is it because I look fabulous and they’re jealous? Maybe, maybe not. But, I tell myself ‘yes’, because I have control of how I look, and control of how I react to a world of leering eyes. Did I carry myself in such a fashion 10 years ago? Hell no…partly because comfortability in ones skin takes time, of course…but, a large part is because the world was not as ready back then as it is today. I think these 1-5 gays are ready for the world, too. But they’re not ready to lose control of their identity. Despite your demeanor and attitude remaining the same after telling your girlfriend, “Hey! I finally realize I’m a 3 on the Kinsey Scale!”, you lose all of the credibility you had as a “straight” man. You lose control of the Straight Power. You become a “girl”. That beautiful woman standing across the bar was totally into you until she realized you once sucked a dick. Now, the only use you are to her is a personal shopping assistant. When you come out as 1-5, whether willingly, caught in the act, or even someone just assuming you are based on your mannerisms, the way you dress, etc., the world is in control of your life. How dare they? Who do they think they are having more of a grip on my reality than I do? Why shouldn’t I suppress being 1-5 when I’m so comfortable being a 0?

Why, you ask? Because the longer you wait, the more fucked up in the head you are going to be. And in the end, you’ll realize you never had control of your feelings, emotions, happiness…

…the longer you wait, the more you’ll realize the world has controlled you all along.


*** (I will have my “coming out” post up soon — Xanga doesn’t exist anymore, so retrieving my previous posts will apparently be a fight.)



How to Be Number One When You’re Not a Perfect Ten

If you’re reading this, there is a high probability there is something about you that sucks. Let’s face it…your eyes are too close together, your feet smell like Precious’ armpits after running a 5K (I mean, attempting to run a 5K and collapsing faster than you can say, “go, Precious…go!”), and you fuck so many people your dick is actually just one big chancre. But hey, don’t fret! I suck, too… and here’s why:


  • I’m boring. Really, I am. I’d rather sit in my apartment all day and watch an entire series of Family Guy than sit around with a group of people seeking and offering advice to their peers (DESPITE THE VICTIMS KNOWING ALL THE ANSWERS).


  • My vocabulary is absolutely awful…just awful. I remember first seeing the movie ‘The Matrix’, running over to my HP desktop, popping open Internet Explorer, and searching the word “inevitable”. To this day, I still think I’m a cool son of a bitch for using the word :::puts on Morpheus shades:::


  • I’ve never taken good care of my skin, and therefore have opened a new national canyon park on my face. It’s closed now, though. Government shutdown 😦 😦 😦


Despite all of these unfortunate skid-marks God has placed upon us, there is no need to worry…no need to feel inadequate in this society of perfect, chiseled faces and skinny, puketacular need to pick and pick and pick and pick and PICK at the ‘stupid fucking cunt ass bitch’, the man or woman who stole your crush’s heart, because they both suck, too. All of us suck. That is, we all have qualities that someone else doesn’t like. To be honest, if you don’t realize that at this point in your life, you really, REALLY suck, and should think about giving me all of your assets now, because I’m going to cut you. Deep. Some of us could give a fuck less what people think, and continue to live our lives, in the moment, without skipping a beat. Others try to diminish these qualities as much as possible in order to fit in with the rest of the world; makeup fixes the skin, money makes you exciting and smart, deodorant makes you smell like a majestic centaur (I’m guilty of this one. Old Spice, pay me).


Whatever your style, here is a list of things you can (refrain from) do(ing) to not suck more than you already do:


  1. DON’T TALK TOO MUCH. Seriously. If more than 70% of your conversations consist of your voice, you need to shut the fuck up. Keep up the chatter, and you’ll only have yourself with whom to speak.
  2. LISTEN. ACTIVELY. Get off your phone. Look into my eyes. And take your adderall. Jesus.
  3. READ, READ, READ. If you’re dumb and boring, this is the perfect way to not only change your perspective on something to which you are ignorant, but also gives you something to talk about. You dull sap.
  4. BUY SOMEONE SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Be proactive about this. I understand it’s tradition to show your love and appreciation for someone once a year by showering them with glitter and Starbucks gift cards on their birthday, but could you imagine someone’s surprise if you did it right now, and again next week, for no reason other than to say, “I care about you today, tomorrow, and always”? 
  5. LOOK IN YOUR SIDE-VIEW MIRROR BEFORE OPENING YOUR CAR DOOR, AND USE YOUR FUCKING TURN SIGNAL. I’ve been there when the door of a Lexus SUV abruptly swings into a bike lane and knocks someone into a pool of their own blood. Scariest fucking thing ever.
  6. MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT WHEN A STRANGER YOU’RE LOOKING AT LOOKS AT YOU. This one is tough. I’ve had to train myself. It got me laid once…but besides that, it prevents you from that awkward, abrupt look-away that makes you feel like a douchebag. And who knows, you might even muster up enough confidence to say hello to who may be the love of your life.
  7. PLACE THE MONEY IN THEIR HAND. Mmm, that Venti Soy no-whip Mocha Frappa Gay Gay is going to be delicious. “That will be $18.43”, says the smiling, courteous Barista. You reach in your filth, Coach purse and toss each bill and coin on the counter for him or her to pick up and count, one by one. Scene. Barista cuts your fingers off for being so rude.
  8. “PLEASE, THANK YOU.” Please. Thank you.

If any of these are on your list, too, high five. We think about the same sucky things.