Hello everyone, I am writing to you from the year 20Gayteen (which is hilarious and I can’t take credit for it but I am 100% going to use it until December 31st 11:59:59pm and possibly after). As you may or may not know, I identify as bi. If you didn’t know, that’s fine because for the first 19 years of my life I thought I was straight and I didn’t come out until I was 23. But today I can tell you I’m about as straight as my hair.
It’s funny now to look back and think about the little indications along the way. Like how I hated wearing dresses when I was little or how I was attracted to women. You know, the subtle signs. But you really can’t go by stereotypes because if you did, I’d be a middle aged gay man. Exhibits A & B are my eternal love and devotion to The Golden Girls and Barbra Streisand.
This part of who I am isn’t something I discuss often because to be honest, I’m still sorting through internalized shame that never should have been there to begin with. It astonishes and frustrates me that despite the overwhelmingly positive response I got when I came out, I still feel like I can’t just be myself. I guess I feel drawn to share this today because it has been on my mind lately. The purpose of my move to Chicago was to take positive risks and go for what I really want in life. So I think I need to take advantage of the momentum I have right now and apply this attitude to every aspect of my life. What better year than 20Gayteen, am I right??
I’m already off to a pretty great start. My first weekend in Chicago I spent Saturday night dancing until dawn in Boystown. When my roommates and I left the bar and the sun was rising I thought to myself, “Huh?” and then “Oh my God.” Then I just smiled and enjoyed the moment. I got to watch the sun rise over Lake Michigan as we rode home. I got to feel at home in a new city within my first week. That’s what it’s like being surrounded by other LGBTQ people, it feels like home because I feel at home in myself. I feel a warmth and a deep love for the people around me, because they are just like me. And I know without a shadow of a doubt they understand me on a level I so rarely feel understood.
That feeling is why it was so important to me to go to New York City Pride this year. I literally delayed my move to Chicago to go and it was so worth it. That night in Boystown was also coincidentally the last night of Pride month and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate. So basically, this was my longwinded way of saying I’m heading to Boystown this weekend if anyone wants to join me.
I’ll close this post by saying thank you and I love you to everyone who makes me feel loved and supported. I’d also like to leave you with the Maya Angelou quote I shared when I came out, which has also become a quote I try to live by:
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.”