Loitering the Lingering Feelings of Love

I wrote a collection of short stories awhile back that I have recently started re-editing. Each story follows the impossible task of 8 different young adults finding love against whatever odds they are up against. Some of them are gay, some of them are straight, what they all have in common is that they are all young and confused about who they are, and how in the world they could let someone in, and walk with them in this life.

While all completely different their stories share the same thread of being horrified by love and what it could mean to fall for someone. I decided to entwine some of the lines from the collection in this post. I feel as though each of their voices connects well with many of the voices I hear everyday. This is basically entirely prose. I write about this subject best that way.

Dear Sweet Queer Peers,

I have asked this question many times and I know that I will ask it again and again because there are literally a hundred answers to this very simply worded question. And that question would be:

Why are you (we) so scared of love?

You are young and with that comes the fleeting feeling of constant fun; managing that kind of social scene can be exhausting. Parties and late nights that lead into mornings where you could not be angrier to see the sight of the sun. A happy and often friendly disposition of ignoring of the future, because the future is just that: The Future. And that is much too far away to even begin to map out, to think of, or comprehend. So we’ll get drunk at happy hours and fall in love for 10 minutes on the dance floor. And when the DJ set is over, we will sidle back to our friends and act like courtship is a thing that only King and Queens ever did.

Because there is no reason to falsely think that someone would open up more then their arms. Because there is no reason to think that you could open your heart? Your brain? The thought.

The pain.

It is fun. This youth. This twenty something.
It is hard.
The truth of time still passing, and this small notion that in 10 years no one will have an inkling or a care about what you were wearing, to that Friday night party, the outfit you threw your week into planning. And whether or not that girl you’ve been crushing on cared, hell if you’ll even be able to remember her name.
And if she kissed you as you lit her cigarette.
I mean who cares? Come next week it will be another. Or maybe not. Or maybe…

You do not need to need anyone but yourself.
You do need to treasure relationships. Be they friendships or more.
You need not shut your emotions down to those who could break you.
There is more to this life then a beer and a shot. There is a place for love and unfortunately a place for heartache.

Clarity comes through the unclear
When all my lines are completley blurred and distorted
Its then when the reasoning I’ve been looking for
Becomes all too clear
She called me
I never thought the day would come
Her voice
Butterflies
She’s perfect
And I’m a wreck

Shes beautiful
So fucking beautiful
I lay on my back and say:
So what is it you came here for
I’m a fucking mess
I’ve got bandages on my arms
Wounds that still make me cry
Baby you could have a quarter back
So why are you in here with a broken guy
My brain is so twisted
I dont even think I could count the knots
Apparently Im starting over
I cant even begin to connect the dots

You don’t want this. Because you fear this. Because in the dark if she can feel your breath after sex and know that all you’re doing is thinking, she may get up and leave. She is questioning why this isn’t just fun for you. Why you can’t just let go and fuck. So you refuse to take those breaths. You get up and leave after a night of, lets not call it passion, a night non the less. A conquest. You leave and you take to the streets and tell me, tell me for a moment, you aren’t wishing that you could still feel her. Not inside her, next to her. And she, she laying in bed, is questioning why no one ever stays.

She sits down by my side
And puts her hands on both sides of my face
I have trouble looking into peoples eyes
But theres something about hers that screams safe
She opens her mouth
But no words come out
We sit here in dead silence
I knew that she’d be hard pressed for something to say
Hospitals either evoke streams of words smothered in emotion
Or
The uncomfort of forced silence
Of absolute uncomfortable nothing
Finally she breaks it – looks at me and says
I dont know exactly what youve been through
But I know what lonely is
I know that darkness can be a feeling
I know how it feels to want to shake it and start new
Light seems as distant as a promise of some heaven
But I’m still standing
I know what it feels like
To be faced with your downfall everyday
But you dont know what it feels like to have your sould ripped away
She starts crying
I pick up my battered arms
I hold her
I kiss her
She knows I know that she knows
And I know she knows that I get it
I love her more then words
And here in this moment I dont regret whats happened
Because now she’s here
And through my haze of pain
I manage to ignore the past that bubbles so close to my surface
I want to prove to her what she truly deserves
And that the two of us are worth more than hospitals walls and doctors calls
That we are our pasts
But we are also each others futures
We can take our life
Our love
And own it

I can’t get used to the feeling that comes with love. It scares me. Because that person, they are now a part of me. Everywhere I go I will carry them with me. I can’t get used to it because it somehow always scares me. But it does not sway me. It is a fear that drives me. It makes me go somewhere that nothing else steers me towards.

I walk home real slow
Let my feelings explode
As I kick rocks into bottomless potholes
We talk for hours on the phone
He meets me every morning
But what he doesnt know
Is everything about him stays with me all day
Theres no possible way
To explain how hes got me
But boy has he got me
And watching him walk away
For the first time its an ok feeling
Because I know that he’ll be waiting
At the end
Of everyday

So none of us were raised ideally. Not you, not him, or her; you can’t pick you parents, and hell they didn’t pick you. We all look at mom and dad and see these people who we can’t even imagine at our age. Falling in love with each other, taking each others breath away. But somehow they got there. And somehow we will all get there.

Parental Advisory

Remember when you were a little kid, and your parents asked you what you wanted to be and you smiled all dopey and cute like and said something along the lines of: “I want to be an astronaut that saves kittens and puppies and takes over for Santa Claus when he gets too tired to give everyone presents.” And your parents smiled down at you and totally were like: my kid is the most adorbs. And then you grew up, and those teenage years were a total bitch, but you guys got passed it. Somewhere in that time period, from being a toothless toddler to a rebellious teenager you came to your own realizations. One of them being that you were shall we say a little different.

The videos you watched in health class depicted all of these situations that you just couldn’t relate to. In your mind you were like, but wait, what if the two people involved were of the same sex? Can I still get the same STD’s? If I’m a girl having sex with a girl where does the condom go? On my fingers? You looked at yourself naked in the mirror and you could not fathom why on Earth you had been born into this body? When you looked around your high school and saw that the people you were most attracted to, you knew that you would probably get punched in the face if you left a love letter in their locker. You were part of a student body who would not accept you for your true body. If your peers couldn’t understand you, what would your parents say?

Your parents for better or for worse are, your fucking parents, and deep down inside every single one of us wants to be accepted by them. Which, for most of us is like finding a needle in a universe sized haystack.

Will Smith pointed it out the best over a decade ago:


#forreal

This whole parents not getting their kids thing, it isn’t new. Ask your folks how their parents feel about them. Ask your grandparents how they feel about your parents. Your mind will be fucked. No matter how proud a parent is of their kid, they always saw life differently for them. Always.

This relationship is hard enough without adding one monumental thing to the equation. YOU being L,G,B,T,or Q. Your parents seriously did not envision that one. In fact most of them prayed that it would never happen. All of them? No. But most of them. Most of them would prefer straight kids. And a good amount would prefer that not because they are homophobes, but because they see the way the world treats the queer community. No parent wants to know that on top of every other problem their children could face in society, the cherry if you will on top of that “kick me sundae” is being LGBTQ.

I have no tolerance for homophobia. I have no tolerance for someone telling me that who I choose to love, or the way I choose to present myself is bothering them. Because well. I will never see them again. Or as Ru would say:

Now while this attitude flies perfectly well on the street it simply doesn’t hold up inside the walls of “home”. You are still that little kid in the sandbox to your parents. To you, coming out is coming into who you have always been. It is standing on your own two feet and screaming at the world:
I AM WHO I AM AND I AM 1,000% OK WITH THAT. Your parents, well lets just say they aren’t exactly hearing that battle cry.

When you come out to your parents, you have to realize that you have had years to come to terms with, and accept who you are. Your family needs that time too. If there is one thing that has been the hardest for me to swallow it is talking to people about being queer and seeing blankness in their eyes. No matter how many times I try and explain to my dad that I don’t feel comfortable using women’s bathrooms he will always respond with: “Well that’s just ridiculous, you’re a girl.” And every time he speaks those words I want to slap him. But I can’t, because he is my dad. I take a deep breath and have the same conversation in my head every time.
He still see’s you as his little girl. No matter what clothes you are wearing, or how bald you are, or how many girlfriends you have that call you their boifriend, to your dad, you are that little girl who loved Rafi and had a baby blanket until she was 16. You are his Neena Beana (lets not talk about it) infinitely. Frustrating? Yes. Always. But, it’s kind of like how he would yell at me for playing my music really loud in middle school he would, I would lower it, but we both knew that the volume would eventually find its way back up to max. And the conversation would happen again, neither of us really seeing the others point of view, but both of us accepting it on some level.

I’m lucky. When it comes to my sexuality, my family doesn’t care. They however do not understand. Which for me is equally as frustrating. So what do we do with this frustration? Before I changed my name, I had to come out to people within the first minute of meeting them. You see Nina is quite possibly the girliest name my parents could have bestowed upon my queer ass. I quickly learned that to deal with the looks, and the questions people felt like they were naturally entitled to throw my way I had to ground myself. I had to essentially establish a wall that could not be shot through. In order to build that wall I had to establish the bricks and mortar. Where would those come from? They would come from me reaching deep inside myself. Was I really truly ok with who I had become? Was I capable of facing myself? So I took a step back, and started combing through what was going on inside of me. It is very easy to ignore inner conflict, but that inner conflict will show itself in one way or another if you don’t address it. It is the difference of you hearing fag in a bar and being able to walk away and you punching someone in the face.

So I got in touch with myself. I smiled when I saw my reflection in a window on the street. My skin was finally my own. When ignorant strangers say things to me out of the blue am I still caught off guard? Yes. But I have the dialogue down. Somehow, all of that still manages to go out the window when someone in my family will ask me a question about who I have become. I don’t have the wall built yet for them, but I think that is because I don’t want to have one.

So what do we do of our families? What do we do with their questions? How do we feel equal to our brothers and sisters? When we bring home the person we want to settle down with, how to we act like their eyes of judgement don’t bother us? Too many LGBTQ people lose their families. We establish groups of friends who become our families. People who know what we have been through and accept us for who we are without question. The best thing that we can do in this life is show others the love we have. Is to speak out to those going through things that we have already been to, and assure them that they can get through it.

Last week, I attended Queer Pratt’s Gender Fuck. An open mic night of sorts put together for all of the universities students to attend and essentially spread a ridiculous amount of love and support. A space where everyone is encouraged to come on stage and share whatever it is that they want to get out. Stories of coming out, dance numbers (they are gays after all), acoustic covers (lesbians will not be shown up), and just raw expression. It is in moments like this where I am blissfully happy to be queer. Oppressed people find each other and create community, this has never been more apparent then spending a Friday night with a bunch of college age LGBTQ kids and their ally friends wanting nothing more then to A. Be accepted and B. Show that they have nothing but open arms to anyone going through tough times, or struggling with identity. That is your family. In colleges and high schools, in coffee shops, and living rooms, LGBTQ people are creating families.

I dont’t want to every promote a message of: fuck your parents, but the reality is you and your parents will never 100% be on the same page. The best parents will try their hardest to understand their kids, but they won’t always get it. The worst of them? Well, forget them. As an out teenager with shitty parents, it is no easy task to ignore them. And if you are a teenager reading this, and dealing with parents or peers who refuse to accept your lifestyle please, please, please know that there is a world out there who understand you. Who want nothing more then to make you feel like you are part of something. As alone as you may feel, you aren’t. As you get older, you will meet people who truly don’t care who you love, or how you dress; they will have been there too, and will want nothing more then to show you the love you missed out on. They go home as adults for Thanksgiving and know that they have to bite their tongue when Uncle Frank calls a ref a faggot for a play he didn’t agree with. Growing up means becoming yourself and being ok with that self. It means starting a family of your own and knowing that you will support your kids no matter what their gender or sexuality choices. Is it a tough pill to swallow? Absolutely. But just know that a hundred other kids are swallowing it too.

There are more people in this country that agree with gay marriage and gay rights then there are those who are against it. For the first time in history an openly gay woman is in the senate. The way that straight people see gay people is changing. Anyone who has ever been a minority will tell you that change takes time. To win a fight, you have to be prepared for the fight. Sometimes your opponent is going to land some punches. But if you’re in it for the win, you will prevail, and I promise you that you will look at those battle scars and smile.

No one ever said that your parents were the end all and be all. You did not choose the cards you were given, but any poker player can tell you that you can bluff your ass off and come out a winner. Society wants you to look at the deck of cards in your hand and pull out. Don’t you dare. Up the anti, call every bluff. You are more in control of your life then you may know, and when you fall back or falter let your friends catch you. And when they falter, be those arms for them. Your parents were the start of your life, but life is long. Don’t be afraid to step out from under the umbrella and let the rain hit you in the face.

These Words

I am no good at these words.
Or so it would seem.
The night that you left is not nearly as fresh as last years worst dream.
I have a heart in my chest.
But the rest.
Well.
I’m not the best.
Not the best at these words.
The ones that sting and that hurt.
The ones that I do my best to keep away.
It seems in dreams a key appears.
That unlocks the memories I try best to lock out.
Block out.
Shut out.
Shoat out.
I stumble over these words.
I stumble and most times they go unheard.
There is no way to will away pain.
But there is a way to keep it at bay.
Until there are reminders.
And like a bullet ripping skin away.
The wound is as fresh as it ever was.
Forgive me for these words.
I feel that they are too late.
Forgive me for not being there.
Forgive me for them letting your breath slip away.
I am no good at these words.
My hands shake to acoustic guitars melodies.
I hear lyrics and they scare me.
I close my eyes and you are there.
But you aren’t.
Because see sometimes I can barely remember.
You have to realize that I’m just no good at these words.
I am no good at whisper that comes after the intensity.
The murmor the constant murmor of my hearts off track beat.
I dream for stars during the daylight.
Because then I would feel your shine.
You are not the sun.
Because the sun is just one.
You are infinitly gone.
The stars infinitly go on.
Unlike these words.

Slip on a pair of your most comfortable shoes.
Touch a tree.
Snap and crackle a leaf or two.
Light a fire on a night whose chill begs you to go inside.
Stare into flames.
And wonder why.
I can not recover from what I miss.
I can not take back that night.
And I know I will always pay for it.
Hear you in my head.
Curl into myself at night.
These words can not reach you I know.
But please know that I am alright.
When I learn to love the best that I can.
I will never trip over these words again.

Getting Into Bed With Straight Boys

Queergrub is officially a year old. *insert pop of champagne bottle here* I have had a blast with ‘grub and over this past year have watched readership grow and evolve. My original intent with Queergrub was to provide commentary on the queer world. As time went on I realized that my readership was not just queer folk. But straight folk as well. My biggest surprise was when I started getting messages from CIS straight men, telling me how much they loved reading about lesbians and the queer world. I was like wait? WHAT? That is dope sauce.

So I got to thinking.

What if I made a video blog that was aimed at my straight audience? What if lesbians and queermo’s gave straight guys advice? What. If. Well what if no mo. It is happening. I am starting (my first) video blog entitled: “You’re Doing it All Wrong.” It will be a platform for: straight guys to ask questions, straight girls to ask questions, and gay folk to answer back.

I love my straight boys, but there are some things about girls that you just don’t know. AND can’t be expected to because you know, you aren’t one. So I am offering you my services. Judge free and all. With humor and some real tips (I hear that I’ve dated a few girls in my time) myself and a panel of chosen ones will answer all of your questions. And give you some gay approved sex tips. Trust us. We got this. Stay tuned for the launch. Get excited. Get your questions ready. Together we shall rule the dating world.

In other news. This is something you should probably watch. And laugh at. Like, laugh at really hard.

Lesbian Truths.

Same Love

So a few weeks ago, I posted this amazing video calling out for gay marriage. As we all know, the rap world has never been known as a place where gay people were made to feel accepted; this song shatters that perception in one fell swoop. What it also does is simply, clearly, and beautify make a statement about gay marriage and equality in general.

Nothing else is currently summing up how ridiculously happy I am about last nights election results. Press play. And listen along whilst you read.

Gay marriage passed in every state it was up for vote in.
EVERY. FUCKING. STATE.

We also elected the FIRST lesbian member of the senate. Oh and marijuana was legalized in Washington and Colorado. Every rape smack talking douche bag got beaten. And. AND. AND Obama was like Mittens please.

We are living in a time of such change, of such momentum. We are rewriting history. Right now. All of us are are in this amazing position to DO SOMETHING to make real change happen. Breathe that in friends. All around us our country is changing. And it is changing for the better. It is no longer hard to imagine that in a few years gay marriage will not have the pretext “gay” in front of it. I will be able to have kids with my spouse and not think a damn thing about it. We will have rights. They will have rights. And we will be seen as equals. I have never loved the taste of my tears more then right now.

Joe Biden sees transgender rights as a thing. As in he cares. As in on the vice president of The United States of America’s agenda is making sure trans people have equal rights. LIKE WHAT? And our president cares about women’s rights as if he had ovaries himself. Do you get this? Do you see what is going on all around you? Liberation. Acceptance. Politicians not acting like asshats, whose only focus is making money and bettering their friends. New generations will be born and be welcomed to a country that as a majority accepts them for who they are. Who they were born as. Who knows if I was born gay. Who cares. I was born into a world that would both turn its back on me and hold me close. If you aren’t gay, don’t say that this fight for equality isn’t yours. It is yours. Any form of oppression should be up for battle by everyone and anyone who has a heart;who knows that no one should have to face hate because of who they can not help but be. Your voice should never be stifled. Who you love should never be put into question by anyone else.

I know better than to think that everyone is on the bandwagon of unicorns, glitter and rainbows. But so much of the fucking country is. And that is worth celebrating about.

Like.
We did it.

No One Ever Likes Wearing Mittens

So the election is finally upon us, and like ITS TIME TO VOTE I can no longer assume that anyone is dumb enough to vote for Mitt Romney, mainly because when I think about how close the polls are I actually want to gay vomit.

I’m not quite sure if glitter would come out but I am sure if glitter was what I puked it would be the saddest glitter that has ever been gay spewed. We’re talking the comic sans of glitter people. OBAMA HAS TO WIN. Like seriously. Think of all of the shit that would happen if Romney wins. Heart warming shit like:

– Large tax cuts for the wealthy;
– Large deficits since the tax cuts will not be paid for (and the math won’t add up)
– Cuts in funding for the social safety net;
– A large scale repeal of government regulation on the banks with little or no protection for consumers;
– A down turn in the economy since we would go back to the policies of George W. Bush;
– the country being run like Bain Capital
– Women who wanted abortions being forced to choose between having the baby against her will, or having illegal abortions in unsanitary conditions;
-A repeat of conditions like Katrina the next time a natural disaster strikes since Romney would have turned over responsibility to the states and private industry;
-An increase in the number of the uninsured since the Affordable Care Act will be repealed;
-Many Americans being denied insurance coverage because they have pre-existing conditions (again because of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act);
-A private rather than public medicare system (with many seniors lacking basic health care since they were unable to afford healthcare due to the increased costs under the voucher system);
-One or more conservative justices joining Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Roberts;
-A deterioration in our relationship with other nations since President Romney would lack any diplomatic skill;
-The likelihood that we would have been involved in one or more wars abroad
-An increase in funding to defense contractors;
-No effort to try to stop global warming.

Via Daily Kos

Oh and NO GAY MARRIAGE.

Think about it like this: If Mitt Romney wins this election and then is re-elected for another term there will be no gay marriage for at LEAST 8 years. Woman will lose the right of abortion, AND a good number of women will also lose the support of Planned Parenthood for any and all health issues BECAUSE Mittens doesn’t think Planned Parenthood should exist BECAUSE Mittens actually hates women. Gays and women actually. Oh and immigrants. And poor people. And unions. And all other minorities except for that minority that is the 1%. He loves that minority.
Also if you’re any other branch of the LGBT tree expect a serious “I don’t give a fuck attitude” coming your way over the next 4 years. Trans rights under The Romney administration? Shut. Your. Atheist. Mouth.

So you need to get out and vote. And maybe yell at all of your friends to do so as well. And maybe just stand outside of polling centers and yell up at the sky. Do a rain dance (actually no in hindsight don’t you dare do that)
Do this instead:

And remember:

Plus like for real. Obama is adorable. You can’t even deny it. LOOK AT THAT FACE.

NOW VOTE.

No Shave November

Everyone knows November is a time for getting good and bushy. So… I have a dilema. Shave? No shave? 

As a gender queer person I take my shaving very seriously. And by that I mean I don’t. Well I’m lying mildly I do shave my arms and I do tidy up in other areas BUT I don’t shave my legs or pits. sorryimnotsorry. So I’m thinking that for “no shave” November I’ll shave my legs and arms and be a naked mole rat. 

Any queers want to join?

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