The Summer of Gender Love

I’m watching the water jump from the sky and dance on the road and it’s making me think of all of my exs
In particular this one girl
She wasn’t even a girlfriend more like a summer distraction
Someone who could maybe one day be a story about brief and sudden lust that felt like love
She seemed like everything I could ever want for a moment maybe more
Sweet and polite but with all of the sass and Jesus she had a great ass
She had my full on attention
Until every red flag flew from the rafters
That I was actually someone who didn’t meet all of her dating factors
She couldn’t get passed the fact that
While she was a lesbian
I was wearing a pack

She kept saying things like I see you as a she
And I just kept saying look sweetheart you need to see me as me
Didn’t understand why people called me sir
Especially if I was walking down the street with her
They’ll know your a girl because you’re with me
I’m a lesbian
And they’ll get that as soon as we come near
Well bitch
I’m queer
And
I don’t give a fuck how straight society sees me
We got into it one night
As she screamed out that she just didn’t understand
If I cut off my boobs she wouldn’t be able to deal she said
Then you’d be a man
I wanted to cry
I wanted to smack her in the face
I wanted all the whiskey and my mothers smiling face
I am who I am and believe me sweetie I don’t need you
She said well you’re just something I have to get used to
To which I responded what if I was to say: I’m a Jew and dating someone – a gentile like you is something that I have to get used to?
I wish I could have bitten my tongue and not gotten so damn angry
But I don’t need your small town mind when I am more than happy
Being a queer dapper dandy

My gender is a definition of me
But I am not solely defined by my vagina or lack of a dick
There is nothing for you to get used to but my brain and what makes me tick
The person I am inside this frame of a body

But you
You made me feel like an alien
Some species that had to be handled with care
And then I woke up and realized you had never been there – through all our talks and long conversations – all of the blogs of mine you had read
You thought you could change me
And tell me what you see
And make that me
But even God tried that and you my dear are not nearly as crafty

I pray at the alter of gender fucking and confusion
I’m sorry that you confused it all for some Halloween like illusion

So when you bitched and you moaned to me about what a horrible person I am
For not understanding your ignorant downfall and therefore never ever wanting to speak to you again
Realize that I’m so thankful I met you
And why?
You restored my faith in the crazy
In the beautiful non gender conscious gorgeous and empowered folks who I party into the wee hours of the night with in the brightest glitter filled corners of Brooklyn
The queermos who I fall asleep thinking of and can’t get out of my dreams

Why on earth would anyone want to be mainstream

I will take easy before I ever take hard if it means that I get to be me
Me
This
A beautiful anomaly
Because it means through all the shit
This shit
Your shit
His shit
And her shit

That I get

To be happy

Advertisements

Starshine

People always hunt for, and hope for, and wish for love. Yet when someone else gets it before them, they speak of how false, and put on, and too rushed it all is.

Of course there are those of us who crave being single. And wish to navigate this world solely with the love of friends, without hoping for the love of a stranger to come and swoop them off their feet. But we should remember that, that stranger may come. And it may be wonderful. Of course it also may turn out horrible. But the morning will come and you will restart.

We’ve all been hurt by someone. Whether or not it was someone who was once a beautiful stranger at a bar. Or the person who was supposed to tuck you in at night and hum you lullabies.

No one can understand what two people have. Hell those two people may be confused by their chemistry. Your experience with relationships is yours. The way you act in relationships is different than how your friends do. Give advice but note your differences. Note your own experience, your own struggles, what your life has been – before you give your advice.

We are all scared.
They say we are being hurled through space. Us. Here on Earth. Maybe falling in love is us actually feeling it. Maybe those black holes are the relationships we stayed in for too long. And maybe all of those gorgeous stars, the ones that are light years away, they are the people we will eventually tumble into.

We all fail. And we all succeed. The tide comes in and the tide rolls out, because the moon just won’t quit it’s relationship with us.

Don’t give up on an us. Or many us’s. Or them. Don’t bury your head in the sand of your past forever. But also, don’t ever leave yourself behind. But in the event that you do – and you will, don’t count out that beautiful stranger in the bar, taking your hand and bringing you back. Don’t count out your friends, you chose them after all. But don’t question how they function, in loves free fall.

Burger City.

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night pining for something. Something hot and juicy, between a nice fluffy bun, smothered in cheese and whatever toppings (BACON) said bun can sustain. Burgers are a staple of my diet, I need them, I want them, and most of all I crave them. So it is vital to me that I know where in this meaty city the best of the best are hiding. So I have been searching and eating and finding and falling in love. Here is my list of the top five burgers in NYC. Fair warning: You will have to leave the island of Manhattan for my number one.

#5 BLT Burger Truck
blt-burger-truck2

Burgers that come to me: nothing more needs to be said. The guys at BLT Burger decided to put their delicious patties on a truck, which cruises the city in search of hungry carnivores. Win of all wins… and then you bite in. I don’t think I have ever inhaled a burger faster. We’re talking the speeds at which an asthmatic kid hits his inhaler after gym class. It was gone before I had a chance to think, and then I did think, and I was like this is amazing.

burger

Follow them on Twitter @Goburger

#4 Paul’s (East Village)

pauls1

Walking into this place one may want to turn back around. But you’re not me and you’re not from New Jersey, therefore quite familiar to divey diners. If fine ambience is your thing, this is not your cup of tea. With that said the burgers here are the size of manhole covers. Seriously these burgers are huge, and delicious, and greasy. They are also probably really bad for you, but it is my culinary law that if it has the possibility of killing you, you should probably order two of whatever it is and say a prayer, because it will probably be the best thing you’ve ever eaten. So what if after your final bite you may need to be laid out on a stretcher? You deserve to die happy. Also make sure you ask for pickles, your waitress will bring you a bucket, and yes I do mean an actual bucket.

pauls2

131 2nd Ave (b/t 7th St & St Marks Pl)
New York, NY 10003

#3 Whitman’s (East Village)

whitmans-2

There is a certain Tom Sawyer feel to this place; it just has that country store feel to it. How else can I put this? Imagine that your family had a boat that had been passed down from generation to generation. Beautiful, with glistening wood, a white washed finish and pictures of past family members hanging in the galley. This is that boat, that country store in a restaurant. Onwards to what matters. The burgers here are delicious. They offer the famed Juicy Lucy here, which for those of you who aren’t burger scholars like myself, is a burger that has a piping hot center of melted cheese. We are talking lava cheese people. Remember to contain yourself when it comes to you at all costs, kindly sit on your hands and wait for the center to cool down. Trust me. Everyone knows a burnt tongue ruins all the food fun. Staying right on the topic of cheese, Whitman’s serves up the most orgasmic plate of blue cheese fries this side of Madonna and Lady Gaga touring together. Fries rarely outshine burgers, but they come pretty darn close here. If the molten lava burger isn’t exactly your thing, you can’t go wrong with keeping it classic, and ordering the Upstate Burger. For those of you, who are a bit more daring, go for their peanut butter and bacon burger. I do not go near peanut butter and beef mixing, but I have been told by more than one person that it is indeed delicious. I guess I’ll never know.

20101104-whitmans-walts-burger

406 E 9th St (b/t East 9th St & Avenue A)
New York, NY 10009

#2 The Corner Bistro (West Village)

img_8718a

Those of us who work late hours and those of us who party into the wee hours of the morning have one thing in common. Hunger. After hours in front of your computer screen, or hours in front of a flip cup table we all come together looking for a late night fix. Being New Yorkers, fast food just won’t cut it. You see we want exactly what a fast food restaurant has to offer, but we refuse to feel the scrutiny of walking around with a McDonalds bag. Corner Bistro has come to your rescue, in a big way. The fries are just like Micky D’s except they come next to a burger that isn’t from 85 year old cows. And (and!) you can get beer. The menu here consists of about 5 things. You can get a burger, cheeseburger, bacon cheeseburger, or a grilled cheese. Add fries to whatever and well, there you have an excellent 3 am meal.

imgres-1

331 W 4th St (b/t Jane St & 12th St)
New York, NY 10014

#1 Sweet Afton (Astoria)

sweetaftonbar

What do you do when you bite into something and instantly feel love greater than you have ever felt for anything else, ever? All of a sudden all of the shows you’ve seen about people marrying their cars and favorite gardening shovel don’t seem so strange. Because after the flavors of whatever it was that you were chomping down on spread across your tongue, you were captured. Innamured like you have never been before. If you are reading this and thinking that I have lost my mind, you aren’t entirely wrong. My mind did go to a place that it has never been to before when I bit into Sweet Afton’s burger. Trust me. Get your ass to Astoria.

20110419-sweet-afton-burger-beauty-primary-thumb-500x375-154647

30-09 34th St
Astoria, NY 11103

BONUS

So technically this isn’t in NYC BUT it does exist in NY State, and if we are being honest – this is my favorite way to eat a burger. Behold: The Garbage Plate

GarbagePlate1

tumblr_lnkcrpCNoK1qhxr17o1_250

tinyfeyfive

tumblr_m09plvItq51rqfhi2o1_400

2013 Here Are Your Dating Rules – Summer Update

1. Bitches love sushi.

*It has been brought to my attention that not everyone likes sushi – which like…I can’t even.

2. Go to a bar – don’t get drunk.
Going out for drinks is fine. Getting wasted…probably not the best idea.

*I have actually never followed this rule.

3. A movie theatre is no place to take a lady aka this is the WORST first date idea ever.

4. Don’t introduce her to your friends until you’re sure you want her around. Possibly FOREVER if they hit it off.

5. First dates are for the two of you. And only the two of you. Start wooing her with your awesome bartender friend or awesome server friend or awesome barista friend or awesome whatever friend some OTHER time. This could blow up in your face if said friend is so awesome that the two of them hit it off.

6. If you met on OkCupid establish some kind of textual relationship before your first date. And always remember my cardinal rule:
ALWAYS ALWAYYYSSS CALL FIRST. Before making any commitments. Before signing your name on the dated dot line. Hear. Their voice. I’m #soserious. Why?A. Because a voice, can break a date. B. Because some people can send awesome messages yet face to face…can not function and wouldn’t it be nicer to learn that prior to an evening. ALONE?

7.  Do NOT bring flowers. Because
1. It’s kinda cheesy.
2. What the fuck is she going to do with a bouquet of flowers all night? Bring a hot cocoa or something equally cute, weather relatable, and ultimately disposable.

8. Put your phone AWAY. If they take their phone out momentarily don’t freak out. Periodic checks are ok. We’re all wired. Face the facts.

9. Do: Stay away from arguing about politics/arguing in general. BUT – In conversation make a point to talk about some of the things you’re passionate about. You’ll get a good understanding of where they fall on certain issues without being pushy and an ass.

10. Don’t order messy foods. Look I’m not trying to sound like a princess but NO ONE needs to see you scarf down ribs on a first date. No. One. Salads can also be an epic pain in the ass. (sushi – just do it)

11. Try. Trrryyy. TRRRRYYY not to talk about your ex. At all. Not even a little. Casually talking about failed dates and crazy OkCupid experiences? GAME ON. Crazy ex stories…no…see yourself to the door now.

12. Don’t fly your crazy flag. By telling said ex stories etc you are also opening up a window of what you may be like as a partner. And seriously, aint nobody got time for that,

13. Relax. Seriously. Be yourself, if you and this person really hit it off you don’t want to have to keep up some constant illusion of who you secretly aren’t.

14. Don’t be overly sexual for no fucking reason. Like asking someone on a couples massage for a first date is…well fucking weird. Spa Castle is amazing (no but really like it is http://www.nyspacastle.com/eng/main/main.php) but lets keep our clothes on shall we?

15. Restaurants are awesome. But how about something more interactive where you don’t have to worry about not looking like a caveman? Obvious go to? MUSEUMS!
The Museum of Moving Image is literally the most fun place EVER. If either of you are into film this is a win. http://www.movingimage.us/

The Brooklyn Museum – While curated a little oddly The Bk museum is close to a bunch of other things such as amazing bars and restaurant on Vanderbilt. Who ever turned down brunch and art? (no one I want to date thank you) http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/

The New Museum Great neighborhood. Cool exhibits. http://www.newmuseum.org/

The Met – Hit the rooftop in the summer for stunninG views of Central Park. Get lost in general in this massive palace of a building. PLUS it is always suggested donation. Unlike *cough MOMA

PS-1 While I am not the biggest fan of PS-1 they have an awesome lineup for 2013. Also the trip in on the 7 train lets you see 5 Pointz which is basically the coolest. If all fails at PS-1 walk on over to the Pointz and take a million adorable first date pics…or something. http://www.momaps1.org/ http://5ptz.com/

The Museum of Natural History Because duh dinosaurs. http://www.amnh.org/

Tea!
Instead of booze why not go grab some tea? Everyone always goes for coffee – not all of us are all about coffee. Tea is cuter. The end.
For the Japanese tea room experience: http://www.chaanteahouse.com/
The British: http://teaandsympathynewyork.com/
And for those who like me fucking love Alice in Wonderland: http://www.alicesteacup.com/

Other stuffs:

Chelsea Market is pretty much my favorite place to spend a few hours – in the summer you can grab lunch and happily go eat on The Highline. That is literally my favorite way to spend a summer day. Followed by caipirinhas of course.

Smorgasburg – Food, booze, and the Manhattan skyline? Say hello to your perfect Saturday (or Sunday). http://www.smorgasburg.com/

Smorgasbar – Smogasburg during the week – http://www.brooklynflea.com/markets/smorgasbar-at-south-st-seaport/

Jane’s Carousel – Located in DUMBO and operating all year round, and I know, you’re thinking seriously a carousel? Trust. It is a date win.

Hester Nights – Pretend like it’s a weekend food festival bonanza every Thursday. http://www.hesterstreetfair.com/#!hester-nights/c7h

Take a cooking class – Who cares if neither of you can cook, cooking with someone else is super fun. http://thesocialtable.com/

Bask on a rooftop: http://mckittrickhotel.com/gallowgreen/ http://berryparkbk.com/ http://wythehotel.com/

Or a patio: Two words: Taco. Truck. http://union-pool.com/ Like yourself some drinking games: http://www.goodcobk.com/

The West Side Piers. Better for the end of a date, the views of New Jersey (shut up) are pretty gorgeous and there is something about water that is just kinda dare I say it…rooomantic.

Bars that give you free food? Yes. – http://www.nyc10best.com/restaurants-and-food/10-best-free-bar-food-in-nyc/

Get creative. Doing things keeps conversation rolling and gives you guys something to talk about in the awkward moments of a date. Think outside the box. So even if you two don’t hit it off, you didn’t have a totally wasted evening.

16. Sex is amazing. Try not to have it on the first date. Anticipation is a wonderful thing.

17. The lesbians and queer worlds are small. The more people you’re dating the more sticky things will get.

18. Do not lock yourself down. Dating implies that you are seeking many different people. Dating does not mean go on one date think everything is perfect and cut everyone else off. Though we all know that dating as a queer person is basically right up there with taking your GRE.

19. Don’t count out love! Seriously. Be open to what a relationship could give you.

20. Don’t make future plans while on the first date. It’s reaching. And a bit much. Chill out.

21. Online dating can be tricky. Look for context clues. Short/tall, skinny/fat, only pictures of them taken by a webcam (alone in their room with their cats) etc. The Internet is a land of lies. And people love to lie.

22. Also I guess you can totally meet someone off the internet. Queer single hot spots: Metropolitan, The Woods (duh), Hot Rabbit – At Monster on Fridays, Stonewall – Fridays, Cubby Hole – Tuesdays, Sugarland, This n’ That, and Phoenix.

Happy Summer Loving.

Qwear Interview

One of my lovely, amazing, Boston based queers runs a pretty dope fashion blog called Qwear. Which is for all of us gender fucks who are obsessed with fashion. It aims to showcase queer designers, while following seasonal trends. I sat down with Sonny for an interview last week, telling them what life as a gender queer model is like.

Cha cha check it out.

http://qwearfashion.com/post/57517405553/genderqueering-fashion-sit-down-with-ryley-pogensky

Change Clothes & Go

Fashion is something so very personal to me. Growing up it was fashion that I felt restricted by, as someone who didn’t feel comfortable being confined to the “girls” or “juniors” sections I struggled with the image I saw in the mirror. I knew that, the clothes I was wearing, were what was expected; I was passing to a world strict with gender laws. I had more room to play with fashion than I ever could realize as a teenager. I used to see my clothes as a restriction, I saw my hair the same way. Every few weeks I went to the hairdresser and got it “touched up” chemically processed so that it was straight and manageable. Every morning I would plug in my hair straightner, open my dresser drawers and get ready for my day. I felt like I was constantly playing dress up, I wondered if anyone else could realize how awkward I felt, how out of place. But I played the game, even when I came out and was happily dating girls I had not come out in a another aspect of my life. My sexuality had really never been a question to me. I grew up in a very liberal town, with a very liberal family. I dated boys when I was younger, but I knew that it wouldn’t last. By the time I had made it to high school I was out, and had my first girlfriend at the end of my sophomore year. She fit, we fit, but I felt like something in me still did not. That one thing was my gender. Who was I really?

It is amazing what a pair of jeans can do. I had one pair of GAP jeans that were boyfriend cut. They were the only pair of pants that I owned that did not show off my extremely long feminine legs. I could sag them a bit past my hip bones and all of a sudden saw something that I had always felt. I saw myself as more masculine, not as a man per se but all of a sudden I wasn’t a teenage girl. I felt edgy. I did not know then about what it meant to be transgender or gender queer, but with that one pair of jeans I finally felt right. Those lead to me venturing into the mens department for the first time when I entered college. Being 6’1’’ I had always hated shopping, womens clothes are for the most part not meant for such long skinny legs and such big feet. With mens clothes I suddenly wasn’t seeing how big my feet were, or how lanky my legs and arms felt. I asked myself what the hell had taken so long? This fixed seemed so easy, it all felt exactly perfectly right, but in truth there was no way that years earlier I would have felt comfortable dressed as a boy. I would have felt like I was in drag, which funny enough is how I felt when I was in girls clothes.

One does not have to be obsessed with fashion to want it to work for them. I think my love affair with clothing actually started because of how much I had hated them for so many years. The minute I realized that I could wear menswear and own it as my own, was the minute I started my love affair. I always hated the word tomboy when I was growing up. It never was said as a compliment, more so as a descriptor for someone who did not fit into one of societies two gender boxes. The editorial fashion world has always played around with androgyny, but I always saw it as fantasy. I never felt like fashion houses were celebrating female masculinity, but instead producing something they felt was daring. Much like with many of the black models you see in fashion who have what I can only peg as a “tribal” look. Most of the highly successful black models are dark, and come from Africa. Which part of me says good for them, good for us, good for society. But then the other part of me knows, that the fashion industry’s obsession with these dark skin beauties is a form of exoticism and can sometimes also seem like fetishism. I do not feel a celebration of the black model, in the same way I did not feel a celebration of the masculine female. The latter is definitely changing. As a black masculine presenting person I do at times struggle with identity. As an aspiring model I have heard out of the mouths of casting agents, and heads of agencies that they just didn’t know what to do with me. Because for better or for worse agencies are still putting people into boxes. Which is why it is so important for both the queer community and racial minorities to take a stand and instead of assimilate; create.

When you are being restricted, it is your biggest opportunity to grow. To exceed expectations and to break molds. When I go out and see queer people dressed exactly how they want, on their terms, presenting to society as an individual who is breaking down walls and destroying the norm, my heart swells. Would it be too Goonie like of me to say something like: This is our time? Well it is. I have never seen so much talent out of a generation then out of the bubbling queers that are coming up. From art, to fashion, to music. We are queering up the mainstream, and it is about damn time.

*This piece is also featured on dapperQ and Dapperfy Productions