Sunday, November 30, 2008

A PENN Thanksgiving

One of the stipulations I made to myself in starting these reflections was to write a weekly, monthly, and eventually yearly review, based on daily writing. I can barely commit to writing daily, but I will try. I have a good amount of work coming up for the end of the semester, and I need to focus on that. But at the same time, I want to actually write something here everyday. I'm going to try it for this week, starting today. Hopefully this works out.

I spent Thanksgiving with my friends BLACKFRAT and ABERCROMBIE for Thanksgiving. BLACKFRAT goes to the business school at Wharton and ABERCROMBIE is an engineering major at Lehigh. BLACKFRAT is a member of a majority white fraternity, with an amazing house in West Philadelphia. As much as he complains about his brothers, I don't see how he could. Full service kitchen with deep-freeze refrigerators, 8 burner stove and island, 50in flat screen in the living room, full basement with another 50 inch and bathroom, and their rooms are too great to describe here. Of course, he is paying about 1800 a month, which I'm told is a deal? (Thank God for my SCHOLARSHIP) But anyway, the three of us have been friends since high school, and they are both straight and had no issues when I came out to them. We prepared and ate dinner with some of BLACKFRAT's brothers and friends from school. For the rest of the weekend, we did work, chilled, saw a movie, had some drinks, and reminisced about high school and how things are different now. It's weird to me to think that in a year, BLACKFRAT won't be in college and will have a real job, ABERCROMBIE and I will be seniors getting ready for graduate school. I remember when none of us could drive and now I hear BLACKFRAT talking about buying a house. We are sooo old.

Thinking about my friendships with BLACKFRAT and ABERCROMBIE makes me think about the different context I have in terms of my relationship with them. Before, I would uncomfortably join in their revelry of talking about what girl was fine or issues in their relationships. I learned ways to dodge questions about who I was interested in, I had come to sort of "desex" myself, if there is such a word. Not only with these two friends, but in general, I tend to never talk about any of my physical or sexual attractions, and I know that that is a problem. For most of my life so far, I come to realize that I am not the most attractive or appealing person. I am not tall, I don't have 'swag', I have a relatively high voice, I am not very athletic. I have to concede these things to fate; I did not luck out here at all. When people compare me to things, I have gotten the gambit from preacher to encyclopedia brown to professor to "gay in spirit" to marrying type. None of these things are very sexy or exciting, definitely not in my opinion. At a young age I told myself that I would have to be used to the idea that I might not find somebody, because nobody ever sees me in a physical or sexual context. I never wanted to be some big ho or playa, but it would be nice to feel wanted. It starts with me. If I don't think of myself as appealing, I can't expect any else to.

In the spirit of the holiday, I did take some time to think about what I am grateful for. I was happy to be about to have kept two very good friends and to be able to afford to travel and spend Thanksgiving with them. I was (and still am) grateful for my scholarship, that allows me not to have to worry about money as much as most college students do. I have met an incredible select group of people throughout my wanderings through craigslist and the like who have not written me off as boring or tried to take advantage of me, but seem to have taken a genuine interest in me and value my opinion. I am grateful that I have my family, and that they continue to put up with me no matter how much I try to pull away from them. I am also thankful to be me, that is, I appreciate that I am the person that I am. I am learning to appreciate all sides of myself, my sarcasm, silliness, stubbornness, curiosity, all the negative and positive parts that make me me.

Mood: Anxious
Listening: "Shattered" by O.A.R.

1 comment:

  1. Aw, sounds like a special thanksgiving for a special guy :) It's great that your friends are still there and that you are more comfortable around them. I think that we as gay people don't give our friends and family members enough credit that they can handle us being gay, and they can adjust in order to keep loving us. So many of us "de-sex" ourselves or try to pretend like who we are attracted to is a "private issue"...such an invalidation of one's experience saddens me.

    I again commend you on your journey. There are places in gay culture like bookstores, bathhouses and parks where you could easily find the affirmation of sexiness you sometimes desire. But it's good to see that you haven't settled for those small hits of affection.

    On the flip side, if you've spent years and years "de-sexing" yourself, it might be hard for you or other people to see the sexiness you have. Start flirting with yourself in the mirror. Notice your good angles instead of your flaws. A high voice isn't unattractive. Own it. Own all of yourself. And then make it work!