Friday, December 5, 2008


So SIXTYNINE and I went to see the movie MILK movie yesterday, at the only theater it seems to be playing at in Metro Atlanta. Before that, we had lunch at the Flying Biscuit and then hung out at the Outwrite bookstore before going to the movie. Yes, I can be very uncreative and picked some very gay-cliché to hang out ha-ha. I had a good time, but I am concerned about 1. SIXTYNINE being the only out person I know, (a bisexual with a girlfriend at that), and 2. Being his weekly gay thrill. SIXTYNINE and I have a complicated friendship to say the least. He is the only person I know that is open and honest about his sexuality, beyond that he has always had an open ear to all of my problems. But we joke that he is the Teflon Bi, because nobody seems to remember or take seriously that he is. It doesn't help that he is 6'9'', and I think that people can't get over his height when they initially meet him. I haven't either. Maybe people just cannot see a person that tall as being gay?I think that everyone has a defining THING that people associate with them by default. I don't know what mine is, perhaps serious or sad. But for him it is his height, because he towers over everyone.

I need to meet some more people, outside of the internet, my own age, and at the same time confident and open about who they are. SIXTYNINE can't be the only one, because that is not enough for me. Going to whatever is playing at the Midtown Arts Cinema or gaping at the magazines in a gay bookstore is not what I'd call a social life. But whatever ... I'm making progress, I guess?

Milk was amazing. I am usually a very stoic and reserved person, but I may have started crying at the end of the movie. I read some information about the Stonewall riots on Wikipedia, and also saw other information about Harvey Milk in San Francisco, but I had no idea the impact he had on building a liberal, gay-friendly environment in San Francisco, in addition to being a pioneer for gay rights. With movies like this, there is always a danger of glorifying the central character, but I didn't really see that here. Of course, I know there is more to the story that was dramatized or left out of the film, but I think that it more than lived up to it's purpose. Sean Penn carried a sense of unease and desire within his portrayal of Milk that made his character less martyr-like, and more human. In less than ten years, he official came out, sacrificed two people that he loved (indirectly), gave momentum to a larger gay rights movement, and essentially gave his life so that others like him could live without restraint. It was really deep for me to consider after the film my personal views on being "out". It almost made me wanted to be become an activist.

As a young gay male, I haven't been pulling my weight in terms of integrating my sexuality into the rest of my life. I have been thinking about coming out to my family, because I hate fielding the questions about girlfriends, and the macho suggestive comments from male family members that "if you aren't getting enough, it will fall off" and that I should be describing every detail of my sexual exploits to them. Honestly, even if I was straight, that's my business. It's ok to broadcast your heterosexuality, whether it's pictures of girlfriend on your online account, or a daily discussion on whether or you would fuck a bitch that your friend (Unfortunately cafeteria discussion I had to endure at lunch). I've seen and heard it all here at Morehouse College concerning homophobia. I understand that in this all male environment, students feel the need to put their masculine energy into overdrive. But most of the time it looks silly, and becomes downright oppressive. I have to listen to your BS all day, but I get a dirty look if I verbally admit that I find a man attractive? Back to the main point, I don't know how I would come out to the family. The brave thing to do would be to tell everyone at Christmas, all at the same time. The thing I worry about is not even being hated or discredited, but not being able to defend myself. What would I counter their objections, their criticism with? How would I respond in a way that is adequate enough for them to understand that this is not a phase, and that I still deserve to be loved and respected as a member of the family? I don't know, sometimes I want to simply write a letter to everybody and leave it at that.

I have four finals to study for, pack to go home, and I'm starting my workout regime for the umpteenth time. There are a lot of things that I want and need to do; hopefully I will be able to get them done. I've been doing a very bad with these daily reflections, and this is the second time that I have had to recommit, but I will this time around. Christmas is coming.

Mood: Eager
Listening: "California Soul" by Marlena Shaw


  1. I think you're on the right path. I didn't come out to my family members until I moved away to college, and then it took me several more years to become entirely comfortable with myself as a gay man.

    Sadly, young people have had to carry too much of the "weight" in our struggle because so many older gay men are afraid to risk what they have in order to live honestly. So while a 6th grader can show great bravery in being out and proud, he has so few elders to look as an example of how to be a successful, happy and adjusted gay adult.

    "Milk" is a great movie and Harvey Milk is an overlooked hero. I had some problems with the movie, but I am so glad his story is reaching so many people, especially young gay men such as yourself who are beginning to how their sense of being fits into a much larger fight for human dignity. I hope you have a great trip back home for the holidays — lord knows I had some tough Christmas breaks!!!

  2. Thank you! I hope you have a great holiday as well.