No Candy, Give Me a Cigarette

I have never been very big on St. Valentine’s Day. As a child I detested it because I was forced to give a card to every student in class. This caused me a lot of grief because I absolutely hated half of my fifth grade class, but that was well-earned seeing that they called my freckles “gay.” This led to an insatiable urge to rid myself of them with a potato peeler when I realized that I was gay a few years later (don’t feel bad for me though, most of those fifth graders are ugly now). Then when I reached high school the holiday lost its last reason for celebration when I discovered that candy was a poor substitute for a cigarette.
Despite all of this, I would still feel an occasional pang of sadness throughout the day. It wasn’t the fact that many of my friends were getting gifts and going out to fancy dinners. No, it was because they were going to have sex that night and I wasn’t. On February 15th I would always make certain to wait until late in the evening before visiting friends so that they had enough time to wash their sheets before I came over. However celibate I was, I still didn’t require a map of stains in order to understand their stories of love and lust. I might have been green with envy, but I was as red as their carnations (most of my friends date people with terrible taste) with anger that they and not I were getting some.
This year was different and I decided to find out if I am truly as cynical as I believe I am. Was it a lack of assistance during orgasms that upset me or was that simply a cover for chronic loneliness? This past St. Valentine’s Day was the first time that I had been having anything close to regular sex with someone and I spent the day, against my own will, hearing people debate whether or not their V-Day depression was worthy. And being one of the few people who, despite not being in a relationship, still knows that their next night of sex isn’t very far off, put me in a position to answer that question.
One point for cynicism.
None for the desire to be happy in a socially acceptable way.
I spent the day getting a little drunk and talking to my friends about this fact. Is my heart as black as my lungs? Am I lacking the gene that should be keeping me up at night because nobody is willing to buy me a diamond ring hidden in a condom wrapper? Should I be placing singles ads stating that I enjoy long walks on the beach and vomiting pure liquor behind shrubbery?
No on all accounts. I am not saying that I am opposed to relationships, I suppose they are nice and all, but what I am saying is that I am just as happy without one. Sex and love all rolled up into one person? I am only twenty years old; I can’t even find a mixed drink that can keep me happy, so why should I stress out about a single person? Anyway, I love things. I love most of my friends, I love my baby sister, I love cigarettes and I know that cigarettes love me back. Plus, I feel more fulfilled in my life right now than I have ever felt and I see nothing wrong with this.
I tried to explain this to some of my more romantic friends. They understood what I was saying but claimed that there was just something about the day that made them feel sad. They said that it was the fact that the day was one to celebrate being part of a couple and that they weren’t and felt left out. I suggested that we create a holiday to making friends, drinking a alcohol, and having promiscuous sex (already an MSU tradition in some circles, I presume). But they quickly reminded me that here in East Lansing that is known as Welcome Week. But I think that there is enough room on the calendar for a couple of such celebrations. Because having to see people either pretend to be in love or be depressed because they aren’t and cannot find anyone to pretend with them honestly makes me ill.
So who needs cards and flowers? I don’t and anyway next month is St. Patrick’s Day. Now there is a holiday I love. A lot of beer and nobody will make me want to carve off the top layer of my skin.

Posted in Sex & HealthComments (0)

New Year’s Resolutions on Gay Standard Time

There is this wonderful thing in the queer world called GST. Gay Standard Time is used by procrastinating queers and their friends around the globe to explain both late arrivals or just plain absence to any gathering. Some attempt to place a set time on GST, fifteen minutes after everyone else gets there is common, but being a modern homosexual it has become apparent to me that labels are to be used only when to my advantage. New Year’s resolutions hardly render such a reaction.
Now that January is coming to a close I feel that I have finally formed a set of goals that are concurrently worthy and attainable for me to conquer over the next eleven months. Perhaps what is most inspiring is that I did quite well with my four resolutions for 2004: drink more booze, make more friends, have more sex and do well in school. I accomplished 75 percent of these and considering that 75 percent is about 30 percent higher than what I got in many of my classes I think I put enough effort into my hopes for last year to expand on them this year.
Resolution 1: Create more diversity in my boozing rituals.
Despite what many friends and my ever expanding facial pores claim I am not nearly drinking enough and I’m definitely too boring about it too. I spent the month of November drinking rum and cokes and most of December with gin and tonics. I have found, through my research, that if you are willing to purchase liquor that is at least two shelves from the floor, drinks can be made with one part alcohol and two parts carbonated beverage. I sincerely hope to soon experiment with drinks that are half and half, with caution of course. I also intend on spending much of March and April watching episodes of Sex and the City and recording the drinks that they purchase and trying them on my own. I am even toying with the idea of using this summer to explore drinks from different and obscure cultures. For example I’ve always wondered how people get drunk in Texas.
Resolution 2: Turn 21.
This might be difficult. Staying alive until late February? To ensure my success, I have enlisted the help of others who have survived these final treacherous weeks of being underage and they have ensured me that I can ride out this painful time.
Resolution 3: Have even more sex.
The only reason why I was able to prosper in the related resolution for last year was that in 2003 I had but one affair, and that was with Nick at Nite. Now, I am not going to spread any bad news about Nick at Nite, but it was basically the same thing every night and involved eating way too many pineapple and olive pizzas by myself. But once I was able to break up with Nick mid-way through the year, my situation improved, primarily because I began actually talking to real people. This year, however, I fear that just simply speaking to other people on occasion may not be enough to continue to grow in this very pertinent and spiritual sector. Turning 21 will help. After that moment I will no longer have to spend my time at the bars being bitter, sober and trying to figure out a way to get in an accident that would teach my friends not to be born before me without causing any negative long-lasting damage to myself. So, of course being more social and jovial (drunk in public) around possible partners will help immensely.
Resolution 4: Lose weight.
This is one of two resolutions that have appeared on my lists for nearly a decade. The other one being “do well in school,” but honestly, that isn’t happening this year as I just have way too many other things to do. So, what is one to do when they want to lose weight? I tried this new diet where I only eat when I am too drunk to remember that I ate, therefore making me think that I am not eating and should therefore be losing weight. Needless to say this did not work. So, I have decided to start doing more physical activity (see number three) and to eat healthier food. This will be an arduous task to accomplish considering that I hate both grocery shopping and preparing food. But I have faith that I shall persevere.
Resolution 5: Learn how to eat and drink.
I have been eating solid foods for nearly two decades now, and I have been drinking since I was born, and yet I am constantly choking. I choke on all ranges of food regardless of size or consistency, be it a head of lettuce or figs, I often find myself near death. The worst is water, there is just something about it that makes it difficult for me to swallow. So I have decided upon a strategic plan that has three points to it. First, eat and drink slower especially when I am very hungry. Secondly, I must chew my food longer so that if I do choke I will not die. And finally I must deactivate my gag reflex. Somebody I met online said they knew a good way to help me with it, but none of my friends would drive me to his house so I suppose I’ll have to figure it out on my own.
These extremely high hopes of mine are intimidating, I know, but don’t be discouraged. You too can one day reach these heights. But I doubt it.

Posted in Sex & HealthComments (0)

Paranoia, Penises, and Prescriptions, oh my!

America. It is a land filled with crippling paranoia that causes us all to do extremely stupid things. From the Red Scare of the first half of the 20th century to the recent election, Americans continue to be influenced by the most absurd fears when making decisions. I am no exception except I claim to be Finnish.
[hair]However, my life is not filled with the terror of a communist homosexual destroying our government and I did not vote for a fundamentalist shrub simply to prevent the destruction of our moral fiber. No, my fears are much more banal. I am afraid of being humiliated by other gay men. This seems very logical to me. They know exactly what it would take to upset me to the point of having to declare sexual and social asylum among cheap magazines in the corner of my bed for weeks on end, and they are not afraid to use these weaknesses on gay men like myself.
Granted, I have never been humiliated in public to that extent (although I do a fine job of this given cheap liquor and a tiara). But this is no fluke, it is because I am intelligent and know that because having breasts larger than some females, I am a prime target. Here is my story of such a hate crime.
Once upon a time I had sex with someone. We had just met and the morning after I had to go to my job as a desk receptionist at the Brody Complex. Upon leaving work six hours later I walked past some very delightful students who did not fail to compliment me on my purple corduroy jacket and rainbow socks. “Hey faggot!” they exclaimed. “Hey cock sucker!” I did not want to seem vain so I did not respond, I don’t want my fans to get too attached. “Hey cock sucker!” I began to blush. “We saw you sucking cock on the internet last night!” Oh dear!
A logical response to this would have including a mentioning of “Craig, you are walking in Brody wearing pin-striped pants, move on as they are obviously being bigots with bad hair.” But no, being American and gay I turned to paranoia. I stopped, gave my blood a moment to flee my face, and scampered away. “What am I going to do! How could he have done this to me! And how could he have been so prompt as to put it on the internet so quickly, I mean he just seemed hung-over.” These thoughts filled my brain the entire walk to the library and granted it was a Sunday but I had nowhere else to go. I couldn’t go back to my room and face my friends as they were sure to have heard about it by then. I mean the entire Brody complex had already seen me fumbling around naked on the internet, certainly other homosexuals had caught a glimpse of it.
While smoking a cigarette with the ducks and trying to console myself with the fact that I would be forced to live among these birds for the rest of my life (I doubt I could pull a Paris Hilton and use this incident to further my career) the truth suddenly occurred to me. They really just were bigots with bad hair. There was no way that there was a video of me being bad in bed on the internet! First of all, he must have known that I would have him killed. Secondly, he didn’t seem to have a web-cam. And finally, who would want to watch it anyway? I felt better and instead of emptying my ATM account to purchase a plane ticket to Sri Lanka to join a rebel group, I simply spent half an hour online just to make sure.
The real question here is why was I so paranoid? (I’m crazy, and American). Is it my overpowering fear of rejection? (Yes). How can I get rid of it? (Move to Finland?) Will it simply go away when I lose twenty pounds and am able to mock people to their faces? (No.) Or should I supplement weight loss with a new drug addiction? (Not again, Craig) Do I need to be sedated?
I simply could not imagine myself walking into Olin Health Center saying I need a prescription of Valium because I have an innate fear of being secretly videotaped during sex. Although the real reason I can’t do this is because I’m deathly afraid of being judged by the extremely cute boy at the prescription counter.

Posted in Sex & HealthComments (0)

Meet Craig

Being in college most conversations consist of three major questions. “What is your name?” “What is your major?” and of course “Are you too drunk to function in bed?” But if you are a member of the queer community there is a fourth question that is bound to come up: How/when did you come out (if you have)?
With very few exceptions this question is asked because either the person wants to tell their own story to you (meaning they are boring) or they want to see you get upset and cry when you tell it (meaning they are evil) at the very least 90 percent of gay men fall under one of these two categories. Luckily I am both boring and evil so I have no qualms with regaling mine to you.[craig]
When most people come out they do so in a modest way. They select the friends or family that they believe will be most likely to accept them and slowly branch out toward the less open-minded in their lives. This helps them build a support group so that they don’t have to go through weeks or years of humiliation being a social pariah.
I did not come out like that. No, I came out with a big flaming bang of “I’m here I’m queer and now you are going to make my life miserable aren’t you?” I came out, or was outed, in the local newspaper. Mind you, I did not grow up in San Francisco or Fire Island. I grew up in a little town called Hillsdale two counties south of here. You will know you have reached Hillsdale when you start seeing an even ratio between American and Confederate flags with a sign proclaiming “Osama Bin Kerry” made out of plywood standing nearby. Needless to say this is not the place where to print that you like boys.
Now I did not place an ad in the paper, I didn’t become that desperate until I was seventeen. It, my overpowering homosexuality, was mentioned in an article written about Homophobia Awareness Day. HAD (we were dreadful at acronyms) was a very special day put on by a group of students in my high school, although we were not allowed to be affiliated with it. The group was aimed at ending bigotry of every sort, but being that we were all closeted homosexuals, we had a tendency to focus on what we knew. Also, being attention-starved gays, we decided to get the media involved.
HAD was a major success. We had about fifteen people show up from as far away as Adrian! My friends and I all paraded to the podium to explain the desperate situation for students who were, wrongly we claimed, thought to be homosexual. We ranted about signs reading “dicks are for chicks” posted on lockers or about being shoved into lockers. Then we moved on to explain how our complaints (that I was threatened to be hung by the goal-post if seen wearing another gay rights pin) fell on deaf ears. The reporter, an intern from California, dutifully wrote it all down.
The next day we all felt really proud of ourselves. We thought that perhaps we had started to form a cohesive group that could help us enlighten the citizens of Hillsdale to the beauty of acceptance. Some other people ven heard about it and showed interest in joining our cause. We thought progress had been made. We were wrong. We were wrong because the article didn’t arrive onto doorsteps until 3 p.m.
It was this day ,after everyone read the article, that officially became the worst day of my life. None of us knew exactly what was going to be in the article, and none of us expected to be clearly quoted stating that, “I was called a faggot and shoved into my locker.” Upon reading that statement my fellow academics took it upon themselves to politely inform us just how much they hated the fact that I was not only a homosexual, but was willing to talk about it. Copies of the article were strewn about the school, just in case somebody’s parents hadn’t forced them to read it the night before proclaiming “Craig is gay! But he was on your little league team!” I was called a liar by many of the same people who would refer to things being “gay” then look at me and giggle. Students heckled me in Trigonometry and the teacher continued to lecture through the spit-wads. Friends of mine experienced harassment in the same thread from teachers calling them liars during class or by students chanting “dyke” in the lunch-room.
This is not the support group one wishes for when coming out of the closet.
By the time the day ended only a handful of people would look or speak to me without berating me for my “lies.” Lies not just about what took place in the school, but for what I was. The administration was furious and within a week the school newspaper wrote an editorial claiming that the Hillsdale Daily News was wrong in publishing the article. Even our supporters distanced themselves out of fear that they may be considered “a little on the funny side,” as many say in Hillsdale.
When I got home I was scared for my life. I hadn’t any idea how my mother would react. I had already asked someone, having watched one too many made-for-television movies, if I could stay with them when I would be kicked out. She called me into the kitchen and it took all of my power not to burst into tears for the third time that day. But all she asked me was if I was safe, and that she was worried that somebody might actually try to hurt me. I said no, that I thought they were just being stupid Hillsdale students. She made me promise that if I ever felt in danger that I would tell her, and I left to go to my room and listen to music and pray that I would wake up the next morning in Paris.
Later in the week my step-mother asked me about it. I told her that no, I wasn’t a homosexual. And she said “oh thank God, your father will be so relieved. He was really worried about what he would tell people if you were.” It was at that moment that I decided who mattered to me. And granted it was only five people, yes, but at least I didn’t have to pretend to be nice any longer.
My little group did not dissipate after this incident. We continued to do little things to upset people and show them how much hate they were filled with.
One student even had the enlightenment to say in meek, genuine Hillsdale fashion, “I, um, don’t get you and all, but I think it’s really wrong that they’d string you up on a goal post like that…”
And so, it was worth it.

Posted in Sex & HealthComments (0)