Being in places that took pride in their weirdness made it feel natural to take pride in my own.
I spent my adolescence trying to be a boy. I wasn’t very good at it, but I tried really, really hard. I didn’t wear bright colors, I didn’t listen to pop music, I didn’t even style my hair until I was 17. I certainly wasn’t the kind of person to dress in drag. And yet I was. And yet I did. Because when I was 16 I won a drag show in Florence.
Romantic getaways help form bonds, memories, and connections. The regular stress of traveling as a couple is amplified when traveling as a gay couple.
Tip #2 – “Don’t Trust the Internet.”
“We were talking about all the places we wanted to visit, all the people we wanted to be. When she asked to kiss me, I said yes.”
I traveled to West and North Africa to find myself, my family, my people. Gender dysphoria met the diaspora and my idea of Blackness, home, and identity were not as tidy as I thought.
A road trip with my introverted wife and extroverted baby through the reddest part of California made me question my relationship with strangers (and my obsession with Rick Steves).
A teen dyke wanders around the country in the early 2000’s, armed with an Ameripass and a journal.
Everything looks better when you’re in love, and Nevada City was no exception.
You’ve probably seen billboards advertising an exotic trip to the country where I was born. In those pictures, the sea is always a clear turquoise – like glass – and the sand is always blinding white, and the sky is always a clear stretch of blue that takes your breath away.
Once the itinerary is printed and your bag is packed, travel forces us out of our own limitations, the boundaries we create in our heads.
One time my ex took us on a weekend getaway to a notorious suicide hotspot so that I could take a video of them breaking rocks on the beach with a very small hammer.
Traveling to see family in Taiwan, the sudden change in beauty standards forced me to contemplate my own. The same features that made me so ordinary at home made me extraordinary in Taiwan. The things that pushed me away from the American feminine ideal brought me closer to the “perfect” Taiwanese woman.
I keep looking for labels. When I first read about nonbinary identities, I think of my family, and whether there might exist a word in Polish that means the same thing.
“I ate lemon-filled doughnuts with a woman who made my head spin. I decided that it was her commitment to eating good food, like me, that drew me to her. Every bite was sour-sweet.”
When my wife walked out on me, we’d had a trip to Austin booked for months. We decided to take it anyway, and this is how I remember it — and us.
We wanted to learn all there was to learn about each other, as crushes do — but the distance meant we actually did!
I suppose the truth is my home, then, is in transition — in the in-between of leaving home, and finding another, in that bittersweet knowledge that nothing is forever.
These are stories of risk and growth, building connections and realizing when they’re ending — all the places we think are worth moving toward and the things worth returning to.
In the summer of 2014 I was broken. Living in community with my queer elders put me back together.
REI is doing so much to change the reality of being a human outside! Including sponsoring this very issue! Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about their Force Of Nature initiative and so much more!