Three weeks ago I began my Coronavirus self-quarantine. Faced with the reality that I wouldn’t see anyone, I started an experiment. I wasn’t going to shave, paint my nails, or put on makeup — until I wanted to, for myself.
“She admired my tits like only someone else on estrogen could and then she grabbed them harder than anyone had before.”
It was like saving a seat on the bus for someone who routinely happened to never show up. It was like setting the table for someone who decided to eat an hour before coming over for dinner.
Personal icons from Greta Garbo to Jenny Lewis: how we come by them, fall in love with them, and want to be like them. Who’s to say whether we’re really falling in love with them or with ourselves? Who’s to say whether we want to be them or be with them?
Band t-shirts are a way of both presenting and defining acceptable enthusiasms, and the baseline for what kind of enthusiasm is permitted is always socially established by straight men.
Throughout its eight episodes Work in Progress showed the value in being there for people even when it’s hard – and the importance of knowing when to walk away.
“Catfish has been serving diverse, bittersweet queer representation for almost a decade and it seems like nobody notices.”
Someone once told me that if you’re Asian American, or mixed, or whatever, you have a grandmother poem in you that you need to write. This is mine.
Being focused on women never seemed remarkable to me. I grew up in a household with my mom, my younger sister, and my dad, so even if we were just being fair, 75% of our time was focused on women. And we were not fair.
“I remember little moments so vividly — like Ashley kissing Spencer on the shoulder while they looked in the refrigerator for something to eat. This is what I wanted. And I wasn’t afraid of wanting it anymore.”
“Selfishly, I’m worried about what will happen if I say out loud that I’m uncomfortable with all this God, if I let my brain run its anxious course. If my atheist, queer, bipolar self comes to choir with me in all its unkempt glory, will I lose my safest place?”
Music has always been there to save me but this time, thanks to Ari, I’m more grateful for it than ever.
Both Marge and Madeline chose to find family within each other, and from there I understood, as I heard these stories from Marge after my grandmother had died, and then from my mother after Marge had gone, that such a thing could be done.
What, were you expecting the National Anthem to be sung in Spanish?
“I have enough of my own grief, I don’t need yours, too.”
“Do you have something to tell us?” my mom joked. It was a joke, because of course I didn’t. “No,” I said with a laugh. And I thought I was telling the truth.
She is living her best life. I am living mine. It is as though we released each other.
Watching them sweat from my spa on the sidelines, I’d thank my body. On the one hand, so humiliating; on the other, its own defense mechanism against the wretchedness of exercise.
The more I allowed myself to want, the more I realized I wanted. The more I leaned in to my desires, the clearer they became.
I got sober alone, in a village about an hour north of Kampala, Uganda. I had moved there for a job opportunity, naively confident I, as an openly queer person with a mental illness, could flit across the globe like a moth. By the time I quit my job and scheduled an emergency move back to the United States, my drinking was threatening my life.