Dawson’s Creek and Gay Male Representation in Media

I loved the US TV show Dawson’s Creek. It really was overly dramatic teenage tripe (read: that made me love the show even more), but 15 years ago, in the Season 3 finale, it showed primetime television’s first passionate kiss between 2 men. Even though it was a secondary plot arc in the series, this event had a huge impact on me, and solidified Dawson’s Creek as a seminal series of my adolescence. (Is there a pun there? Totally unintended.)

Between the ages of 15-18, the television series accompanied me through some emotionally turbulent, and even traumatic times. I had realised that I was attracted to men; I attended an all boys high school; I was closeted, having only come out to 3 people (1 of which was traumatic); I was marginalised for the perception of being gay. I don’t know if it was bullying, but it was continuous. Throw in the adolescent mood swings, hormones, and budding attraction to some classmates, and I got lonely teenage years.

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Afraid to Open Up to Those Close to Me

This post will be a free-flow way for me to disseminate my thoughts, as I have little idea what the end conclusion will be.

Since writing my last post There Is More To My Story, I have been thinking about my relationships with the people close to me, specifically, what I choose to reveal to them. I was also chatting with another blogger, Fictionatrix, in response to her post Late Night Thoughts – Who Am I? Some of her words struck a chord with what was going through my mind.

As mentioned in my last post, I just got a new set of tattoos. They are on my wrists, so they are quite visible, and I not one with a lot of tattoos. I’ve got a large one on my back, that’s it, but people don’t tend to see it. Hardly anyone in my support network have tattoos, and I know that they will ask me what my tattoo means. The tattoos aren’t “pretty” or superficial, and those close to me will know that there is some significance to me. I tend not to do things lightly. I don’t want to lie or give a half-truth in reply. I care and respect them and it would make me feel incongruent. I am feeling fear and shame right now.

There is a certain freedom with writing a personal blog. I can write what ever I want, be raw, be imperfect, and without the risk of worried and concerned looks from the ones that I love. Only very close friends know of my blog, sometimes even read it. My family knows that I blog (if they even know what that is) but they don’t know the site address. But even with my friends that read my blog, I only sometimes tell them the full depth of my thoughts. Continue reading

There Is More To My Story

Arm muscles tense, anticipating.

I look to the ceiling, focusing on the hanging light.

A brief distraction; the needle drags across my skin.

Fuck. My courage falters.

I couldn’t do this to myself.

ying yang semicolons

I got a tattoo today. Physically it is two separate tattoos on separate parts of the body, but I say that it is one; connected. It’s a strange feeling, being ambivalent about something that is permanent. It is still fresh, colour jarringly bright, not yet aged and faded. I don’t yet love it: I don’t know if I ever will. It’s not really aesthetically nice. A lesson on acceptance of permanent imperfection?

One on the inside of each wrist, a marker to remind me that when life is totally fucked up, there will be more. Just, more. Not a qualitative “more”, I don’t know if it will be better or worse. The important thing is that I don’t end my story.

On some  of the occasions that I have thought about harming myself or ideated on suicide, my mind has gravitated to my wrists. I would forlornly look at my wrists, images flashing through my mind. I would cover my wrist with my hand, close my eyes, willing myself to stop thinking. From now on, when I look at my wrists, if I be forlorn and desperate, I will be reminded that there is more to my story, more untold.

The semicolon, a marker at a seemingly end of a sentence, but indicates that there is more to come. Not only something more, but something that is connected to what has just been. I’ve liked punctuation for a long time. Punctuation herds words into ideas. It tells us when to breathe. My semicolons will remind me that there is more to my story; to breathe.

Tattooing, in a way, is a form of self-harm. A sharpness, running across the skin, drawing blood. Today’s act was a defiance to any future self-harm that I may do. And fuck, it hurt. I don’t think I could ever cut my skin with my own hand. If ever I wanted to self harm, my semicolons will remind me that there is more to my story, and the pain that I persevered.

 

Celebrating the Little Things, the Really Little Things …

Joel Robinson Photography

Joel Robinson Photography

This post has been itching to get out of me, but I would never be in the right mind to write it. The moment when this idea hatched has passed, now only, a light glowing through the fog.

Self-love can be a skill forgotten. The ever growing things that should be, filling the basket on my back, heavier, slower. Too often though, after I push and huff, make my basket lighter, I lament how heavy the basket still is.

I try to celebrate these victories. These sometimes very small victories. Yay! I folded the laundry! I emptied the dishwasher! And on my darker days, I will celebrate that I got out of bed. I don’t do a little jig, I don’t have the energy, but I look at my achievement through a microscope to see the strength I have. The more good things that I see through this lens, I can convince myself that I have a lot, enough to nurture.

The fog around obscures my vision, but virtue glows with a dim gold light. I seek out these small gold seeds in everything that I do. Collecting one in every meal that I don’t feel like eating. Every little damned thing I do. The basket on my back is still the same size, the things that should be still fill it. Golden seeds grow within me, my basket seems lighter than before.

What Is It To Be A Non-Practising *Insert Identity Here*?

Happy Mardi Gras!

I’m giving fair warning: this post may get a bit heavy and is NOT a post about being so-called “ex-gay”. Also, personally, I prefer the label/identity “same-sex attracted” rather than “gay”, but in this post I am using the term “gay” for ease.


If a rainbow zebra loses its stripes, is it still a zebra, or is it just a horse?

For me, this is not a rhetorical question, though it seems like it should be. And it is making me feel anxious and my mood low. The Mardi Gras Festival and Parade is on in Sydney right now. I usually (and think that I should) feel PRIDE in my own difference, PRIDE in being a part of the LGBTQI+ community. But I feel like I’ve lost my rainbow stripes, my gay cred, my membership expired from lack of use.

Maybe a false assumption, but a huge part of gay identity is a sexual identity: being or wanting to be in a gay relationship, having or wanting to have gay sex. My body doesn’t demand another’s sexual touch, doesn’t crave and search for opportunities for sex. Fear obscures my desire of being in an emotional gay relationship. And this situation is not new. It has been many moons since I have acted on a sexual impulse.

Walking through the Fair Day event, through sun, glitter, rainbows and skin, I did not feel a part of the community. I felt alone and apart. Projections I’m sure, but I saw the normal social practice of people wanting and creating intimate emotional relationships. I sensed in others the want to get laid. I remember a time that I did want gay stuff, so I’m not asexual, but that spark of desire has gone missing. The crucial aspect to my gayness, my gay identity, is gone.

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Is It Really Any Better?

“I am not my thoughts.”

When I first came across this statement, I was confused; I even thought that it was ridiculous. I’m not religious, nor do I believe that I have a soul, so for a long time I had the cartesian dualist perspective that “I think, therefore I am.” The only thing that I was certain of was my thoughts.

Since realising how much of an impact the body can have on one’s mind (the brain is a physical organ after all, a detail I used to forget), this dualist perspective broke and melded into one. Why else have I been popping these pills everyday for the past 2 years? I do feel better (mood) when I do exercise, eat and sleep properly. But lately, I have been wondering, am I really any better than I was 2 1/2 years ago?

Sure, I’ve stopped smoking dope, which was had a major negative impact on my mood, but subjectively, I don’t really feel that much better. It is still really hard to maintain good lifestyle habits, and today at close friends’ wedding, I felt like there was a curtain of sadness between me and the joy around me. People noted that I was irritable and not being a part of the festivities. This is not the first time that I have felt like this, as I described in this post.

Maybe the anti-depressant medication isn’t working anymore. I don’t know, I will have a discussion about this next time that I see my psych. I have been rating my mood each day, and the same ratings are maintained, not getting better yet still the same as before I started these meds. Though I think that it is hard to compare over time, cause each day is so subjective, and my memory of when I was at my lowest is hazy.

I’m just so tired of it all. The constant tension in my jaw and shoulders. The feeling that my heart is made of lead and is weighing me down. Ah fucking damn it …