Monday, June 25, 2007

Day After Pride

Previously: The Love Parade

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My friend Daniel who has never been to a Gay Pride parade declined to join us in yesterday’s festivities, demurring that while he's gay, he's "not the 'out and proud' type of guy," which is quite sad, because I think that every gay person in the world should be proud of who they are and own at least five pieces of tacky Gay Pride accessories to prove it. Just one piece less is just not proud enough for me.

It is quite understandable really, for someone such as Daniel, who had only recently come out of the closet, with his oversized hockey jerseys which he wears as clubwear still hanging on the rod, to feel that he's not ready to celebrate the person inside. It’s scary to come to such a public event where anybody can see you and assume that just by standing in the throng, you are totally depraved and immoral and you use your anal canal as an alternative habitat for gerbils.

I used to think that way myself. My friends had to encourage me, to cajole me and then to threaten to hold me down and put blue eyeshadow on me before I gave in and went. And even then, I had to wear something that wouldn't scream 'gay' so much in case I ran into some co-workers or something. I had to wear something that guaranteed no one would ever suspect I was gay: I wore black socks with white tennis shoes.

Going to the parade almost felt like the first time I walked into a gay bar. The first time I went to a gay bar, I drove around the bar fifteen times, around the same block, over and over, trying to psych myself into, you know, parallel parking. What? It was downtown Chicago and back then I lived in the burbs.

Before I went in, I had crazy visions of the bar having posts instead of bar stools to sit on; of seven feet tall drag queens with hairy arms; of old men coming up to me and pulling down my pants and sucking on my dick without taking their dentures out first. I was scared shitless. I learned later that scared shitless was actually a good thing, because getting your shit all over somebody's cock is just soo embarrassing. I had yet to learn to douche.

At least only gay people went to gay bars. If I ran into someone I knew there, we could hold each other under mutual blackmail threats to protect our 'straight' identities.

But the Gay Pride parade was a public event. People were armed with cameras like hookers were armed with crabs. Your face could pop up in some lesbian couple's slideshow along with their photos at the Wiccan/Summer Solstice/Monster Truck festival. I was afraid that WGN, the local TV station, would have a film crew there and inadvertently zoom into me with the caption "MEN WHO LICK EACH OTHERS' HAIRY ASSHOLES." I sweated bullets, looking frantically around to make sure there wasn't a film crew or lesbian close by.

thatBut it was hard to stay guarded when it was plain to see that nobody was concerned about me; everybody was truly happy to be there and everybody was having fun. Even the straight guys mugged for the cameras and posed with some of the more flamboyant costumes. They were embraced despite their black socks with white tennis shoes.

Yesterday, my brother Peter, my identical twin--also gay--was on his company's float. His company, a large multi-national conglomerate, with their corporate logo prominently emblazoned, sponsored a float for their gay employees, providing a ton of free swag and samples to the crowds, which meant that every person and their greedy hands were trying to get free shit from somebody who looks exactly like me. Everybody pays attention when there's free shit, right Joe? I wasn't even fazed by the idea. I just wanted to make sure he saved me some swag.

I have come to realize that the Pride parade is a rite of gay passage, like the first gay Circuit Party or that first gay bikini wax, and that even though the thought is daunting, it is something every gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered person must experience at least once. You cannot imagine the sense of freedom, of exhilaration, of total immersion.

It's like, if you're ready to be seen by 500,000 people as who you are, then, I think you're ready to join the world. I think you're ready to be free.

It's no big deal Danny, really, I promise. I hope next year you'll be able to join the rest of us at the parade.

Or I'll hold you down and put blue eyeshadow on you.

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I AM QUEER - and you're a total fag.
A Little Less Lonely - Once upon a time, my twin and I lived separate lives.

Mistaken Identity - Switching identities with my twin: a desperate fantasy.
I AM The Evil Twin - Okokok, my secret identity is out, now read about why I'm eeeevil.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Love Parade

"I don't know why you have to have a float with a giant, twelve foot long penis on it with fifteen guys, all in speedos, humping it to the beat of It's Raining Men," said my co-worker Jamie. "It's the Gay Pride Parade isn't it, not the Penis Pride Parade? I know some men are proud of the size of their manhood, but this is ridiculous."

"I'm all about sexual freedom," she continued, "I support gay marriage! I have been taking my son Alvin to the Parade every year since he was born. This year, he's four and I'm not sure that after this year, I can still take him to the parade, which is sad because I want him to grow up accepting the community that his beloved aunts Robyn and Dani belong to."

I looked around my cubicle to see if her exasperation carried over to the neighboring cubes. While I am out at work, I don't trumpet my fagginess by starting every meeting with some zingy appetizers and mojitos. My cubicle looks exactly like everybody else's in my department except for the dildo I use as a paperweight.

Everybody seemed to be enslaved by their monitors, which surprised me. I would've been standing next to whoever uttered the word "penis" to see what the fuss was about.

"But Jamie," I soothed, "this is our parade, this is what we want the parade to be. I understand that our straight friends may think that some of the people in the parade are overtly sexual, and maybe even downright disgusting, but it's us. Hey, I was totally appalled by the Smelts last year. God, won't they let men's capri pants go already? It's dead. Let it goooo."

"But a giant penis? That's practically pornographic!" she exclaimed. "If gay people want to be accepted by society, this is not exactly the way to grandma's heart. For the Gay Movement, it's like one step forward, two steps back."

"No, Jamie," I corrected her. "It's one step forward, two steps back, tap-tap-kick, then jazz hands," shaking my hands to illustrate. "Plus, I always thought of the Gay Movement as sort of sashaying, checking out the scenery and eventually getting to the party, rather than marching forward with blinders on."

"But why does it have to be about sex?" Jamie asked, "Why does it have to be the sex parade? Why can't it be the love parade? Alvin just loves his aunts Robyn and Dani dearly and has never known them to be anything other than being together. When I look at my friends, I don't see them having sex, I see their loving relationship."

"Have you looked in the bottom drawer in their bedroom?" I inquired slyly, "maybe that will change your mind about them having sex."

"Look," I said, "the parade is not for kids; It's not for people with narrow views; It's not for people who have strong body odor, although a lot of them manage to go to the parade and stand right next to me."

"The parade is going to have giant penises on floats. It's going to have bare-breasted women on motorcycles. It's going to have the local gay church float. It's going to have PFLAG. And it's going to have that damn fucking two-story Jewel shopping cart!"

"But I want to take Alvin!" She wailed, "I want Alvin to learn! Why can't there be a family-friendly parade during the day and the X-rated stuff at night?"

"Because society can't choose which part of us it likes and what it doesn't," I said. "I'm glad you're going to take Alvin this year, but maybe next year, you won't be able to take him, unless you're ready to answer some pretty hard questions, like why is a giant penis on a float bad? Or better yet, why is sex bad? Why can't we talk about it openly and in public? Why can't it be in a parade in the middle of the day?"

We left it there. I could see her honest consternation as she went back to her cubicle.

Jamie and her husband are taking four year-old Alvin this year to the parade, along with his favorite aunts.

I truly hope that she would bring Alvin again next year, and the next year, and the year after that.



Next: Day After Pride


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We're here! We're queer! Read about it:

Turnabout - Harriet interviews No Milk about Gay Rights and blogging.
Why Change? - Tortured homos find their way back to heterosexuality.

Pride
- A Gay Pride Cartoon.

Catalyst - It's the 2004 Presidential Elections and I feel fine.
Lucky - I was lucky to survive my tumultous teen years. Bill wasn't.
The Gay Experience - Gay rights are fabulous and hard to contain.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Leftovers

On any given day, you could look into my refrigerator and find a whole slew of leftovers. Like today for instance, there’s egg foo yung and chicken fried rice from the local Ms. Egg Roll #2; spaghetti with marinara sauce that I made a couple of nights ago; a half-eaten chicken leg.

There was also a single piece of futomaki, which I took home from Nohana. The waitress looked at me strangely when I requested to take that futomaki home, but nevertheless put the piece into a huge styrofoam take-home box. It was maybe twenty times the size of the futomaki.

Inside of me, a war waged between feelings of waste from the excess packaging for my single piece of sushi and the knowledge that the same single piece could feed a starving family in Ethiopia or both the Olsen twins for a week. It was worth it; I resolved to re-use the styrofoam packaging somehow. Maybe if I collect enough of them, I could use it to make some kind of Christmas ornament that I could give friends that I no longer want to hang out with.

But I will say this: I will take home food from a restaurant no matter how small the morsel.

This is probably because I inherited my sense of frugality from my father; who believed that nothing should be wasted; that every cent should be considered. Thus, I can never throw anything away. And sometimes, when I walk past a dumpster, I have an urge to look in there and see if there's something I can rescue: an old lamp, second-hand romance novels, some newly married guy’s discarded porn collection.

I also believe that my fridge has magickal qualities in that anything I put in there can last through the next Ice Age--which I hear is currently in production at DreamWorks. Barring an unforeseen power outage, my leftovers are safe. I put my faith in this the way a televangelist puts his faith in the almighty dollar.

Unfortunately, my boyfriend is one of those people who refuses to eat leftovers because he doesn't believe in it, which makes me have to be sneaky.

Easy enough, I suppose, if you take the leftovers and make it into an omelet, a frittata or a casserole. Sometimes a dish could be separated into parts, and the parts stir-fried in with vegetables, noodles or rice. I'm sure each of you have your own recycling techniques. If I knew how to make futomaki, believe me, the leftover halibut would find itself cut up and folded into a roll.

When I eat leftovers, I know I am my father's son. It takes me back to the days when he would cook dinner, in huge vats. Whatever it was, we would chow down, stuff ourselves and eat it with relish. It's strange I know, but relish goes with everything, not just hotdogs. Usually, there would still be enough for a couple more days. I don't know if Dad cooked because he wanted to show off his culinary skill or because he just loved cooking for us.

I'd like to believe that it was the latter.

I know that as I sit down to eat my single futomaki, my cold egg foo yung, my half-eaten chicken leg, my father is also eating something from his fridge, maybe a lone, orphaned meatball, or something leftover from another meal, another time.

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Shame - My father told me not to embarrass my ancestors. Yes, my dead ancestors.


They Found Nemo!
- Finally.

My First Beer - My father told me that this was the only way I could grow hair on my chest.
Rock Bottom - When you've fished food out of the trash, then you know you've hit rock bottom.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

An Open Letter To My Boyfriend

My Dearest,

When I farted in the middle of your political discussion of the War in Iraq, it wasn’t because I was belittling your opinions. It was because I was bending over the sink to spit out toothpaste. That happens sometimes when one bends over.

This is you trying to make a point: you follow me around the house, telling me what you think, turning the topic this way and that until something sticks. You follow me into the bathroom where you stand outside the shower stall while I take a shower, then you keep at it as I brush my teeth, which incidentally is not very pretty.

As you know, when I brush my teeth, my mouth gets extremely frothy and the toothpaste/saliva mixture starts flowing out the side of my mouth in rivulets and goes down the toothbrush, down my wrist, my forearm. It flows towards my elbow but drips down to the sink before reaching it. I can't help it that my mouth overproduces saliva. I wish I were one of those people on TV who can brush their teeth without making a mess.

You of course are quite appreciative of this trait of mine because it benefits you. My wet mouth comes in handy when I have to lick stuff, you know, like envelops during the holidays--you have an awful lot of relatives. It also only comes in handy for blowjobs, but you knew that.

Here's another thing: I know that when we have sex, you think about somebody else. I can tell by the way you look over my shoulder to watch porn. It's soo obvious. But I guess, I have to count my blessings because it's just porn. But if you have to think about an actual person when we're having sex, please please please think of someone with six-pack abs, because I can't bear it if you think of a dumpy guy in my place--it would just kill my self-esteem.

I also wish you would stop calling me "snookums" because I am no one's "snookums." I feel like it's not respectful of my masculinity, my personhood, my humanity. It's offensive to me, degrading even, and I don't know why you can't call me something appropriate, you know, like "you fucking chink." Coz that totally turns me on.

And finally, it's not a criticism of your dancing technique if I move away from you when you start your cowboy-lassoing-a-calf routine, especially when you throw your lasso in the air towards the cute shirtless guy across the dancefloor. I just don't want to get trampled by your invisible horse.

I hope you understand.

Your fucking chink,
P.

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I'm Going To Tell You A Secret - My definition of True Love. Plus: Madonna's cameltoe.

The Freedom to Fart - I once dated a guy who forbade me to fart. Then he broke my heart.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

softer, softest.

One of the things that I never thought about as my body hurtles itself into old age and into oblivion is how expensive it is to get old.

For example, I never used to use lotion on my supple, unlined, 26 year-old pink skin. Okokok, I lied, my skin isn't pink, it's yellow--I'm Asian after all. But I'm really really 26, or at least that's what my gay.com profile says. But don't look at my myspace page for my age because I lied there too.

At this point in my life, I lie about my age online because it's the only way people will think that I'm still slutty. Most gay people hardly believe that somebody over 35 is still having any sex at all, which is totally ridiculous. I totally had sex, I think, last month. Besides, after being together with my boyfriend for over 5 years, I’d rather call “sex” by it’s real name, “blackmail.” When I am less cynical, I call it “coercion.”

Of course, I didn’t tell my boyfriend this is what I called sex, the poor dear. My boyfriend had forgotten to take out the garbage yet again so of course I had to punish him by making him have sex with me.

I'm just glad the boyz in the gay bars actually still see me standing there--but i'm not really sure if it's because of me or my pink feathered headress. Sometimes I stand there with my freakishly muscled chest and nobody even looks at me.

Isn't it ironic? Really, you spend all of your gay youth lamenting that all the guyz are too immature and want only sex instead of a relationship. I know, I was one of them. I wouldn't date anybody over 30, absolutely no exceptions. It was really not that wonderful because none of the guys I dated ever had more than $30 in their pocket anyway. And you know what? If i had to live it over again, I'd do it totally different. Totally. I would definitely date people over 30. But nobody over 31--please, I have my standards.

But trust me, we aging queens aren't much better. We spend all this money trying to look young and then, guess what? WE DON'T WANT TO DATE OLDER MEN. I know I don't.

Why waste my Botox money on old, wrinkly men? That's like spending money on a hooker and then asking him to cuddle. If I spend money on a hooker, you can bet that there will be lots of dirty stuff going on, like cleaning my toilet and the scrubbing the soap scum in my bathtub. Cuddling--bah! Besides, a hooker's cheaper than a cleaning lady, especially if you get one that's strung out on crystal meth.

I never used lotion when I was younger because I always thought it was too greasy; it made my skin feel like a fried egg or Sanjaya’s hair. But now, I find that dryness has invaded me: my hands, my lips, the back of my throat. Lubrication is clearly needed if I were to keep my title as Best Blowjob by an Asian in Chicago. By the way, I’m available for ribbon cuttings, inaugurations and grocery store events--just call my publicist at his office/escort service agency.

Now, I have a bottle of lotion sitting on my desk at work. I have a bottle of lotion in my car, just in case I get into an accident. What? I don’t want the doctor to see my ashy knees. I’d rather die with holes in my underwear than that.

It’s strange. Moisture came so easily. My skin was easily softer than a goose’s down or a baby’s bottom. Its softness could rival the softest, limpest dick. Now it’s leather, leather that no coaxing by expensive cremes, lotions or salves can mollify...

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Isn't It Ironic? - A challenge to readers on the definition of 'irony.'

Thank U, Alanis - An Alanis concert brings back bad memories.