Locker Room, Part I: Charge

3 years ago with 10 comments in Uncategorized
An earnest gay reader1 wonders how to comport himself at the gym: My first instinct is to say, “Okay, simple. It’s an occasion of sin for you, so even if you’re okay in the locker room, forget the shower or sauna, or even the pool sometimes. Even if that means you have to drive home all sweaty and stink up your car.” But then — motivated probably by equal parts ...

Fragment: One Reason it makes sense…

3 years ago with 7 comments in Uncategorized
…to publicly disclose your homosexuality, if that is what you want to do: If you ask me to live a life where, in casual conversation with friends, I never make reference to anything that has to do with my sexuality, then you’re asking me to live a life that is very much different from the lives of 99% of the population. Which is to say, most people don’t talk about their ...

Lattice

3 years ago with 13 comments in Uncategorized
“True friendship,” says C. S. Lewis, “is the least jealous of loves.” We in the SSA crowd, or anyway the neurotic crowd, or maybe just the human crowd, hear that and cringe, because so many of us are such amateurs at friendship, amateurs in every sense: we dabble in it, we’re fascinated by it to the point of obsession, and our talent for it is decidedly ...

Delight

4 years ago with 5 comments in Uncategorized
It’s 2003, and I am afloat emotionally and spiritually and socially and nearly every other way a 20-year-old can be afloat. The administration keeps talking about community, like it has for the last three years: building it, taking part in it, respecting it, supporting it; but I don’t know what community is, don’t even know that I don’t know what it is. I feel like ...

Seen

4 years ago with 14 comments in Uncategorized
The other day, because I’m not used to dealing with life without tobacco (12 days so far, whee!) and because I ran out of my meds accidentally that morning (I’ve got some more now) and because sometimes things are just a lot to take, I found myself sitting in my cubicle and looking at my screen through a blur of tears. Sometimes an attack like that can be dodged by refocusing, but ...

Like That

4 years ago with 27 comments in Uncategorized
“I remember,” I told my little brother on my last visit home, “when I realized that dressing fashionably wasn’t a betrayal of Gershom principles.” I don’t mean my mother dressed me in flour sacks, growing up, or that there was ever a firm, spoken injunction against trying to look like we fit in anywhere. But aren’t unspoken rules the strongest kind? ...

Masks

4 years ago with 15 comments in Uncategorized
Back when I was in college and as crazy as a bedbug — a bedbug on a steady diet of caffeine, nicotine, and Nietzsche — I decided I was the phoniest bastard in the history of the universe and I wasn’t going to stand it anymore. I lie constantly, I told myself, and not only in words: I lie with my face, my tone of voice, my gestures, and even the way I walk. That raised ...