I have always loved my friends with my whole heart, even more than I love Jeni’s ice cream. My friends and I in elementary school traded stories about our abusive parents. We Facebook messaged each other after our parents yelled at us or hit us and took comfort in our shared pain and support. I first came out as bisexual, and then as gay, to my high school friends, who loved me all the same. We talked about boys who never stood a chance with us anyway. Today, my friends and I still talk about our shared trauma, we rant about the racism we encounter at work, and we roast the men who have wronged us with the most eloquent rage.
But like every relationship, sometimes friendships suck, too. Continue reading
Last weekend, I sat in the Chicago O’Hare airport sipping a Caribbean Passion smoothie from Jamba Juice when a friend sent me the essay “Against the Couple Form.” I opened it, expecting an okay analysis of living life without a romantic partner, but instead, I found one of the most radical, validating pieces of writing in my entire life.
As anyone who reads this blog knows, I care a lot about finding, cultivating, and maintaining love and connection outside of romance, in particular outside of romantic relationships with men. But fighting the patriarchal, heteronormative narrative that I need a man to complete me – the story sold to us by Disney movies, dating apps, and the wedding industrial complex – can feel lonely. It feels lonely when the majority of students in my graduate program and one of my feminist book clubs heavily prioritize romance and/or their romantic partners. It feels lonely when people post about their weddings and engagements and no one comments or adds a disclaimer about the problematic origins and implications of marriage. It feels lonely when people view my anger about the over prioritization of romance as a symptom of some unresolved internal pathology, as opposed to a justified emotion that acts as a reaction against the oppression of femmes, women, and all those who want to thrive outside of an antiquated social more.
But when my friend sent me the essay “Against the Couple Form,” I felt so validated and happy. Continue reading
I remember sitting after school with a female friend of mine. I was helping her with some trigonometry homework and decided to bring up another problem – one unrelated to the unit circle and pi.
“So, comparative government has been kind of crazy lately, don’t you think?” I asked, turning to look at her.
“Yeah, with the election and everything everyone’s been kind of politically charged,” she replied.
I ventured on, “Do you mind if I ask for your opinion on a couple of risque subjects?”
She put down her pencil and said, “Sure, no problem.”
Let me make myself clear – I’m not the type of guy who makes assumptions without evidence. But, to put it bluntly, I thought that maybe – maybe – this female friend of mine might have had a teeny crush on me. Me, as in, a homosexual. From inviting me to Homecoming, to casually consistent brushes and touches, to other questionable remarks, the evidence added up. I wasn’t sure, and I’m still not sure, but after months of waiting I wanted to establish the firm boundary of friendship before things got ugly.
“What do you think of abortion?” I asked. Continue reading