As a gay man, I learned a lot about unhealthy relationships through consuming queer media. I loved Justin and Brian’s relationship when I watched Queer as Folk in high school, though now I see how Brian’s character acted in abusive ways both toward Justin and his own friends. When I read and watched Call Me by Your Name as an early grad student, I felt repulsed by the relationship dynamics promoted by the narrative, the glorification of a relationship that entailed little to no healthy communication, boundary setting or conflict resolution, or clarity and mutual respect. I suspect that queer narratives may adopt these unhealthy relationship norms from toxic heterosexual/heteronormative relationships. So much media perpetuates the trope that we should chase a romantic flame – especially a man – even if they are emotionally unavailable, do not treat us well, or are outright manipulative or abusive.
I do not spend much time on romance and dating and men. That said, I have found myself within unhealthy relationships and relationship dynamics, ranging from my abusive mother and neglectful father, to the emotionally neglectful male friend I wrote about in an earlier post, to a few crushes I harbored on guys, to even a few former friendships with women. I feel so sad and angry that our society teaches us about valuing our work and careers and pursuing the heteronormative path of marriage and having children, yet it does not teach us much about what an actually healthy relationship looks like, between parent and child, friend and friend, or partner and partner. Since the fall out of my most recent crush, I have thought a lot about what my expectations for myself and others in healthy relationships. They look kinda like this list my therapist gave me several months ago: Continue reading
“What would you tell your own client?” my therapist asked me. “When you’re in my position, what would you say?”
I uncrossed my legs. My whole body shook, and shivers ran up and down my legs, my arms. Over the past year, my therapist and I had started to uncover the abuse I experienced at the hands of my mother. Though I had made tremendous progress, talking about the abuse still made my skin crawl, like the past lived and moved inside of me, tiny slivers of memory ready to burst into flames at any moment.
“I would tell them it’s not their fault,” I said. Continue reading
As requested by an individual who commented on this blog, here is a post dedicated to answering the question: should I, or should I not come out? Before I begin, let me make it clear – just because I am gay does not mean I can control what other gay people do, or the outcomes of their actions. This is simply my two cents on the somewhat sensitive subject matter. Heck, if you’re straight, you should try coming out too! You might earn a few blank stares, but at least it won’t be because you’re so ugly you turn people to stone
like me. In fact, I think it is a worthy endeavor, because you would be forcing yourself into the shoes of those who have to announce their sexualities.
Let me reiterate that this is an umbrella post designed to give a general idea of whether one should come out or not. There are many factors that play into a decision like this, even if the decision shouldn’t be a big one at all. Please don’t hesitate to comment or message me with individual concerns or questions, or to suggest that I write about anything else – related to homosexuality or unrelated to homosexuality.
An easy way to structure this would be to split up my post into pros and cons. I’ll start with the cons, because everyone knows that seeing the rainbow is worth standing in the rain. Continue reading