Now, this not to say that all Orthodox kids are sheltered and completely aware of LGBTQ identities, because that’s certainly not true. Actually, my two best and most accepting friends on campus happens to be a straight, cisgender Orthodox guy and his girlfriend. Yet, on the whole, it hasn’t been a pretty picture. There are people who have known me for almost a year, have heard people refer to me as “he” or as a guy, but still call me “she” or include me in statements such as “we have x number of girls right now”.
There is this intense feeling of numbness and exhaustion in the days following a horrific event in a family (or family-like circle of friends,) especially when one hasn’t really been sleeping anyway. The headache that I had for a week probably wasn’t helping to cure the numbness and exhaustion either.
A few weeks ago, I suffered a birthday. At my age, I no longer care to celebrate birthdays. I merely endure them, as inconspicuously as possible, and hope no one else remembers. I am none too thrilled about getting older. I feel okay, but age does strange and disturbing things to the body. Plus, society in general tends to be a bit youth-obsessed, and gay men in particular can be extremely ageist. I’ve tried to keep myself in relatively decent shape; however, over the years, my skin has lost a considerable amount of elasticity, and I find that exercise doesn’t have quite the impact it once did. Mercifully, people rarely think that I look my age. Although, I’m not sure how my age is supposed to look. I consider it to be case-specific. I believe that genetics and self-improvement play a substantial role in determining how one does or does not display the influence of time. Personally, I often think I’m gross. And occasionally, I suffer, to varying degrees, from feelings of obsolescence. I’ve tried to rise above it, but it never fully dissipates. Being single doesn’t really help all that much.
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The fact of the matter is that I haven’t had chest surgery and probably won’t be able to for at least 3 or 5 years. Try as I might with layering, binding, etc… the chest exists. I can cover it up as best as I can, but I am hyper-aware that they can be felt when someone hugs me… or at least that’s what I worry. I also worry that it prevents the other person from really just thinking of me as just a guy with no adjective in front of that word (and no unwelcome flesh in front of me). Doesn’t matter who it is hugging me, the person could be queer, straight, cis, trans, whatever; it is always a concern in floating around in my head.
Personal Narratives »
I turn 29 on the 29th of next month. I am not at all bothered by the fact that I am ending my 20s, or that I am swiftly approaching 30. Those things mean nothing to me besides the fact that I’m probably in the best shape of my life, I’m in a great relationship, and have a good job.
What does interest me is that fact that I was 19 when I had my first real girlfriend, so this year I am marking my 10 year anniversary of Queerdom.