Chronicling the life of an ordinary gay

So Many Feelings

Disclaimer #1: I’ve been drinking. I’ve been drinking for the first time since March. I had 2 beers within an hour and feel buzzed, so excuse any typos. I will be highly embarrassed if I can’t compose myself after 2 beers though. 
Disclaimer #2: I’ve been gone awhile. When I move through life day-to-day, I don’t notice changes. When I go weeks and even months without updates, I notice a ridiculous number of changes. So naturally, lots of things are different. 

First things first, I’m unemployed. I can’t remember if I talked about hating my job or not, but guess what- I hated my job. I worked hard though. I knew I was doing it wrong, but I maintained my integrity by doing what I felt to be right. See, I was a freight broker. Like a stock broker, I earned my company money through finding new customers that needed freight to be moved and finding truckers to move it for cheaper- the margin would be the company’s profit. Well, I never made good margins. I was really good at sales- I had signed up 38 new customers within a two-month span, moved a respectable number of loads, but in the end, my margin wasn’t high enough. So I became part of the 92% my company fires. I say this with pride because I saved my customers money and paid my carriers well- that’s my integrity. I couldn’t wait to be let go. It was a terrible company. 

So, starting Monday, I’m back to the grind of finding a new job. I hope I find something I like this time. 

 

Honestly, nothing that notable has really changed. I just had a rough night and want to talk about it. I have so many feelings. 

A few days ago, my mom and I went shopping in the city. This never happens. Ever. It was hot, but I was wearing a striped sweater over a white button-down shirt- the combo looked like a rugby shirt. I wore khaki cargo shorts, my adidas flips, and possibly my shades. I don’t look girly, ever. I have a faux-hawk, but a feminine face and large boobs. Noticeable ass too. I’m obviously female. I’m almost NEVER called sir. In fact, I can’t really think about a time when I was, and if there was a time I’m forgetting, it was because it just wasn’t that notable. This was different. We were about to enter my favorite coffee and tea shop. Now, it was super sunny, hot, and crowded. I opened the door and immediately noticed a small bunch of people in the doorway about to exit, so I stood back and held the door for them. And then it happened. 

A lady leaned back in shock and exclaimed that I was “such a good guy” and went on to tell my mom that she “raised a good son” and she must’ve said the phrase “good guy” and “polite gentlemen” over and over. My mom looked mortified and I was instantly nervous. My mom has hated my hair since the first time I chopped it off, which was back in January. I’m almost never mistaken for a guy. Never. I was so, so embarrassed. Had my mom not been there- obviously it wouldn’t have gone down the way it had, but had she not been there, my reaction would’ve been nonchalant. I would’ve gone with it and thought nothing of it. But this was bad. My mom told me to let my hair grow and instantly made me feel terrible about myself. 

But seriously, it’s not my fault the woman saw what she saw. I’m not binding or packing. I’ve maintained a wardrobe of mostly mens’ clothing, but I still try to remain androgynous, and when the clothes are on, its hard to hide my female body. I have a soft face with feminine features. If you look at me for more than 1 second, you’ll know that I’m a woman. It wouldn’t bother me to be misgendered if I was alone. Or with friends. But with my mom who has no idea about my personal life… yeah, I was definitely bothered. Humiliated is a better word for it. 

 

Then tonight I went to a bar in my town with my homophobic friend, Marie. Marie is very homophobic and also on my case about letting my hair grow out. Bitch please- I look fly as hell with my hawk, so I’d like to keep it. We were approached by a regular who was selling drugs and openly smoking a blunt. It’s PA and that shit is just not allowed, but he’s a regular and made it very clear that he does what he wants. He sat down at our booth with us and started grinding all over me and touching my legs. 

Sidenote- I may have hooked up with guys, but trust me when I say that male attention instantly makes my blood boil. I don’t want male attention. I don’t really want female attention, though I admit I enjoy it more. 

Touched my legs. I flinched and moved over. Then, drunkenly, he asked if Marie was my girlfriend. Marie instantly said “oh. my. god.” and buried her face into her palms. I, 2 beers in and almost waiting for the confrontation, said “ew, no. I just have the short hairs.” and he shrugged, said he likes short hair, and continued to dance at his seat. He turned really quick to talk to a friend and Marie was like “grow your hair out, i’m embarrassed”.  Then asked if we could go. It was 11. We had just gotten there not too long before.. She took me home instantly and just kept saying things like “that’s never happened before”. I tried to seem calm about it, but she freaked out. Then, Justin Bieber came on and I started to sing “if I was your boyfriend” and she turned it off, stating that “maybe we just shouldn’t sing this”. 

BURN. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. Marie is my last resort activity buddy. But I’m one of her only friends. I’m happy that this could diminish the time I have to spend with her, but I just don’t like how it went down. He wasn’t ENTIRELY rude about it- just shrugged at my answer and kept going. Had I said yes, I imagine his reaction would be very similar. 

I don’t know. Best friend is sleeping and girlfriend (oh yeah, “ex” and I never really did break up because seriously, she’s just too perfect) is on a work trip and has to go to a conference at 7am. So I’m left with lots of feelings about all of this. My visibility is obviously high and I’m not used to not fitting into societal roles. 

Now I’m tired and I kind of want to stuff my face with junk food because I have so many feelings about all of this. 

Grow Up Wednesday

I changed the appearance. I’m not digging the weird cloud, but I’m feeling the simplicity and whatever this font is. I was really in it for the font.

Tomorrow is Wednesday. What does that mean??

It means I am officially jump-starting what I like to call the “grow the fuck up and get over it” time. I realized that my depression has hit its low point when I woke up to a handful of worried texts and had no recollection of anything happening.

Yesterday I remember drinking 3 glasses of wine. I remember it being 8pm and thinking things like missing my friends, wanting to be out of the closet, and wanting to find a perfect job. What I seemed to have forgotten was the entire 2 bottles of pinot noir and 6 pack of beer (the proof sits in a pile on my floor). I didn’t remember tweeting something about disappearing and I didn’t remember deleting my facebook. I had no memory of calling my best friend, sobbing like a child about how I miss playing video games and talking openly about how attracted I am to Julia Roberts. I called my other best friend, still sobbing, and spoke to her about rugby and onion rings at my dining hall. And lastly, I called the dreaded ex. The ex I’ve written numerous posts about, which I may or may not have published (am I the only one that fashions extravagant posts about how much they hate their ex only to delete it and then forget that they didn’t actually post it?). It was to congratulate her on no longer being at the top of my shit list because graduating college and my current job outrank her on my scale of hatred. How thoughtful of me.

Best friend #1 was skyping me the whole time, which is the only reason why I’m aware of any of this. So.. what do I have to say about it?

Well, first of all, I feel like complete shit, as I should. I have been eating copious amounts of fast food. Like, extreme quantities that those people on weight-loss shows talk about. I’ve been doing it for somewhere around 3 weeks now. Considering my sensitivity to gluten, you can imagine I’m doing well. My skin is in terrible, terrible condition. My teeth are stained from the coffee I’ve been drinking. I stopped buying allergy pills, so my eyes are always red. My hair is short, greasy, and ill-fashioned. I couldn’t be bothered to get my hair cut since I went to DC a month ago.. so when I did… let’s just say.. it’s awful. I can’t stop biting my nails and now they bleed. I’ve always been obese, but I think I’m taking it to a new level. I don’t fold my laundry anymore and it’s always wrinkled. I also don’t feel like shaving my legs anymore. I just don’t feel like it. I’ve also had a pounding headache for days, and I’m super tired all the time. Today I ate so much that I threw up at work. I only wish I were joking.

My mood has been too inconsistent to even write about. I’m seriously everywhere and completely out of control. I’m really mean. I don’t talk to anyone at work anymore. I don’t really like anyone and I resent my job, so I find it best to just keep to myself. I haven’t gone out  in so long that I can’t even give a ballpark estimate. I haven’t been doing anything. I troll the internet and eat. That’s it. I broke up with GF (now exGF) for no reason- just that I couldn’t stand to have anything good in my life. She was seriously throwing off my gloom. I’m just so utterly depressed and dissatisfied with so much of my life.

So, I made a list of all the things in my life that suck right now and came up with these categories:

-My Job
-My Health (Weight/Fitness/Appearance included)
-My Living Arrangement (Social Life included)

That’s when I realized. None of this is permanent, and it is all within my own control. My job sucks, so I should find a new one. My health is in decline, so I should eat better and exercise more.. or for god’s sake, make a fucking doctor’s appointment. It’s only been 7 months since I got my new, fancy, covers-everything insurance and I haven’t been in for a check up since 2006. My clothes suck, buy new ones and take better care of them. I hate living with my mom, so wtf.. move out already!!!

So that has led me here. “Grow up and do something” Wednesday.

I’m giving myself the rest of the night to indulge in self-destructive behavior because I’m going cold turkey. That’s right. No more bad behavior. No more self-destruction. No more negativity. More action, less excuses. I’m going to grow the fuck up.

 

Beautiful Disaster

Growing up as an only child, I’ve adapted to the idea of being alone. I’ve posted about this before, I’m sure, but being alone is not the same as being lonely.

I’ve lived my life alone having never felt the pains of loneliness. Never. Not once. Sure, there were times when I felt misunderstood, like no one on earth would get me. There were times when I couldn’t find anyone to hang out with. Unanswered texts, premature voicemail boxes, and the echo of a knock at the door that goes unanswered. One-sided conversations. Blatant ignorance. I have been alone before.

I’ve never felt loneliness until now.

In the past, my solitude was always welcomed with wide arms and a sincere smile. Alone time meant so much and absolutely nothing at the same. A time for me to enjoy the presence of myself. I think all children without siblings live life as introverts to some degree. While I’d identify myself as predominantly extroverted, I do condone introversion and practice it often. If given the choice, I’d definitely choose people. I don’t seclude myself and I don’t require alone time to process things. I feed off of the energy of others. I live for social interaction.

Which makes me wonder. Is this alone time starting to destroy me and change things about me I knew to be true?

 

I feel like the walls are starting to cave in. Instead of thinking of a way out, I’m waiting to be buried. Why?

I’ve always been one to rise to the challenge and to make plans to fix or change things that made me unhappy. Why have I failed to do that now?

Is this what depression truly feels like? I could be fired any day now. I hate the job to begin with. Why haven’t I investigated alternatives? I’m always a step ahead. Why do I feel that I have fallen behind?

 

I’m starting to push people away again. I’m not sure why. Part of me wants to know who will stay. Part of me wants to know who’s already gone. All of me knows that is just stupid.

I’m going through a teenage crisis of “nobody cares about me”. All I have are text messages, drunken pictures, and elaborate voicemails. And a diploma in an expensive frame. I’m not a pack rat or a hoarder by any means, so why am I holding on to my perfect images of my past- the projections of my life and where I’d be in 5 years time? I don’t keep friends easily and feel that I’m constantly re-inventing myself. I imagine its nearly impossible to keep up with me, and to be honest, if I were in their situation, I wouldn’t want to either.

Self-loathing and no confidence.

Today I decided that I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather do than become a political science professor. I spent all day running the images through my head. I spent most of that time building my confidence- that it is possible and that I didn’t mess up undergrad. Then I spent the rest of the time self-destructively ripping away the walls that were delicately built with confidence because I did mess up in undergrad.

I’m stuck in a rut. A 9-5 that drives me insane (because at my job, 9-5 is really 7-7). I figured out my hourly wage for the first time. Since I’m salaried, I never thought to calculate how much I’d make per hour. $8.32. Do you know that I made more an hour as a front desk clerk? Almost twice that amount as a pharmacy technician.

Seriously. What the fuck am I doing?

Where the motivation and why can’t I create it myself? Does everything really happen for a reason, or do things happen because we make them happen?

I am lonely and miserable and therefore, subjecting myself to brutal agony.

Existential Break-Ups.

Have you ever ended a relationship with seemingly no “good” reason? 

I have. 

Based on my last post, it’s easy to foreshadow a meltdown sometime soon. I’ve learned these things of myself: when I start to question my existence and life’s purpose, shit’s going to crash apart soon. 

I firmly believe that if you do the same thing twice expecting different result, you are insane (nope, not an original thought, though still completely relevant). That being said, the last time I had a meltdown while I was in a relationship resulted in terrible, terrible things. At that moment, I vowed that the next time I feel an existential crisis happening during a relationship, I would either be completely open and honest and talk everything through with my girlfriend.. or.. um.. reclaim my single lady status. An existential crisis is enough of a handful to involve someone who isn’t understanding or tolerant. 

Well, the crisis is slowly beginning and I’ve felt it creep up for about a month now.

I become restless and dissatisfied with everything around me. I crave adventure, and wish away the chains that are holding me back in reality (yeah, I sound nuts). I felt it right before my DC trip and I was fully aware that it would grow more intense if I had a good time in DC, and I had. This past month has been torturous, and while I hope to be fired every day, I still have yet to look for a replacement job. Not lazy, but having an existential crisis. It’s gotten worse with each passing day. I wonder, am I becoming one of those people who always wants more and is never satisfied… then I realized, no, I’m not becoming one.. I am one. 

I talked to girlfriend about this months ago when I first felt the longing for something new and exciting. She was understanding. Then I reinforced- “this is going to suck for you before it gets better” and she remained supportive. Then I warned- “it’s going to consume all of my thoughts… and secretively already has, except I still have residual things on my mind to talk about” and she stayed. Finally, I said “all I can think about is my unhappiness and you deserve better” and she cried, afraid to lose me. 

I mulled it over for days. I love her and can see myself spending my life with her. That would be ideal if she were the only thing in my life. That would be ideal if my life didn’t feel like a mess. 

When my crisis happens, which, honestly happens about once every 2 years or so, I’ve learned that it comes down to control- control what you can, don’t sweat what you can’t. The most effective method of dealing with this has been eliminating the extras and everything that can be eliminated. Simplify. 

This is incredibly complicated, I’m well aware, but nonetheless, she promised to stick it out. 

Somehow, that added all the more pressure- that she would stick around. I could feel myself influencing her mood. The bright and bubbly good mornings were dull and resistant. She was slowly catching this crisis and it was my fault.  

Weighing the two options, I’m not sure either would simplify anything. 

1. Break up with her. This would obviously add drama and complication, perhaps even further depression. Not to mention, I love her more deeply than anyone I’ve previously gone out with. Our communication was top notch, and there’s nothing I would change or do over. 

2. Stay with her. As I was saying, I could feel my attitude transferring to her. My life-loving girlfriend was becoming disgruntled herself, and I knew I was to blame. The guilt I was feeling was terrible. The decision was a determination of which felt worse- breaking up or negatively influencing. 

We talked about this for hours and I voiced my concerns. She reinforced her support, but I realized that keeping the relationship would be toxic for her. I’m not that selfish, and I knew that just being around me could really change her.. possibly permanently (misery loves company). So, I’ve done what makes absolutely no sense and all the sense in the world, and we broke up.

It isn’t fair to drag someone down with you, and while I will inevitably rise again to the top, I can’t gage how long it will take. It’s a bumpy road getting there, and while that can be very telling of the strength in your relationship, it isn’t a fun or great experience and I wouldn’t forcibly drag anyone through that. In particular, I feel like this time it is essential for me to be single. Part of my meltdown involves feeling “free”, so being single might help resolve my troubles. That, and I really think the resolution will happen with a risky change of address. Yes, relocating to DC is definitely on my radar. 

All in all, while extremely upset, I when with my gut on this. My heart says to stay with her, my brain says to let her go, and my gut asks which would cause more regret? 

I’d rather end a relationship on good terms. Who knows, I could snap out of this next week (not likely, says existential crisis). 

Also, I’m completely aware that I sound mentally ill. Maybe I am, but at least I’ve weighed the options. 

Ignorant Moms and Finding a Purpose.

There are a few things going on in my head today.

1. My mom doesn’t realize her ignorance.

2. I need to figure out my life’s purpose.

My Mom

I’ve made it abundantly clear that homosexuality is frowned upon by the people in my life right now. Between homophobic co-workers, to insulting co-workers, to family, to random strangers… I’ve actually grown suspicious of people who don’t automatically gay bash, just because I’ve been surrounded by this for the past year my entire life.

My mom doesn’t ask personal questions. She stopped asking a number of years ago, and I avoid any and all sexually explicit conversations. Occasionally, she tells me who’s dating who. On rare occasions, this involves a same-sex couple. Sometimes she mentions it and I become paranoid that she was just testing me to see how I’d react. Usually after I grunt and shrug (my immediate go-to response), she quickly moves away from the subject.

Tonight was different. I can’t tell if it’s because this person is closer to my family than previous individuals. I can’t tell if it’s because this person is kind of a ridiculous individual and probably, in my opinion, seeking attention. For some reason, my mom kept bringing it up- that this person has publicly outed herself to be bisexual on facebook. A number of reasons could contribute to this- 1. it was on facebook. 2. It was a bisexual thing, and despite progress, bisexuals still get a lot of shit. 3. This person is always stunting and will do anything for attention. 4. My mom doesn’t like her. 5. Bisexuality.

I admit, when my mom told me, my initial reaction was “ew”. Not because she’s bisexual. But because she, she herself, is in fact, a sexual being and I’d rather not think of those things. My mom was all “i know, right?” and at first, I couldn’t gage what she was referring to. The conversation went on to include talk of her attention neediness.

The killer of the conversation was my mom’s last line, “I just think they all need a dose of reality all of them- homosexuals and bisexuals and pansexuals and those queers. They don’t know what the real world is like.”

What the fuck did she mean. Instantly I realized that I may or may not have contributed to a gay bashing of this individual. Did my mom seriously go there? DId she think we were there the whole time? Does she think I was there with her? It was so unexpected on my end. Maybe she needs a dose of the “real world”.. which, according to my mom, is somehow a heterosexual entity?

Existential Crisis

It is also no secret that I hate my job. I firmly believe that when you have more bad days than good it is time for a serious change. But guys, I don’t know what I want to do. I have some brief, under-developed theories of things I’d like to do, but the majority requires more education. More education. As if I need any more.

I’m stuck at this job I HATE and can’t figure out how/where to apply elsewhere. I can’t figure out my calling at all and no one is helping me. I often believe that I’m a cocky bitch. I am having a really difficult time determining what I would be good at doing vs. what I want to do. I seriously don’t know my strengths or weaknesses anymore. I also don’t know what I want to do. So, I haven’t applied anywhere. Lack of motivation? Focus? Fear of success? Failure? I have yet to figure this out. Suggestions would be awesome.

Fearful ramblings of coming out

I got out of work early today, so I decided to write something!

My past posts have always been poorly organized, rambling on and on about.. well, who knows what- usually whatever happens to be on my mind at the time. I don’t edit. In a sense, this has become kind of like a journal for me, as my personal blogs usually go..

I analyze myself a lot. I’m always searching for some deeper meaning, some clearer understanding. Sometimes I find it. Most times I don’t, but relate it to something similar. I’ve spent the last several hours cuddled with the girlfriend while reading coming out stories, so obviously, it’s time to analyze myself.

Some were sad. Some were funny. Cute. Sweet. Angry. Appalling. Brave.

My girlfriend came out early in college. She had started dating a classmate and told her parents when they visited her. They were loving and accepting. Her mom said she already suspected, and her dad gave her a fist bump. They reassured their love for her and everything was rainbows and butterflies (literally).

I love my girlfriend. I’m happy for her, but there is a hint of jealous resentment on my end. When sifting through these stories, I found myself kind of feeling jealous of the positives. I also felt myself aligning with the negatives- relating more with their stories. Hiding, lying, and battling opposition and hatred. I felt like their stories were my own.

Which threw up huge red flags for me considering I haven’t even officially come out to my family yet at all. But yet in my silence, I still feel everything those people described- guilty for lying or hiding things, not accepted, and not entirely me. I guess that’s what makes the coming out process a process rather than a one time event- I can still feel the effects of coming out without saying it out loud. I’ve been doing this for such a long time that I have a clear and definite picture of what will happen when I do say it… so clear, in fact, it is as if it’s already happened and as if it didn’t go well.

To be honest, I’m not sure what I’m more fearful of- coming out going exactly as I’d imagine, or that it goes rather well.

I’m fearful of the former for obvious reasons- I don’t want to be cut out of my family. I fear the latter for a more complicated reason. I guess in a sense, if my family is accepting- it would be as if the roles were reversed- I will feel the shock of firmly believing a person to be one way and finding out all of sudden that there’s this whole other side to them that I know nothing about. I like to basque in this complicated thought. If they take it well, then it means that everything I knew of them was a lie or inaccurate. My perception will be tainted and I will have wasted so many years hiding myself for no reason.

As my girlfriend pointed out, I will never know until I try it. Sometimes fear is greater than the fear itself.

DC Pride

I’m not sure why I failed to mention this the last time I posted (probably because I was on a whirlwind of post-wisdom extraction narcotics), but I went to my first pride ever!

Since graduating from college, it has been a dream of mine to move to DC and dive head first into the political realm- politics, foreign relations, policy… you name it, if it has to do with history, current events, or… social sciences in general, I’m head over heels. Like most new graduates, I was dirt ass broke and moved back home. A year later, and only $1,000 saved up, I’m still at home but with a job I loathe. I’ve made a serious effort to budget my money over the summer to enable the move to happen. But… wait a second- I haven’t even been to DC before. What if I don’t like it? So obviously, I hopped on a sketchy Megabus and made the traverse.

I stayed with a close friend I went to college with who has been there for about 2 years now. She’s one of my closest gay friends and we kind of bond over.. well, anything. I would go so far as calling ourselves bros. Anyway… This trip happened the weekend of June 9th.. which just so happened to be pride weekend in DC. Friend kept this a hidden secret from me and revealed it just days before the trip. I was so excited. I have been hiding in a closet for about a year now. I’ve grown accustomed to it, but dammit, sometimes you just need to be surrounded with gay shit. This was it. I couldn’t contain my excitement.

And guess what? It was awesome. Since my scary encounters with driving under the influence, I’ve cut wayyyy back on my drinking (I don’t even go out anymore) and I’ve also obtained a girlfriend. College me was a semi-alcoholic. When surrounded with college friends, I need to actively remind myself that I’m not college me anymore. Real life me doesn’t drink anymore. Real life me can’t drink more than 3 without being hella wasted. So naturally, I drank like a champ (6 each night) and enjoyed the city.

We went to a lesbian bar and I didn’t even know how to act. To be honest, seeing my gay friend was almost gay overload, so imagine my surprise when I walk into a bar packed with queers. The first hour can be summed up with a few words: cougars, pasties, and rainbow shots. The remaining 3 hours can be summed up with 2 words: belligerent dancing. My thighs were burning the next day, but it felt great and familiar. The fuzzy thoughts, smoke-soaked clothing, and aching muscles felt like coming home- it was the sign of a fun and successful night out.

That Saturday was the parade. Never have I ever been to a pride parade… until then. Luckily for me, friend needed a haircut because I didn’t have time to get the faux hawk did before my travels. We went to a barbershop. My life was changed. Not only did they not cut it too short, but I haven’t had a cut since- a testament that they did it right. Previous to my silver springs trim, I was on a once every 2 weeks pace. It’s been a month and I’m fine. It was also so much cheaper and they didn’t ask stupid questions like “do you want your ears cut out?”… as if I want ear muffs in the middle of summer. If it weren’t hundreds of miles away, I’d be a loyal client.

We made it back to the DC area just in time to head to the parade where we met up with fellow alum. I met the cutest, most inspiring couple of my life. Firstly, both are stunningly attractive in their own special way. Both beautiful, funny, and charismatic, but spending the evening with them revealed so much more. Not only did they physically fit together perfectly (one was tall, the other short, and they fit together perfectly like a puzzle), but the dynamics of their relationship was just too cute. They weren’t touchy feely or overly PDA. They were my favorite couple instantly, but then I found out even more- they have been together for about 5 years now. One had to transfer schools and the other transferred to a different school just to be closer. That’s love and I love them.

Back to pride. It was awesome! I collected more beads than I had ever seen in my life. I was pelted in the face with a water balloon that left me with a black eye. I was violated as parade marchers covered me in stickers.  I was overwhelmed and oddly turned on the entire time as I felt a familiar bond with everyone there. The energy was amazing. It was a long parade and the temperature was outrageous, but we stayed for the entire parade. I watched the different drummer march by and vowed to join when I move. I saw ruggers and called for a ball, which was actually passed to me! I vowed to pick up rugby again when I move. An elderly woman kissed me through dental dam. A young child gave me a fake rose. I jumped for a frisbee and missed so embarrassingly that a scantily clad gentlemen ran over and handed it to me. I practiced my sign language as one of the parade officials (who was deaf) told me to stand on the curb- I signed back “sorry”.. each of the dozen times he reminded me to back the fuck up. I pet dogs, and literally creamed my pants as the dykes on bikes zoomed by (also vowing to buy a motorcycle when I move). I saluted the troops, cheered the political candidates… and silently cried.

I’ve never teared up more in public in my entire life.

It started off as extreme excitement- completely overwhelmed with happiness. Then the little girl gave me the flower and ran back to her daddies. It was too precious to handle. Then the newlyweds marched by. More tears.

I excused myself when a mom from pflag reached out and held my hand, leaning in and saying “we love you and so do they, even if they don’t always show it). The signs about proud parents, siblings, grandparents, and various loved ones made me realize just how fucking sad I am. Signal internal meltdown. Lucky for me, the ballooning incident happened right after. The water masked the streaming tears. The welt hid the red, crying eyes. Guys, I broke the fuck down at pride and it was so wonderfully glorious.

I didn’t feel like I was lying. I felt acknowledged and appreciated. I didn’t feel so alone. I felt loved. It was probably the best experience of my life and a huge breakthrough for me.

We got dinner at a nearby restaurant. My favorite couple somehow melted my heart even more. I want what they have so desperately and they have restored my faith that perfect couples do exist. We went to the after party, which was overpriced and definitely not that enjoyable. But nothing could break my sprits.

In the morning, we went to a beer garten before my megabus travels. I spoke German to the waitress and she was down. The day was spent rushing around the city, randomly catching glimpses of the buildings I love. and then it was over. Just like that.

I sat by myself on the bus, which was a difficult feat. I processed the weekend. I fell in love with the memories. I know DC isn’t like that every day, but do you know what made it the best?

Friday before hitting the gay bar, we went to a random restaurant. Now, my friend and I are very masculine in appearance. Thought to be gay separate, when we are together, the whole world can tell. The waitress asked if we were going to pride and then talked about her support. On the metro, we were talking very openly and loudly and I mentioned the phrase “my girlfriend” and never thought twice. I was in DC. I was OUT in DC and it was awesome.

At home, I’m as closeted as they come. 3 people at work know. I don’t talk to strangers. I walk with my head down and very quickly to avoid confrontation. I know more homophobic people in a 2 block radius than I do in my entire college’s town. I lie about where I’m going at night. I refer to my girlfriend with a masculinized name when I’m in a public space. I’m not from a small town either. I’m from Pittsburgh. I don’t feel welcome or safe here. I get glares and stares in public. I could just be paranoid and it could all be in my head. It could be internalized. All I know is that it sucks and I’ve seen better. Much better.

DC Pride changed my life. It restored my spirits. I’m planning to move at the end of the summer because if there wasn’t enough motivation before, it’s off the charts now.