For a long time I’ve supported the Human Rights Campaign–one of the largest and most well-known LGBT civil rights advocacy groups in the world. But as of today, I have severed my ties with them–and here’s the reason why.
In math we study functions of time: a system in so many dimensions dependent upon another for change, growth, dynamic behavior. Life is one such function of time, but no mathematics yet known is enough to model it. Life escapes the linear, falls squarely into the chaotic, and leaves us all wondering and questioning in every moment.
Yet some things are certain, and these equilibrium points change everything.
Summer school started today and while I aimlessly wait for textbooks to arrive in the mail and for my professors to get the course websites up and running, I decided to browse Facebook and see what’s going on in the world–or at least in the lives of twenty friends Facebook selected at random, which for today, can be my entire world.
I came across this Buzzfeed article called “30 Questions for Straight Guys” and thought it’d be a fun read. Except when I opened it, I quickly realized directing these questions only to straight guys ignores the fact that gay guys are, in fact, still guys.
To set restless minds at ease, here are 15 answers to 30 questions for straight guys.
A few weekends ago was North Carolina Pride–a festival of solidarity, equality, and fun. Lots of fun. N.C. State’s student group marched in the parade, and then we all hung around afterwards in various manners until the day came to a close. It was enjoyable. It was–in one regard–exactly like Pride was last year and the year I went before that, but somehow that sameness makes it special–we don’t have to worry what we’ll find, because we know it already.
Somehow that sameness seems to make it meaningless.
Friday was National Coming Out Day. It wasn’t until the evening when I even realized it–I’ve fallen behind in homework and I’m trying desperately to catch up, so of course homework is where I was at all day.
When I found out what I’d missed, I felt a sudden tinge of regret: Normally I’d post on Facebook or post here or do something relevant. But I forgot what day it was. “I’m pretty out,” I remarked, “I don’t know who I’d come out to anyways.”
How could the day challenge me? I’m already there–aren’t I?
This is a paragraph. It should be talking about interesting things–such as how health care systems sometimes overlook obvious actions to prevent the spread of disease, how the media influence rape culture by ignoring the men in society, even how concepts such as fear, love, and God are intricately related–instead it is none of these things.
Instead this is a paragraph that expresses discontent. Instead of writing about issues that matter–such as hunger and homelessness, the significance of voting even in the most minute elections, the implications of advocacy and community building on campus–it simply mentions that none of these things have been mentioned.
The irony is that, for each of these things, if I don’t already have a post written, I have the ideas ready to share–but I have been too busy, I admit, to remember they’re there.
So this is my plan, and I’ll need your help.
I want to be in love someday. I want to be weak in the knees, come undone at the seams. The world should tremble beneath us, the skies fall as starlight pours around us. I want to be married under the open sky as birds sing and rainbows break amongst the clouds and cling to the last daylight as Anar sails into the west.
Except none of this could ever happen, and for many still it can’t happen, and it won’t happen if not for the forthcoming words of the nine judges deciding now in silence our shared fate.
My greatest vision has always been a world without discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. This hope brought me to discover my own potential for leadership, and this compulsion has enabled me to push myself further from my comfort zones and make the greatest impact than anything else.
In part it’s probably obvious why I care (indeed it would be a greater mystery if I didn’t care), but in the spirit of the week–my vision quest–it seems only fitting to dig deeper.
I got back from a leadership institute today and as usual, I’d over-packed–three too many t-shirts, a bathing suit I never used, and a few extra pairs of shorts. I learned on my trip to Belize the importance of rolling, not folding, clothes to preserve suitcase space, so the unpacking process now includes refolding my laundry. I picked up a pair of shorts I hadn’t worn, and all the week’s lessons converged on a few threads of white cotton crisscrossed in a barbed wire pattern.
Integrity, intent, and fashion sense. That’s leadership.
This is not a post about leadership–but leadership is merely an incarnation of the lessons we learned. A recurring thing was the saying “Own your stuff,” and I feel some ownership is at last in order.
It’s been a long time since I’ve said this and an even longer time since I’ve sincerely believed it, but today I feel happy. Genuinely happy. And for the life of me, I can’t even say what’s changed.
It feels like, for so long, dark clouds have held their hands around me, ethereal and tornadic fingers twisting around me, tumultuous chaos attacking me from every angle. Today the wind awoke over the world and while I was crossing the Brickyard–an open courtyard at the heart of campus–I felt the wind whipping around me, awaken the wind inside me, and in a burst of ecstasy I spun around and watched as the world itself twisted beneath me….