I sit here at the computer listening to Mozart's Piano Concerto No.23 In A Major, K 488 Adagio. I'm house sitting. It's a luxurious Philly apartment with an upright piano. I'm sitting at one, listening to one, but not playing one.
I'm sitting here writing what's flowing from my mind. "What will pop out?!" I think to myself. I want to start talking about myself in the third person. So I will.
Stuart is sitting at the piano, writing but not playing. He wishes he was writing music similar to Mozart. Similar to Joanna Newsom. He tried learning Baby Birch this morning. To what success who knows. One day he will sing it. And play the ukele. In drag. But not like Taylor Mac. But exactly like Taylor Mac.
The day is beautiful in it's wishy-washy grayness. Stuart has a view of the city skyline. West Philly's skyline to be precise. It's kind of boring, but gorgeous in its dullness.
What to write? What to think? What to do while listening to Mozart? Shall I repeat the song when it's over? It's always an attempt to hold onto the moment gone by. But it's gone. So there's that.
"So" is in fashion for beginning sentences. Did you know that? So "so" is really in right now. Stuart's avoided using "So" to begin sentences, but has also made an effort to consciously use the in-vogue tactic for speaking.
Articulation is key. For everything. So if you have something to say, say it with grace. And say it clearly.
What the hell is he trying to say writing these statements?? And who will read such a thing?? And is it a thing of the past to inquire these things in a self-conscious essay?? Is this even an essay?
Fuck third person.
I've been reading Tim Miller's work because I found 1001 Beds in the apartment. It's kind of brilliant. And also not. I'm into it.
(Just hit replay for Mozart's adagio. Will I do it again in 7 minutes?)
The editor talks about Miller being at the Whitney. I really like the Whitney!! I was there on Thursday, where I fell in love with Georgia O'keefe. Her work is breathtaking. I've always had something against Georgia. But it's not about Georgia. It's because when I was little, we had to mimic her work in art class. I hated drawing those fucking flowers. But Georgia didn't. I guess.
At the Whitney, I also fell in love with queer art. Again.
When I was driving home from Brooklyn, exhausted from my trip as usual, I discovered how scrunchy my face was. I noticed I was stopping and starting like crazy, partially because of traffic but also because my eyes were beady and focused solely on the car ahead.
But what if I move my eyes to the horizon? What if I soften my gaze and just look forward? So I did. And my stops and turns became smooth. And I thought of it as a metaphor for life. Heart, soften for the now and gaze into the future with wide eyes. #stream.
Close to a year ago I moved to the Philadelphia area, leaving behind my college life in Boston. On a mid-summer evening around that time, I was walking in Center City Philadelphia wearing jeans and a tee shirt (a nautical Jean-Paul Gautier piece to be precise) when someone walked past me and loudly muttered “Faggot.”
It took me a second to register the passerby’s statement, but before I even had a second to digest the morbid moment, two guys in a sedan drove past, also throwing “Faggot” at me. Their words dripped in hate and hit me like a ton of bricks.
I hadn’t really experienced this kind of out-right homophobia since I was in high school (In Boston, everything’s more under the surface). I was stunned, scared and terribly sad. In the middle of Center City? Really? Is this just the beginning of another repressive year?
Aw Hell no.
“So what do I do,” I thought to myself. And then I manifested the gayest year of my life.
To be honest, I struggled with being gay in college. I’m flamboyant and effeminate. Loving that part of myself was difficult. I dug my head into books and theory to make sense of all that I was and could be. I fell in love with gender outlaws and revolutionaries, artists and critics who transformed our contemporary understanding of bullshit binaries. And all of these people and things helped, but I still felt shame. Sad and sucky shame. It was only once I graduated that the true revolution, the one within, could take place.
In October, having been far too fed up with staying away from dresses and drag for fear of hurting others, I finally got my shit together and grabbed a wig, some makeup and a pair of heels. Witnessing the final transformation reminded me of the scene in Gypsy when Louise looks into the mirror and sees herself as Gypsy Rose Lee. Only it wasn’t, “Mama... I’m pretty!” It was, “Damn... I’m hott.” Needless to say it was amazing.
Soon after, I found myself cast in a dance opera in which I performed in drag and had my first-stage kiss with a man. And I was getting paid to do it! (Is that legal??) During that time, I also started to make friends with an array of awe-inspiring queer people. These new friends were defying gender norms and teaching me that seeing change in the world means being that change.
This led me to performing in a queer night club act with a group of hyper-fierce queens I admire immensely.
Then I produced a queer dance theatre fantasia with (literally) the help of a village.
And two nights ago, I stood on stage next to my friend, mentor and sister-brother, Annie Witch-Way, as Av’ry Witch-Way, my new gender-queer drag persona, in a night of queer experimental performance that I co-organized. I danced, I sang, I twerked and it was magic.
I feel proud of myself for being brave. Really proud. And I feel lucky. Lucky to have friends who love being unique and love me for being so, too. And I feel blessed. Blessed to have community. Qommunity. Absolutely blessed. This is the kind of bravery, love and pride we need to spread round in the world. Lord knows our family overseas needs all that they can get. Yes, I can still grow and change, but I'm on my path, and it's fabulous, a little scary and terribly beautiful.
It wasn’t until later that evening that I pieced together the significance of the event, this year and my gay growth.
My sisters and I were walking along Broad Street in Philadelphia, still in full drag, when we decided to pause for a photo shoot. As we made a move to walk forth, a black car full of men drove past us. They peaked their little heads out of the windows and yelled “Faggots!!!”
This time I quickly registered what was happening. I shot them a huge smile, yelled “HEEEEEYYYYYY!!!” and did a little twerk walk. #shameless.
It's Saturday afternoon and I'm thinking/stressing about my solo, On The Rocks (#plugitin). Thoughts are running through my mind a mile per minute. What about the fundraising? The marketing? The facebooking? And it goes on and on and on. I'm definitely checking my phone more than once a minute and consistently feeling a static shock of disappointment 90% of the time when nothing changes. What's new?
Somehow, I break my eyes away from the four screens (mirror included) giving me a technological tizzy and run outside to get the mail (#whatsmail). There lies a TIME magazine (my Dad's) with the headline "The Me Me Me Generation" and a tagline: "Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents... Why they'll save us." Who the hell are these people?
I run upstairs and proceed to swallow the article whole. Words such as "entitlement" and "narcissism" pepper the page while phrases like "self-involvement," "unmet expectations" and "jobless & still living at home" spread like wild-fire. Now wait just a minute... am I a millennial??
Born between 1980-2000: Check
Ballsy regardless of status: Check
Addicted to my phone: Checking
Secretly Facebook obsessed: It's not a secret anymore.
So here I am, sitting in my parent's house while agonizing over a post for my new, possibly self-involved blog while reading an article telling me I'm a bonafide millennial narcissist? Damn.
But what's author Joel Stein's message under all this shade? That we're gonna save the world! That we're game-changers galore. And hell yeah, Shmoel Jein, we are. In fact, Imma say I'm one of 'em.
Like my fellow millennials, I'm an optimist. I mean... a kid can dream (I'll maybe call myself an adult when I'm 40). Therefore, allow me to hypothesize that maybe all this social media-ing and twitter touchiness is actually a ploy to connect more. It's a way to own our identities in a homogenized wasteland. It's even a way into trusting our inner-spirtuality (#Ireligion). Yeah, we're not perfect, but we're trying. I'm trying at least... trying to be the best version of me. To be so specific about what I can give to the world that I can actually give it (whatever it is). I'm trying to be my most present self on May 13th, 2013 (#treal).
After much internal drama and debate about whether or not to seal this blog with a second post, I'm sealing it. So bare with me as I "narcissistically" sift through all this shit in an attempt to be led closer to the meaning of life. Excuse me. My life. And hopefully we can start some conversations about how we're totally different. Or how maybe we're just the same :) Let's follow Brent Roberts lead and start saying "It's Developmental Me, Not Generation Me."
I'm owning it people. but can we own it together?
What do you think about this millennialness?
Check out the article in TIME: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2143001,00.html
But since you can't read it all unless you subscribe (#whohastimeforthat #whohasmoneyforthat), read Elspeth Reeve throw cool shade in response: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/05/me-generation-time/65054/