My People

I’ve mostly gotten over my obsession with a certain young Olympian, but it doesn’t help that he is such a shameless exhibitionist.  Seriously, shots of him fully clothed are fairly difficult to come by, and somehow, I never get tired of examining his abs, thighs, and, um, other attributes from different angles and with different lighting.

I’ve promised myself that this will be the last Tom Daley picture I post on this blog. (What is he doing in this one?)

Okay, one more. What is it about wearing a shirt that makes one’s bottom half look even more naked? I love the way that his package casts a shadow on his leg.

The old saying is that life is about the journey rather than the destination. Seeing as how the destination is the same for everyone, I don’t see how I can argue, but it’s still not a very profound statement. That said, it’s definitely true that in order to know where we’re going, it helps to know where we’ve been. So I’ll talk about my adolescence, something I don’t think I’ve done in much detail on this blog before. I went to an all-boys Catholic school basically because I hadn’t cared for the public schooling I’d received at that point, and also because my brother had gone to the same school, and seemed to think it was okay. Before you let your dirty imaginations run wild, let me say that such an environment is not nearly as much fun as you might think it would be for a young homo. It was a fiercely heteronormative–some would say homophobic–environment, and the closest thing to openly gay students at our school were a handful of guys who were so obvious that no one needed to ask and one rower who, despite being a national champion who went to Harvard, was as much talked about for his sexuality (which was sort of an open secret) as for his scholastic and extracurricular accomplishments. So I can’t say I feel too sorry for keeping to myself. I didn’t pretend to like girls (well, maybe once or twice), but got very, very good at holding people at arm’s length and ducking questions that made me uncomfortable. Some people suspected. A surprisingly large number did not. One or two people even thought I was asexual.

Falling in love with a straight friend is pretty much a rite of passage for anyone in my position, so I’ll gloss over it. Suffice to say that I eventually realized that my friend, despite being one of the biggest musical theater geeks I knew, was not confused or lying to himself when he asked women out, and he, I’m pretty sure, not only was not repelled by what he surely must have detected to be more than friendly affection from me, but came around and tried to set me up with one of the guys from his college choir. (I declined. The dude was nice, but not very attractive, and to top it off, he wouldn’t shut up about his coming out experience. I try not to talk about it too much myself, although I suspect some readers want to hear the story.)

There isn’t much else to tell. I never told my parents. They figured it out on their own (my father through an embarrassing incident that I won’t recount here, and my mother just because she knows how to read between the lines), and when I started living openly in college, word got around to them. They’re supportive. Yay. So before I start talking about what I really want to talk about, watch this. (I said I wouldn’t post any more pictures, not that I wouldn’t post more videos.)

Theater people are an interesting crowd. There are more straight people in there than the stereotypes would have you believe, and even when I did a show with the intention of meeting guys, I was flummoxed to discover that every guy in the show except me was straight, taken, definitely not my type, or some combination of the three. Having to draw one’s dating pool from a small subset of one’s preferred gender is not quite the obstacle you might think it is, although it does require you to be very vocal about what you’re into and direct with anyone you think you have a chance with (not that that’s ever helped me any). Liking theater doesn’t make a man anything except pretentious, and I am very proud to say that I am not quite so pretentious as some of the people I hung out with in high school and college. It’s easy to be nostalgic for those times, so I try to focus on the ways in which they inform my life in the present instead of yearning to return to them. The theater is a place for drama both onstage and off, but it’s also a very welcoming community, one in which many people near and dear to me are quite content to spend their whole lives. Doing a play (or a movie) with someone is a great way to get to know their best and worst qualities in a very short time, and yes, the best casts always do develop a sense of family. Then the show ends and you never see the majority of them again. I don’t miss that, exactly, although I’d still love to catch up with some of them if I get the chance.

In case anyone is wondering, I weathered Sandy just fine. The power never went down, and while I haven’t checked, I suspect classes will resume tomorrow. I’m grateful for the holiday, as it has allowed me to catch up on all of the sitting around that I’ve been meaning to do for ages. I stumbled upon a hysterical British comedy show called Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace that only ran for six episodes, yet pitch-perfectly parodied both medical dramas and supernatural thrillers. It’s available on YouTube and, as far as I can tell, nowhere else. Check it out.



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