Break Like Violent Fetters Chapter 6: Second Adolescence and the Confines of Alt-Right America

I don’t know how much more of my book I will be posting. It is finished, but still editing and putting the final details together- and I feel like my words will spread out a bit more while on my travels the next 3 months.

This blog will begin to focus on the experiences and thoughts I will have while in Mexico and on my road trip through America. Expect new blog posts every Thursday and Sunday- w/ hopefully few breaks in the consistency!

Chapter 6-

There’s a stereotype of most gay men as being perpetual sluts. There is a grain or two of truth in this statement, but it is wholly unfair and does not accurately depict what’s really going on. I don’t think most of us are or even were aware of it ourselves.

Homosexuals who came to terms with their sexuality as an adult often ball-out harder than those who came out while in high school or younger. No pun intended.

Some of my friends and I have discussed our frustration with the vapid pretentious ghosters of many of our first dates. These scenarios seemed so unfair and pervasive in our subculture until it dawned on me that

we, gays, are experiencing life as a second adolescence- in our twenties.

This is the first time most of my recently out gay friends and I started going on actual dates as opposed to one-time hookups and having to go to gay bars in secret. It was a revelation to be so free. To be accepted as normal and not as deviants being shooed into and out of churches and sidewalks.

I don’t think that would have happened so quickly for me had I not been forced to confront my personal demons due to my unintended solitude in Asia two months after graduating from college.

Living in Atlanta was the best thing that could have happened to me during that part of my life. It was where Rob and I grew as best friends and could talk about sucking dicks and go dancing and meet new groups of people without derision or judgment.

Atlanta, was where I met Lauren Schmus who would later become my semi-permanent wedding date and travel companion for Delta- which was the most amazing blessing or gift I have ever been given. Sometimes it would mean going to bomb-ass places like Iceland, but she may cause you to cry on the streets of Reykjavik to have an important conversation.

There are many things I can say about Lauren, the most important to me is that she is fiercely loyal and will fight you for not fighting for yourself more intently. She really helped me see the benefits and importance of self-care before and after her sobriety.

We had an instant attraction to each other and we even tried to hook up a couple of times. That seems so funny and weird to me now. We both helped each other come out. And we both shed our bottom feeder black-out nights for personal growth and enjoyment. My life was changed because of her too.

Lauren and I, Atlanta- 2014

I really do think that people come into and out of our lives for a reason. Gay people have worn many identities through out their lives. My family of friends is as diverse as those different aspects of my life. I’m lucky to have many different and amazing people in my court. You all have helped make me into a better person.

I was kind of a hot mess in my twenties. Not even gonna lie 😆. My self-destructive tendencies were not as severe as a lot of my peers or even self-apparent during that time, but a mess all the same.

I came to the conclusion that I was bisexual at the age of 24. It took me going to the brink of suicide, laying in a Beijing, China hostel bed for 3 days, to finally accept that I would always be attracted to men; and more importantly, that this was perfectly fine.

It was months later, on a three-week solo excursion in Thailand that I really explored my sexuality with both men and women, openly, and for the first time as a young adult.

That critical life-defining period, however, is for another chapter in this book. This chapter regards some of the experiences and thought processes that ensued after I began venturing out the closet door of both- my mind and my sexuality.

First week in China. City of Xi’an- October 2008
Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand- July 2009.

What if my sexuality had never been an issue for me as a child, and I had been embraced and encouraged to be exactly who I am- from the get go? Would I ever have been suicidal? Who would that person be today? There is no way to ever fully know. I can only look to my past and towards the person I am becoming.

For most of my homosexual friends and even my straight friends who have left religion, the twenties were about really exploring and constantly redefining ourselves, values, and belief systems. This was the first time, for us southern gays, we could really explore our authentic selves and our sexuality.

It is dangerous to be gay in some places of the American south and west. It’s also dangerous to be a woman. To be black. To be Hispanic. To be Native American. To be Muslim. To be in need. To be different.

As much as a melting pot America is, we fall into our old traditional tribes and ways of modality.

How does allowing a migrant family to move to America to escape persecution or to live a better life- how does that affect you? The people who are coming over here are not the ones taking over your jobs. They know how Trump-era Republicans view them- we all hear the messages of hate and worthlessness coming from that side of tyranny. Your situation has to be pretty desperate to still want to knowingly move to a country, a city, a tribe where you are told you are not wanted. I am fortunate enough to be moving to part of America where that isn’t an issue.

Multnomah Falls, Portland, OR- June 2017

Manifested Destiny (Part 1 of 4)-

I used to speak for generations.

Slumped whale fins speak louder than us all.

We are pearls high up on a hog

I’ve stopped rolling in the mud

Sunlight breaking through cold fog.

The whole world is caught choking

on styrofoam lethargy.

None of you deserve my beauty

I still give it to you freely.

Manifested Destiny (Part 2 of 4)-

They gave my family gas chambers.

I’m alone but breathe in mountains.

I saw the tarpits

complacent people drown in.

Glaciers and ice cubes

eventually melt the same

Some more slowly

circle down the drain.

The numbered days are

Etched into our arms.

I’ve seen the Holocaust tomb

to the Unknown Thousands.

They became a field of old rooms.

Humans make the blackest charcoal embers.

There is not even a name

For the dead we don’t remember.

They are in our laxatives

They are in our souls

You deserve Trump’s America

I want to burn it whole.

I’m the match-maker match

I’m the quick silver-spoon

I’m the real swamp draining

Money-shakin’ loon.

I lit the match

I’m fanning flames

I’m the one

Scorched earth

Heart prisoners blame.

You tell me to keep burning it all away.

Until all that’s left is Love.

Death is in our diamonds.

Maybe I’ll find love there

I’ve never found it up above.

Manifested Destiny (Part 3 of 4)-

I’m tearing asunder

Instagram filtered

Effigies to us.

Two by two

By two by fours

Ah! I’m so fucking bored

With zeroes and ones reality

This Whole lack-based singularity

“But she’s riddled with insecurity!”

I’ve saved hundreds of lives.

Ms. six packed Jesus housewife

can’t even save her own.

Noah was right to drown the world.

I’m giving him buckets

And loosening the furls.

Those grasping crumb filled beggars

inhaling illusory one night lovers.

Like children chasing falling leaves.

I have seen the caged bird sing-

In a cage I saw her dancing.

You’ll find love within the living things

Look inside of me.

Portland, Oregon- June 2017

People ask me were you afraid to move to China or aren’t you afraid of the drug cartels in Mexico? Yes there are some fearful aspects of being in the unknown.

But I was afraid to walk home from school in my hometown. Sometimes I was afraid to go to school. I was even more afraid to ride the bus.

Nomadic Gardens, London- October 2017

I was very active in high school and enjoyed all of the activities I was a part of. I gained a sense of accomplishment in each new activity I participated in. As I’ve been writing this portion of the book, I realized deep down, part of me participated in these things so that way I wouldn’t have to ride the bus to or from school.

There are countries and parts of America where children are not forced by shame into becoming a false gleaming version of who the molders of society expect boys and girls to become.

I want to live in an America where no child will ever face discrimination or fear in their neighborhoods, at their schools, in their homes. That America is coming.

Dating in our twenties is sloppy and messy and fun and heartbreaking. I was 26 when I ever really started openly dating or going on dates with other guys. I was 28 the last time I slept with a woman. That was almost 6 years ago. I didn’t really become completely open to everyone regarding my sexuality until I was 30. So I have really only been in the gay dating scene where my heart is open and I know more of how to be a good boyfriend for 3 years.

We often don’t have parents or relatives to help guide us in our relationships. Our support system is so often our other gay friends who are also wounded and trying to get their shit together too. The pettiness, the insecurities manifesting as judgey ass pretentious gay prudes, the reason gay bars sometimes feel like high school is because for us it is high school again. It’s our second adolescence but this time with legal booze, a lot more sex, and often no real or positive support systems.

Second adolescence is a term I’ve used to describe those who have come out as gay in our mid twenties- adult years.

I began noticing my straight friends who I party-rocked with in college, began settling down and having families. I was 26/27 at the time. As I was still hitting the bar scene with reckless abandon, my friends were getting married and having babies. Luckily, that happened in increments and is a normal part of traditional human development.

The culture of binge-drinking was seen as pretty normal and is still quite so at this stage in a lot of our lives. Seriously, I could have a stamp card filled up with as many times as I’ve lost my debit card at the Chat Room oftentimes my straight friends party/partied way harder than I ever have, too. But for them it slows down a bit. I am gay, single, with no real attachments, and a disposable income. Freedom carries its own kind of loneliness too.

I have taken some version of are you an alcoholic assessment at least twenty times in my adult life. The results indicate that I am probably engaging in substance abuse vs dependence.

As a professional who has a decent amount of experience in the social work/mental health fields, the results should be alarming- on face value.

I’m not trying to justify substance abuse. Binging of any kind can begin to have a toll on your body, mind, and whole personhood, relationships, and job- if it is taken to extremes.

America is a place of extremes. It goes back to our puritanical roots. Capable of extreme vacillation between grace and condemndation. Always a give and take situation.

We’ve been caught up in our own abundance that some have come to expect taking is an inherent right. You self-centered selfish fuckers don’t even look at how your votes, religions, politics effect other people who depend on those rights to still be there for them.

White Christian America, you have taken, usurped, bought out, denounced, and torn- down the fringed populations any time we begin to achieve success.

The reason you finally accepted gays is because you realized we helped make your life aesthetically pleasing for you. Handsome, fit, well-dressed men to take as your dates to weddings, or retail stores. An accessory to accentuate your ensemble or fan-base. It was then you realized we were humans beings, but only a little more than half of you think we should be able to get married.

How can we look at a refugee or on anyone and pronounce them unworthy. Somehow as less human than us because of an imaginary border we don’t want you to cross?

But what if he’s gay and a migrant worker or not a shiny piece of eye and arm candy? We’re human to you because we help you look better and vice-versa.

If you actually put into practice what your Bible stories say- you’d be baking that wedding cake with dildos and fireworks galore. Jesus met people where they were at and was not one to fault anyone.

The only time in the gospels we see Jesus ever really lose it is when he turns over the money-changers tables who have set up shop on the outskirts of the temples.

You selfish fat balding-fucks wouldn’t recognize your Jesus now. “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” -Matthew 25:45

If you are going to issue a refusal on a visa entry or a same-sex wedding cake then own up to your own bigotry and stop blaming it on your “God’s edicts and laws.” The fact that you are privileged enough to turn away business should be a clear enough indication that you’re doing so well you have the time to refuse other people’s business.

And do you know why it seems that gays are intentionally going to a “straight/Christian” bakery in these smaller towns? Because those are often the only bakeries in town.

And if someone of same-sex attraction was brave enough to build a bakery in your town, they would often be afraid of ridicule, abuse, and running the risk of bankruptcy to ridicule, harassment, and lack of patronage.

So the people who have it all are so fucking selfish that they see anyone else attaining wealth or betterment as taking something away from themselves. Have a very blessed day, bitch.

Multnomah Falls, Portland, OR- June 2017.
Portland, Oregon, June 2017
Lauren and I, Portland, Oregon, June 2017
Mother Nature’s Son, Portland, Oregon- June 2017
Rainbows in the Mist, Portland- 06/17 🏳️‍🌈

The self-inflated sufficiency is a akin to a rooster falling in a nest. You have it so good that you are able to rail against people groups who are sitting at the table they used to set for you. You get off on being morally superior.

In actuality You are the ones who are still being enslaved by value systems incompatible with the current ever evolving comprehensives and multi-disciplinary understanding of the modern world. But that doesn’t mean God stopped speaking. You stopped listening.

And now y’all have to continually shoehorn your beliefs to match 3000 year-old-words on parchment and scrolls…

Your analog minds can’t process life into a digital world. There are Amish people groups in every generation. So take back to the land and seas. You escaped to the suburbs to leave the poor behind. And the poor and marginalized took up your old places and began to do well. So well, in factC that when they moved to the suburbs, you fled to downtown and jacked up the rent, and revitalized the areas you had vehemently forgotten.

Some can say that the 2016 election has brought out the worst in people. In some way its true but like most truths it’s more complicated than that. It’s brought the secret anxieties and prejudicial and political correctness hypocrisies to the fore front of our conversations and the headlines of our news feeds. And that is not a bad thing. This election cycle has force fed us to confront the realities and belief systems and political machinations that have simmered below the melting pot that a lot of us would rather keep the lid on.

I know we’re tired and saddened and angry but that’s when a word of relevant hope is most needed. Love will always and eventually trump hatred and closed hearts. Those who generate positive growth and change- it is we who must not despair for long. Light workers- do not grow tired. Light is what keeps the darkest hours at bay. These words always help me through:

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always.”- Mohandas Gandhi.

Then Gandhi continues,

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for.”- Mohandas Gandhi, 1927

His words could not be more true and the chastisement could not be more deserved in the moment awful fucking Trump was elected.

I went to Europe again last fall. Europe serves as a beacon of hope and beauty- the idealization of humans existing together. I found myself for the first time ever telling the Europeans that I was from Texas before America. That’s how bad it’s gotten. The state the Dixie Chicks were ashamed to share with Bush is more tolerable than proclaiming to be from America. I am proud of America but not the intolerable disgustingly shameful and disparaging Alt-Right America. Fervent Nationalism is often a façade for totalitarian rule to set up its shop and clear out any detractors.

Dublin, Ireland- September 2017
Dublin, Ireland- September 2017
Subway Wisdom- London, U. K., October 2017

London, U. K., October 2017

On my way to Dublin via Iceland, 09/27/2017

There has been a lot of fallout since the Alt-Right’s oppressive rise to places of power. We must become the country we want America to be and see others with different points of view as belonging to the same country. It is hard for me to want to share that America with them. The frustrating part about conservative vs liberals is that liberals are way more open and inclusive and the conservatives care nothing save themselves, god, guns, and gold. It would be hypocritical of me to say otherwise but goddammit it is so hard to extend olive branches to men with guns in one hand and bibles in the other.

There-in lies the fundamental problem: we are disconnected from ourselves, from the Earth, from each other. This is not hippy self-esteem everyone-gets-a-trophy culture bullshit. We are all connected.

It’s why movies and music about real shit have always moved us. It’s George Bailey and his wife giving away their honeymoon money to help their community in It’s A Wonderful Life. It’s Atticus Finch defending and proving Jim’s innocence to a community that didn’t want to see the true lecherous man among them- a community that would rather believe the sham to fuel their own biases and prejudices. Not unlike some places in our country.

Trump didn’t get to where he is based solely on xenophobic sound bites, or stairways to coiffed toupee’ed heaven. He came from the bowels of an American segment’s long-seething intolerance and dissatisfaction of inclusiveness barely held beneath its hard working class Christianity and Stepford country club white washed facades. Sometimes part of me feels like America deserves the president that it gets. But that divisive, vituperative, disconnected vision is not the America I or my friends fight for. This is not the America that people have bled their lives to defend. But after Trump maybe it is. And if this is a return to a Patriarchal good-ole-boy “grab pussy” America then the responsibility to change it weighs on the shoulders of socially conscious and awakened Americans.

We all thought equality and reason would win the day. We got complacent. We thought the tide was turning. Tyranny often consolidates power quietly and in plain sight. If there’s anyone to blame it is ourselves for being arrogant in the idea that Freedom would keep on fighting without us having to do much more but mark a 4 year ballot and it’s all lassiez-faire champagne brunches. Laws only remain fair when just people are made accountable to uphold them. The disenfranchised whites found their fascist mouth piece while we went to the bars or enjoyed a nice dinner with friends and didn’t think this would happen. I’m just as guilty. Complacency is always happiness until it is inconveniently shattered by reality. We must fight for social progress, ecological cultivation, and for the oppressed even if it is done with the glass shards of America’s broken mirror in our hands.

The election of Trump is the last gasping death rattle of a white once-majority blinding their eyes against their own desperate nakedness and clutching gnarled hands onto the threads of an unclothed emperor’s train. A vote against the Future may momentarily deter progress but the Future is coming anyway. We can be the catalyst of action or churn in the dry rot wood of complacency.  My eyes are fully opened to see the Future meet us here while tyrants in various guises will forever eventually fall away exposed, unraveled by their own undoing, and with no subjects left to rule.

White America is playing the long-con. Not knowing that they are dying. Iv’s and Ivy leagues Always Crawling up your walls.

Don’t you see that we are just as much as a part of this world as you are? We’re not trying to take it away- we want to, we already share it with you.

But if you decide to build walls, hurl stones, and stay craven in the fearful pompous decadence you’re so accustomed to- then we will break you. We were already broken and healed over a thousand times since we were children. There’s nothing left to break for us. I can’t say the same for you.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

We can’t blame the chifforobe anymore.

Canon Beach, Oregon, June 2017
San Francisco, June 2017

Financial District, London U.K., October 2017

Shoreditch, London- with Floyd, September 2017.

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