Anonymous: I'm very glad... Thank you so much. I wish him all the best.
I just watched a movie called "Weekend." It's so very amazing. Maybe it's just because it hit me, given that it's about the gay lifestyle, but I respect Andrew Haigh so much for writing, directing, and editing that film. It's genius on so many levels.
There was one scene, after the point at which the main character has had a loving night with this guy he met, that you see them both in bed. Comfortable... so comfortable. It wasn't kitsch comfortable, the kind that the movie screen and one-night-stands produce; it was the comfortable only time can develop, and Haigh sold it so well. And right after that moment of tranquility, you see the sun rising over a beautiful English park, complete with trees and the buildings rising just above the horizon... I saw that sun, and I cried. I cried for the night they just spent together, and the life it brought, and the beautiful cinematography that was portraying it all. You can argue whether or not Haigh meant this, but it doesn't matter; that's the great thing about art. I found my own meaning in it, and as long as I'm not disrupting Haigh's (or any artist's) initial message, I believe everyone can (and should) do that.
Anyway, I also cried at the intimacy of their sex. It was brilliant, as was Haigh's decision never to show an erect penis- even though you see penises every so often throughout the film. His use of nudity, and then sexuality, in a natural sense was beautiful. And I also cried when the guy pretended to be... Well, I won't spoil it for anyone who might watch the movie. But the main character is an orphan, and let's just say his lover kind of helped him come out a bit. The scene moved me so much because I wish those words were true- for me, for everyone. But they're not.
"I like guys, not girls."
"Well... You know what? It doesn't matter to me. I love you just the same. And guess what?"
"I couldn't be more proud of you than if you were the first man on the moon."
I started crying so badly. And it was soon after the sunrise, so I was already all emotional...
I thought about this song- it's by The Avett Brothers, and it's called "If I get Murdered in the City." The lyrics that always make me cry are these:
"I wonder which brother is better
Which one our parents loved the most
I sure did get in lots of trouble
They seemed to let the other go
A tear fell from my father's eye
I wondered what my dad would say
He said, 'I love you and I'm proud of you both,
In so many different ways.' "
I just can't help but cry at that part. And, looking at all these things, I'm glad my dad was there for my graduation. When I saw all those people standing in the auditorium, waiting for me and my classmates, I started crying because I knew I should be proud of myself- and I was. I couldn't stop crying even when I got onstage in front of everyone, and was about to sing with the chorus. I knew people were out there, commending me for the effort I've put into the last 4 years in my academic, artistic, and social lives. And in this year of being on my own, I've had this epiphany about feeling like I'll never be good enough for my dad... I was glad to feel worth being his son at that moment.
Here's the epiphany
In any case, that's not what this post is about.
I just went to eat dinner. Allow me a digression.
Again, just like yesterday, all the thoughts weighed in my head. While at the table, I mean. And when that happens, and I'm around people, I always slightly show my emotions on my face, and wonder if anyone's noticing... if anyone will ask about them. I'm always disappointed that no one's perceptive enough; but then again, if I'm worried about people watching me, then should I feel disappointed at myself for not watching them? It seems egotistical- hypocritical. Anyway, I can feel it. This is the moment I was talking about: the moment when the things I've been feeling for a while boil into a climax and I release it in one burst of discovery or simple exultation. Actually, I'm not sure if I've written about it here; but I do it all the time, and I always make it symbolically significant- like the time I saw the sunrise after I'd been feeling depressed here in Brazil (most likely for the same reasons I've been feeling sad lately). It's like I can feel the answers to my sadnesses running through my veins, as if the tears I spill are screaming for significance, and I will finally acknowledge them, saying, "I've heard you... I've learnt your language, and I understand what you're saying. I hope I've listened enough to not let you run down my face in vain." Maybe not today, or tomorrow-or maybe I've pegged myself, and my feelings, wrong and it won't happen like it's happened before- but something's bound to come of these emotions.
Well, back to the movie. Or, why I was talking about the movie. While looking for books to read, I read about this book that explains the development of a gay guy looking for love, and I was interested because of my own experience in all this. It seems like it'd almost be the regular heterosexual story: people like each other and start a relationship, one person gets screwed over, then that person goes relatively crazy and sleeps with everyone after being depressed, then decides he/she won't commit to anyone ever again, and then (s)he decides that (s)he wants love and is somehow able to find it. The only thing is (at least, in my very naïve opinion), the gay culture almost oppresses real intimacy, and thus makes it all the more challenging for us to find love as heterosexual couples might. (That's even ignoring the extra challenge of being a lesser percentage of the population.)
Homosexuality has been opposed for a long time, so let's imagine the moments in which it was opening up. I don't mean on the outside; I mean in the places where gays could be with each other, as they wished to be. Do you think they wanted love? Hell no. The extremity of their oppression pushed them to the opposite spectrum of liberation, leading them to a complete relinquishment of restraint; they embraced each other in their secret rebellion. In fighting oppression, they simply found a much too liberal alternative in the shadows. To this day, that lifestyle of being forced underground with your desires has found its aftereffects in the gay bars (and their hungry-for-casual-sex customers), in the over-popularization of gay pornography, and the affiliation between homosexuality and promiscuity. Now, this is just my thoughts extrapolating on a theory I heard a little while ago, and I'm not saying the "straight world" isn't promiscuous or what-have-you; but I find some truth to this story... Specifically because that's how my sexuality developed, and there's that whole psychological truth about expecting that everyone thinks or does things exactly as you do. And I justify my biased belief in the fact that the gay world is overrun by horny men who want nothing but noncommittal sex, because that's what most men want anyway.
So to get beyond that- to have a real connection with someone- I wonder how I'm supposed to overcome the expectations placed on me as a guy that likes guys, and how I'm supposed to find a real partner without seeming like a prude. I've already made my decision to not do anything sexual with people (well, men) I'm romantically interested in, unless I'm already in a relationship. Only time will tell whether or not this'll work. Plus, that gives me leeway to have sex just for sex if I randomly feel like it. After all, (and I'm not sure whether this is because of my youth or my natural desire for intimacy on all levels) I believe in casual sex- just not with complete strangers who you have no reason to trust yet. I've had sex with friends (not all at once, of course), and it doesn't have to change things if you understand each other, and understand what you expect from one another.
Anyway, my point is that I don't want sex to be an act of desperation anymore; I don't want to be running away from something, only to find myself disgusted at the way I've become putty in someone else's hands. And I definitely don't want any sense of attraction I have in a person to be ruined by trying to please them too quickly- that was my problem with Cherokee, after all... And that worked out oh so greatly.
"If you begin by sacrificing yourself to those you love, you will end by hating those to whom you have sacrificed yourself." -Bernard Shaw, one of the greatest thinkers of the 19th century (or so the preface of a book I'm reading says). Given my inclination to renounce my own happiness for others, I've finally found this truth about self-sacrifice. It makes me wonder where I should draw my line, but I know where I'm drawing it for quasi-relationships: kissing. I always feel like I'm not enough, like a kiss won't keep them interested, like saying, "Oh, I don't want to" will make them uninterested in me. So screw them! Screw the system, and all its implicit pressures that take me to places I don't want to be! I'm my own person, and if someone wants to discover me in all I am, they will soon realize that my body is the least I can offer.
Weekend was a tiny gem of hope that things don't have to be that way. (Well, even the start of it proved the deplorable nature of gay relations, but let's not get technical.) The ending proved that a beginning doesn't have to determine an ending, and that's exactly what I plan to do with myself: my desire to impress and connect will not overrule my search for real intimacy.